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the study concluded. The study was conducted by the Univers

edit:casino time:2018-11-06

State finance officials unveiled an economic impact study earlier this year that focused on the tax reduction. Department of Finance and Administration officials said the state would lose $86 million over the next three years due to the lower tax rates on Oaklawn and Southland.

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That’s one reason State Rep. Vivian Flowers, D-Pine Bluff, advocates in her opposition to Issue 4. Jefferson County, and presumably economically challenged Pine Bluff, would stand to benefit from one of the remaining two possible casinos that the amendment would allow.

Issue 4 is a constitutional amendment that would permit casinos in four Arkansas counties – Garland, Crittenden, Pope, and Jefferson – with two of the casino licenses being granted to Oaklawn and Southland. Tax revenues generated by the casinos would be distributed to the state’s general revenue fund, to cities and counties where the casinos are located, and to the Arkansas Racing Commission for purses for horse and dog races.

An estimate of how long it would take to build was not available. Some of the current facilities might have to be modified to accommodate a project of this size, he said. Soil samples could be tested and renderings of the proposed facility could be drafted in the weeks after the election if it passes, he added.

Flowers contends that the Arkansas legislature is unlikely to consider adding any additional taxes to the casinos due to lobbying forces, and she thinks the strength of having the measure written into the state Constitution will be a deterrent to changes.

One rumor that has been floated – that Southland will eliminate dog racing if the casino initiative passes – isn’t true, he said. There have been no internal discussions about ending racing for any reason, and it’s not under consideration, he said.

Since 2006, Delaware North has invested more than $100 million to transform the racing-only facility to add gaming, restaurants and other amenities, White said. Southland currently has about 765 employees and would add about 250 jobs with an expansion, bringing the workforce to over 1,000, he added.

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