Casino Gaming Set to Begin in April at Oaklawn and Southland Park

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Licenses to allow casino gaming at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis are expected to be delivered by the end of this month.

Officials from both Oaklawn and Southland said both locations plan to begin live gaming such as blackjack with live dealers on April 1st.

Both said they’ll transition sport wagering and other casino gaming over the next few months. 

An attorney for the state racing commission has been cleared to begin drafting the licenses, and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said they will be delivered by April 1.

Sportsbook plans still need to be submitted to the commission before those facilities can move forward with that offering.

The racing commission gave the approval at a meeting in Hot Springs Saturday, March 23. 

The commission also approved a legal draft process regarding casinos applications in Jefferson County and Pope County.

Applications for casino licenses in each county will be received by the commission during the month of May.

An official notice to the public will be published April 1.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment in November that allows four casinos in the state.

The amendment requires a letter of local support from leaders in Jefferson County and Pope County, and the rules approved Thursday, March 21 said such a letter can only come from current officeholders.

Outgoing leaders in Pope County supported a casino, and current officeholders said they do not.

The letter of recommendation will have to be included before a casino license proposal is considered, Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin said.

Hardin said current Jefferson County officials support a casino in their area.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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