Arkansas casino referendum appears doomed

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- It appears doubtful that Arkansas voters on Nov. 7 will approve Amendment Five, a referendum that would allow casino gambling to be established in six counties, including Pulaski, which includes the state capital.

For one thing, the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney recently charged two of the Dallas-based principal stockholders of Natural State Resorts Inc., parent of Arkansas Casino Corp., with felony securities fraud.

Arkansas Casino Corp. would have owned and operated the casinos. The defendants both pleaded innocent to the charges.

In the past, casino referendums have failed in Arkansas because of opposition from clergy and newspapers.

The only forms of gambling permitted in the state are horse racing in Hot Springs and dog racing in West Memphis.

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