Issue 5 was set to be voted on this November, giving residents in Arkansas the right to choose if they would like to see casinos allowed in three counties of the state. Supporters of Issue 5 felt that the proposal would be of benefit to the state however the Arkansas Supreme Court does not agree and recently ruled that the title of the ballot is misleading and have removed Issue 5 from being voted on this election. This decision was one that had casino operators in Missouri overjoyed as they no longer have to worry about competition from Arkansas casinos, at least for now.
Caruthersville, Missouri is home to the Lady Luck Casino, which would have been greatly affected by casinos in Arkansas if Issue 5 had been voted on and approved. Mayor of Caruthersville, Mike McGraw, stated that competition is good but the area prefers none. The mayor as well as other residents spoke with Region 8 News after the court’s decision was made public, stating they are pleased due to the fact that gambling money will now stay in Caruthersville.
In the state of Missouri, a 21% state tax from gaming revenues is taken from each casino and the host city receives 10%. According to McGraw, the casino will pay $2 for every two hours a patron is gambling and the city will get every $1 of the $2. The result is around $4,700 each day. For the month of September, the Caruthersville was able to earn around $4,694 each day for the entire month so the casino is a great benefit to the area.
Lady Luck Casino is frequented by residents in Missouri as well as Arkansas. The casino is just minutes outside of the Arkansas and easily accessible. Those who live in Arkansas and frequent the venue are not happy with the decision as they would like to see casinos in their own state but are glad to still have the Missouri venue to enjoy.