Five months into the year, electronic games of skill (EGS) wagers at Oaklawn and Southland neared the $1.5 billion mark as both tracks saw smaller percentage increases in casino-style gambling.
According to the Arkansas Racing Commission, EGS wagers topped $1.384 billion year-to-date. Southland EGS wagers have totaled $908.25 million, while Oaklawn’s cleared $476.27 million in the first five months of 2013.
EGS wagers include gambling spent on video blackjack, poker, slot machines and other casino-style games.
At Southland’s racetrack in West Memphis in May, EGS wagers cooled off their recent torrid double-digit pace. The track posted EGS wagers of $177.14 million during the month, only an 8% increase from one year ago.
At Hot Springs-based Oaklawn in May, EGS wagers topped $96.04 million, a 25% increase from last May.
The jump in EGS wagers has certainly contributed to state tax revenues. With one month to go in the state’s fiscal year, tax revenue from EGS wagers is up 32% accounting for $32.6 million in collections for the state of Arkansas.
State tax revenue from traditional horse and dog racing income fell 11.3% compared to one year ago to $2.8 million year-to-date.
Oaklawn is planning a major expansion to its casino venue in 2014, according to a Hot Springs city planning request made in June.