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Casinos in Arkansas Could Improve Local Economy, New Study Finds

A new study conducted by the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) discovered that approving casinos in the state could improve the local economy.

The AEDI announced the news on Friday (October 5), stating that the state economy could “enjoy” an increase in revenues, TalkBusiness reports.

AEDI’s study showed that the economic impact from approving the casino ballot measure could bring an additional 6,000 jobs.

It could also bring an estimated $39 million in annual state and local revenue as well as an increase of $5.8 billion in economic activity over the next ten years.

The study was commissioned by Driving Arkansas Forward, a group that has been trying to legalise casinos in the state. They were also in charge of presenting the ballot measure, known as Issue 4.

Issue 4: What is it?

The measure would allow two new casinos to be built, one in Jefferson County near Pine Bluff and the other in Pope County near Russellville.

According to reports, it would also expand gambling in Oaklawn Jockey Club in Hot Springs and Southland Racing Corp. in West Memphis.

Nate Steel, counsel for Driving Arkansas Forward, said: “Voting ‘Yes’ on Issue 4 means Arkansas can keep its money, its jobs and its tax revenue in Arkansas rather than sending money to surrounding states, and it means Arkansas’ economy will reap benefits even more far-reaching than many of the industrial super-projects we recruit to the state with public money.”

He added: “These privately financed casino resorts will employ Arkansas residents, pay Arkansas taxes and generate billions of dollars of economic growth for Arkansas.”

Early voting for Issue 4 begins on October 22, with Election Day on November 6.

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