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Arkansas Racing Commission Sued over Lack of Problem Gambling Resources


Image Source: (Photo by Joseph Sohm)

Four years after passing a bill and constitutional amendment that allowed casinos to arrive in Arkansas, no gambling addiction help resources have been developed. As a result, a concerned group of individuals is now taking the fight to the state, questioning the validity of Amendment 100 which made casinos possible but failed to fulfill the other promises that were set in law.

Commission Late with Necessary Changes

Arkansas Racing Commission spokesperson Scott Hardin confirmed that the regulator is looking to find a way to create a sustainable budget of at least $200,000 and make sure that the resources are available. The commission is responding to a lawsuit that was brought against it, spearheaded by Joe Denton who is the attorney leading the charge against the regulator.

Denton argued that the part concerning gambling help resources has been neglected altogether. In fact, the Arkansas Racing Commission acted contrary to the “unambiguous language of the Amendment.” Commenting for THV11, Denton explained:

“When you consider the overall cost of implementing this portion of the amendment, compared to the revenues that would be generated by casino gambling. It seems like it’s rather silly that we haven’t already moved funding for this project.”

Attorney Joe Denton

Many agree with Denton’s point of view, especially those who are making active efforts to ensure that problem gamblers are being protected and that vulnerable consumers get the help they need when they need it.

Arkansas Needs Problem Gambling Resources  

Arkansas Problem Gambling Council chairman Vena Schexnayder urged for a stronger response for the needs of people who need help. Problem gambling and responsible gambling are “here to stay,” argued Schexnayder, and said that funding is needed to ensure that the issues are addressed adequately.

Hardin is confident though that the issue will be sorted out relatively quickly and that the Arkansas Racing Commission will have something set up very quickly. Denton said that he is willing to drop the lawsuit if the commission demonstrated the necessary level of commitment to honoring the terms of Amendment 100. Meanwhile, the National Council on Problem Gambling has teased the possibility of introducing a national and universal hotline for problem gambling in the United States.

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