An open line poses a lingering question for the special session: Can Oaklawn stop a lottery expansion? Plus, bad news for lottery performance and former Arkansas State Police Director John Bailey is named director of the Union Rescue Mission.
A day after the Arkansas Lottery Legislative Oversight Committee passed a motion against the lottery adding video monitor games, the Arkansas Lottery Commission today approved adding the games, which Lottery Director Bishop Woosley pitched as a way to reach to boost revenues for the flagging lottery. Who knows whether keno and such will turn around the lottery, but we do know that it'll mean more money for the lottery's largest vendor.
The state Lottery Commission heard another report on declining revenues yesterday and again lowered expectations on profits expected to put into lottery college scholarships. This was inevitable and the prospects for reversal of the trend are not bright.
A couple of stories worth noting:
* THE VIDEO LOTTERY IS BACK: In the face of stagnant revenue, the Arkansas Lottery Commission is revisting the idea of whether it should allow video lottery games such as keno, which offer repeat, fast, all-day gambling action.
That didn't take long. Arkansas started selling lottery tickets in September 2009 and three years later we have solid evidence — in a 7 percent drop in sales the last two months, according to an article in the Democrat-Gazette (pay wall) — of the inevitable maturing of the lottery.
We ended up adopting Fred due to his incorrigible stubbornness. Originally bred to track game, basset hounds can be amazingly persistent. It sometimes appears that when their noses are working, their hearing shuts down.
The Koch political lobby is trying mightily to pretend it supports American farmers and that Tom Cotton's vote against the farm bill isn't a measure of farm support. A new report from a Democratic organization blows that dishonest messaging out of the water.
If you didn't understand the specifics, you might find irony in the fact that Arkansas liquor stores have contributed $1.2 million — so far — to an effort to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to allow retail alcohol sales in all 75 counties.