General

Arkansas Supreme Court Upholds Electronic Games Gambling Law

The law at issue is codified at A.C.A. § 23-113-101, et seq. This law sets forth procedures for permitting gambling on electronic games of skill. Any city or county that already has horse racing or greyhound racing can hold a local election. Presently only Oaklawn Jockey Club in Hot Springs and Southland Racing Corporation in West Memphis have such legal operations in Arkansas. The racetrack itself chooses whether the election is submitted to the city or county, but the racetrack must pay all expenses associated with the election. The Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC) determines what games qualify as electronic games of skill.

Plaintiffs are residents of Garland County but not of the city of Hot Springs. They challenged the law on three main grounds: (1) delegation of legislative authority to the racetracks; (2) delegation of legislative authority to the ARC; and (3) the law had no rational basis. The trial court rejected these arguments and held the law is constitutional. The supreme court agreed and affirmed.