Gaming numbers dip | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gaming numbers dip

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 9:10 AM

NEW FACILITY: An Oaklawn Park photo of its new Vegas-style center for electronic games.

Is Arkansas ready to be a break-out lottery state, with ticket sales beyond most expectations? In six months, we'll know.

But meanwhile, here's one potential barometer on the yen to gamble, the monthly state report on wagering on the "electronic games of skill" at Southland and Oaklawn, the dog and horse tracks in West Memphis and Hot Springs, respectively.

The electronic games -- blackjack, poker and other games in which some decision-making by players factors into the outcome -- have been on a steady upward trajectory since they were introduced in 2006. That was particularly true in May when Oaklawn opened a facility devoted to electronic games and enjoyed a big jump in revenue. It is a Vegas-style entertainment center that is soon to include a theater with name entertainment and a restaurant.

But something happened in June. Overall wagering on this form of gambling (the track  numbers don't include the Instant Racing parimutuel machines or off-track betting) dropped at both tracks. The drop was precipitous at Southland, from $38.6 million gross wagering in May to $31.4 million in June. The drop at Oaklawn was small, from about $27.4 million gross in May to $27.1 million in June.

Both tracks are maintaining a high payout ratio relative to many others in the industry nationwide. "Loose slots" is the familiar players' term, though these machines are not pure-chance slot machines in the strictest sense. In June, both Oaklawn and Southawn paid back about 94.6 percent of gross wagering in winnings. Payouts in the 80s aren't unheard of in some rapacious locales.

UPDATE: Southland General Manager Troy Keeping said two things about the numbers. 1) Winter gambling numbers are generally more robust compared with summer, with competing vacation and outdoor interests. 2) Southland has been adversely affected by major road construction that, in the long run will improve access to the track from Interstates 40 and 55, but currently has restricted traffic on both routes to one lane and caused some tough traffic backups. The track is putting out the word on "backdoor" routes to reach the track during construction, which is to continue through the year.


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

    If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending that support nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation