LITTLE ROCK - Protect Arkansas Communities has launched a ballot question committee to challenge Arcade Arkansas and its efforts to amend the Arkansas Constitution to allow 15,000 coin-operated amusement machines throughout communities across the state.
Arcade Arkansas’ mission is reportedly to “support a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Arkansas to authorize coin-operated amusement machines within the state of Arkansas to support the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.”
The group has spent over $360,000 in professional signature gatherers, selling something that it is not, according to challengers.
Concerns have been voiced against this proposed amendment.
“Time and time again people use veterans as a selling point when in reality, there is nothing in their language guaranteeing this will help veterans.” said Nicole Hart, veteran advocate amd chair of the committee.
“I can see how these machines are going to be spread throughout the state,” said former Sheriff Doc Holliday. “They have no hours or regulations, they are always open, 365, 24/7. Research in other states clearly shows that there is an uptick in criminal activities around those locations that have these video gambling machines.”
“This just allows communities to be invaded by gambling machines. With no control over where they are placed. These could be near schools and you know kids will try to play these things.” adds pastor Terra Long,.
The Committee to Protect AR Communities intends to educate Arkansas on what they say Arcade Arkansas is really about.
“They want to drive these machines into our cities by the truckload, not knowing who owns them or operates them,” said Helena-West Helena Mayor, Kevin Smith. “Then it becomes a burden on the city to take care of the problems, out of our police budget. Like it or not, it’s in your city.”
The Committee to Protect AR Communities is a coalition of like-minded organizations, former law enforcement officials, elected leaders, business organizations, associations, veteran advocates, religious leaders, that will raise awareness and educate Arkansans to oppose Arcade Arkansas’ drive to put 15,000 coin-operated amusement machines all across Arkansas.