Another lawsuit in the works against casino amendment | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Another lawsuit in the works against casino amendment

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 3:06 PM

click to enlarge CHRIS BURKS Plans casino amendment challenge.
  • CHRIS BURKS Plans casino amendment challenge.
A Pope County-based group has been formed to oppose the casino gambling amendment and it will file a lawsuit today, the second, seeking to have the amendment removed from the ballot.

Little Rock lawyer Chris Burks told us of  the organization of Citizens for a Better Pope County to raise money to fight Issue 4, which would allow casinos in Pope and Jefferson counties and solidify the legal standing and expand gambling options at the racinos at Oaklawn and Southland parks. Pope County residents are officers of the group.

Burks said the group will sue today to kill the amendment. Another group sued yesterday, arguing various deficiencies in the ballot title. Plaintiffs include a Hot Springs preacher who's long opposed gambling in the city.

Wrote Burks:

The primary difference in this lawsuit and the one from yesterday is the argument that Issue #4 violates the monopoly ban in the Arkansas Constitution. I won the monopoly lawsuit against the City of Little Rock over only giving Yellow Cab company taxis a license, so it is an argument that I have been successful on before.

Also, my lawsuit is responsive to local voters and not to interest groups with agendas or conflicts. We do not represent the Family Council, and we have never been for the casino amendment.

The argument is that "the Issue #4 ballot title fails to inform voters that Issue #4 itself overturns the constitutional ban on monopolies and perpetuities by giving exclusive, perpetual licenses for casino gambling and alcohol sales over which locals lose their liberty to approve." 

Here's the lawsuit.

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