During a March 23, 2019 meeting of the Arkansas Racing Commission, the request by Oaklawn Racing and Gaming and Southland Park Gaming and Racing to begin casino gaming was approved.

Fox 16 KLRT reports that the meeting which took place in Hot Springs, Arkansas, approved the two racino’s transformation into full-scale casinos from April 1, 2019.

Issue 4 approval:

In November last year, voters in the southern state narrowly approved Issue 4 as part of the ‘mid-term elections.’

The month of May was set by the commission as the time casino license applications will be accepted that could possibly have an impact on Jefferson and Pope counties.

Passage of Issue 4 will also reportedly see the Arkansas Racing Commission authorize one casino each for the pair of more rural counties so long as the prospective operators agree to pay a $250,000 ‘license application fee’ and can ‘demonstrate experience in conducting casino gaming.’

Amendment requirements:

The amendment additionally mandates that the coming facilities be located ‘within two miles’ of the communities of Russellville and Pine Bluff respectively with future licensees required to ‘submit either a letter of support from the county judge or a resolution from the county quorum court.’

Southland, located in West Memphis and Oaklawn, which is located in Hot Springs, are both exempt from applying for those casino licenses, according to the news agency.

Coming table games:

After the state’s approval on Saturday, Southland’s President, David Wolf, reportedly told Fox 16 KLRT that just like Oaklawn, they will begin their live gaming operation in less than 10 days.

Wolf said…

“We’re going to have craps, roulette, blackjack … Mississippi stud, three card poker.”

The pair of casinos both communicated to the commission that some existing gaming like sports wagering will need a few months to make the transition and fall under the newly approved casino amendment.

Transition by summer:

Officials for both casinos said that they will be fully transitioned to casino gaming by summer.

Under a 2005 state law, both facilities had previously offered electronic skill games, but will now be able to enlarge their portfolios to include sports betting and table games such as poker and blackjack.