Casino Proposal Facing Long, Tough Odds

by Roby Brock ( 9 views 

A proposal to expand casino gambling in Arkansas looks like a long-shot to make the ballot and it will have to beat the odds to gain passage from Arkansas voters.

In the latest Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll, 66% of Arkansans say they would not vote for the proposed casino amendment being pushed by professional poker player Nancy Todd. Only 28% said they were in favor of the casino measure, with just 6% undecided.

Q: A proposal related to casino gambling in Arkansas may also be on the ballot. The proposal would allow Nancy Todd’s Poker Palace the right to establish casinos in four Arkansas counties.  If the election were today, would you vote for this casino gambling proposal?

28%     Yes
66%     No
6%       Don’t Know

“An overwhelming majority of Arkansans oppose the proposal, still not on the November ballot, to create privately-owned casinos in Arkansas,” said Dr. Jay Barth, professor of political science at Hendrix College.

Barth helped craft and analyze the poll, which you can read in its entirety here.


though younger voters are marginally more supportive, the proposal faces overwhelming opposition across all political and demographic groups. It seems clear that this idea's time has not yet arrived in Arkansas, a state with a long history of opposing gambling expansion in the state,” said Barth.

The supporters of the casino measure fell short of their goal to submit 78,333 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot.  Nearly 71% of the signatures submitted were invalidated, but Secretary of State Mark Martin's office did give Nancy Todd's group an additional 30 days to collect more signatures.

The proposal would allow casinos in Crittenden, Franklin, Miller and Pulaski counties.

This survey was conducted by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College on Thursday, July 19, 2012. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/-4%, was completed using IVR survey technology among 585 likely Arkansas voters statewide.

All media outlets are welcome to reprint, reproduce, or rebroadcast information from this poll with proper attribution to Talk Business and Hendrix College.

For interviews, contact Talk Business executive editor Roby Brock by email at