A second group, Arkansas Wins in 2018, is launching an effort to put a ballot measure before Arkansas voters this November to authorize casinos in certain designated locations, filing campaign-finance paperwork with the Arkansas Ethics Commission yesterday.
The group proposes allowing four casinos, in Benton County, Bone County, Miller County and Pulaski County. It now must submit a ballot title and popular name for the measure to the attorney general’s office, which must approve the language. If certified by the attorney general, the amendment would need to collect around 85,000 signatures of registered voters by July to make it on the ballot in November. The Ethics Commission paperwork establishing Arkansas Wins as ballot-question committee lists Mark Diggs (president), Robert Womack and Ronald Oliver as members of the committee.
Another group, Driving Arkansas Forward, launched a separate ballot-initiative effort earlier this year, which would allow three casinos to be built in the state. The first would be in Jefferson County, then one would be in Crittenden County, and the third and final casino would be in either Miller, Mississippi, Pope, Union or White County. Driving Arkansas Forward — chaired by lobbyist Don Tilton, with a legal team stacked with current and former legislators — has twice had proposed ballot titles rejected by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, in January and again this month. (A protracted process to win approval from the attorney general for ballot measures has been typical.)