Friday, June 27, 2014

There's gambling; and then there's Oaklawn. Meet the hypocrites

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 7:10 AM

CHA-CHING: Follow the money to Oaklawn for opposition to lottery gambling expansion.
  • CHA-CHING: Follow the money to Oaklawn for opposition to lottery gambling expansion.

Shazam. The rest of the media world has discovered the fight to limit the Arkansas lottery is being driven by lobbyists for the Oaklawn casino in Hot Springs, which doesn't want competition from state keno-style parlors popping up all over the place.

I loved the quote in the D-G this morning from Sen. Bill Sample of Hot Springs, Oaklawn's toady and the sponsor of the legislation that dramatically expanded gambling options for Oaklawn in 2013 with on-line wagering.

Sample is one of the hypocrites who supports the bill to limit lottery gambling options but supports Oaklawn's slot machines and its recent expansion into on-line wagering. Sample professes to be concerned about preying on the poor. As I noted yesterday, casinos are increasingly bleeding the poor for their profit margins.

Sample says of the electronic monitor games: 

Money that should buy food and help educate children gets gambled away instead, he said. "And it could be just a moral conviction, but I've got a problem with that."

Sample said he draws a distinction between people who gamble at Oaklawn Park, and people who gamble with the lottery.

"Maybe I shouldn't. I have never seen anybody walk by Oaklawn that gets [dragged] in."

Dishonest or stupid? You choose. Video poker, readily available at the Oaklawn casino, has been shown to be crack-like in addicting gamblers. They have video monitors all over the place for poker, craps, you name it. And nobody drags people into the convenience stores selling lottery tickets either. To listen to Bill Sample, you'd think Oaklawn casino players are just spending a little extra cash, not imperiling baby's formula or diapers. (Why does that quote remind of the small child found abandoned for hours in the Oaklawn parking lot while mama gambled inside?)

The difference is the lobbying force. Oaklawn pays the likes of Ted Mullenix's firm big dollars to rope legislators in to help Oaklawn and hurt its competitors. If you don't think wining and dining works, check out the huge sums Mullenix spends on it. I'll remind you again that Mullenix was the leading opponent of the constitutional amendment to end lobbyist-paid legislative hog slopping.

Legislators can gamble away their paycheck and still eat because Ted Mullenix will feed them.

But back to the hypocrites on the push to get a bill added to the legislative session to prevent the lottery from adding video monitor games in which gamblers can place a new bet every few minutes:

The governor has been given a list of state representatives who purportedly support the bill. Let's compare that list (and some on it are now saying they weren't on board) with those who voted to expand gambling for the owners of the Oaklawn casino. Let's call it Hypocrite Watch.


Douglas, D.
Meeks, D.
Meeks, S.



Tags: , , ,


Speaking of...

  • Racing season opens at Oaklawn

    February 15, 2017
    Oaklawn is not only Arkansas's only Thoroughbred racing venue, it holds title as one of the top tracks in the nation. The venue, which is located at 2705 Central Avenue, is open year-round for simulcasting and electronic gaming operations and features live racing from January through mid-April. The 57-day live racing season began on January 13 this year. /more/
  • Legislative committee refuses to OK lottery ad contract UPDATE

    January 18, 2017
    A review subcommittee of the Joint Budget Committee this morning failed to "review," or approve, the $34.5 million contract with CJRW to take over the Arkansas Lottery's marketing, which had been held by Mangan Holcomb. But that isn't the end of it. /more/
  • Challenges of lottery ad contract rejected

    January 5, 2017
    The latest on the contest of award of the contract to handle advertising for the Arkansas Lottery is a letter from the state procurement director,, Edward Armstrong, rejecting challenges to the proposed award of the business to CJRW. /more/
  • Protest filed over lottery's ad firm choice

    December 15, 2016
    Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business has a good rundown on a developing controversy in the advertising world — the Arkansas Lottery Commission's award of its advertising work to CJRW. /more/
  • Winners, losers

    December 15, 2016
    The Arkansas Lottery limps along with generally static revenue. It is under-producing money for college scholarships and the awards continue to lose ground against college tuition increases required by declining state general revenue support. /more/
  • Casino opponents claim measure was headed for defeat

    October 28, 2016
    The group that successfully fought a proposed constitutional amendment to allow three more casinos in Arkansas said today that its polling showed the measure would have been decisively defeated had it reached the ballot. /more/
  • Lottery ticket worth $1 million

    October 24, 2016
    William Tinzie of Forrest City claimed a $1 million prize with a $20 Golden Ticket purchased at Jordan's Kwik Stop in Wynne. /more/
  • Lottery reports revenue increase in July

    August 10, 2016
    The Arkansas lottery reported today that lottery ticket sales were up more than $6.5 million in July compared with July 2015, thanks in part to big sales of tickets in the national Powerball and Mega Millions games. /more/
  • Pine Bluff lottery ticket worth $1 million

    August 9, 2016
    Stacy Tackett of Pine Bluff won $1 million in a drawing from losing lottery tickets, the Play It Again contest, the state lottery announced. Her loser, which turned into a winner, was purchased at a Valero outlet in Pine Bluff. According to the lottery, she'll buy a  truck, set up trusts for her children and save the rest. /more/
  • Arkansas lottery up over previous year, still down from startup

    July 11, 2016
    Arkansas lottery sales in the year ending June 30 were up sharply over the previous year, if well below projections for scholarship proceeds when the lottery was established as well as earliest results /more/
  • More »

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • "Nasty Woman" at HSU: 32 artists celebrate Women's History Month

    A photograph of a woman doing a headstand so you can see her red underpants. A sculpture by Robyn Horn titled "Approaching Collapse." Those and other works that assistant professor of photography Margo Duvall says "celebrates the female voice in art" for Women's History Month go on exhibit March 1 in the gallery in the Russell Fine Arts Building.
  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
  • Bungling

    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation