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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A historic House meeting will separate sheep and goats on gambling

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 7:16 AM

AT WAR AGAIN: No cannons, but counter-arguments on gambling are backstory on coming session in historic building.
  • AT WAR AGAIN: No cannons, but counter-arguments on gambling are backstory on coming session in historic building.
Leslie Newell Peaccock has rounded up some history of past legislative activities in the Old State House, which will be used by the Arkansas House during the special session next week because of work underway in the House chamber at the Capitol.

She focused on the last regular session in the building, in 1909.

For example:

Passed in the same year, Act 44 got tough on public drunkenness, a misdemeanor, authorizing conductors to act as "peace officers" and arrest intoxicated persons traveling by train. The General Assembly also outlawed the sale or manufacture of any "toy pistol, firecracker — commonly known as cannon crackers — or gun that shoots a blank cartridge," and passed an act to "prevent the running at large of hogs, sheep and goats in Clark County."

Next week, the game will be separating the sheep from the goats of the General Assembly.

I'm particularly interested if the Oaklawn casino lobby will succeed in pushing past Gov. Mike Beebe and into the session a measure to restrict expansion of  the Arkansas Lottery into video games.

Don't believe this is all about protecting the poor of Arkansas from gambling predation. If that was the case, we wouldn't have a lottery in the first place. The driving force — and lottery vendors are working the other side of the fence — is limiting competition for Oaklawn, one of the duopoly casinos in Arkansas, along with Southland.

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