Earlier this week, a brief was submitted by the Protect Arkansas Values-Stop Casinos Now group in an effort to see Issue 5 voted against. According to the group, Issue 5 is in violation of the federal law and should be passed. Issue 5 would allow three counties in the state to have casino facilities, and comes up for a vote within the Arkansas Supreme Court soon to see if the measure will be added to the ballot. This past week, new questions have been asked as to the actual wording of the amendment, including the involvement of sports betting.
Groups who are opposed to the measure believe the amendment should not be allowed on the ballot this November as it includes sports betting and this activity is illegal in the state. Those who are agreeable to sports betting say it was added on purpose. The wording in regards to sports betting may set the amendment back from being placed on the ballot in November.
Bill Walmsley is a retired appeals court judge who submitted the brief this past Monday for the Protect Arkansas Values-Stop Casino Now group who stated that Issue 5 is in violation of federal law. Walmsley stated that federal law would trump the constitutional amendment and prohibit any type of sports betting. Even though, it has been told that individuals can wager on college games, you can do all kinds of sports betting, this is just not the case. The brief by Walmsley may have an effect on the findings of Issue 5 within the Arkansas Supreme Court, which should be decided any time now.
Proponents of the casinos want the court to make a decision soon so that the amendment can be placed on the ballot this November. Arkansas Wins, a group in favor of the gaming options, has shown their support of the measure. Spokesperson for the group, Robert Coon, stated that sports betting is mentioned in the amendment and was done so intentionally. Sports betting was added to provide future legislature to opportunity to pursue a federal law change if needed. However, ultimately the amendment by itself, would not enable sports betting in the state.