AG rejects another gambling initiative

(March 23, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Attorney General Mike Beebe has rejected the popular name and ballot title for a November ballot proposal on gambling, lotteries, bingo and raffles. Beebe says the wording contains "sweeping language" and "ambiguities." Harold Glen Martin of Hot Springs, a gambling proponent, submitted the proposal. It would authorize him or "subcontractors" to operate gambling in eleven counties. The measure would allow bingo and raffles by nonprofit organizations, and would authorize the Legislature to operate lotteries. Beebe said the wording was too confusing but that Martin could revise the wording and resubmit it. In November, Beebe certified the popular name and ballot title for a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow casino-style gambling at every bar in the state. Arkansas has legalized gambling only at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs and Southland Park in West Memphis.