Amendment Would Write For-profit Casino Company into State Constitution

An amendment whose ballot title was approved Tuesday by the state Attorney General's office would write a for-profit casino company into the Arkansas Constitution.

Click here to view the full ballot title.

The amendment would authorize seven casinos to be owned and operated by a company called "Arkansas Hotels and Entertainment Inc." It would put one casino each in Sebastian, Pulaski, Garland, Miller, Crittenden, Boone and Jefferson counties.

The amendment is proposed by Michael J. Wasserman of Gainesville, Texas. On incorporation papers for the Arkansas Hotels and Entertainment Inc., Wasserman lists himself as president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, controller and tax preparer for the company.

The status of the incorporation appears to be have been revoked in December 2007.

According to a Attorney General's office letter certifying the title, Wasserman had received approval for a similar ballot title in 2006 but dropped the effort to get it on the ballot. He had since resubmitted it.

If Wasserman decides to move forward this time, he'll next need to collect 77,468 signatures to get it on the 2010 ballot.

This is not the first attempt at changing the state Constitution to allow casinos in Arkansas. A similar measure was placed on the 2000 ballot that would have allowed the "Arkansas Casino Corp." to own and operate six casino gambling establishments, one each in Sebastian, Pulaski, Garland, Miller, Crittenden and Boone counties.

That amendment was defeated. will update this story.

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