ARDOT Wants Voters To Know The Facts About Casino Measure On November Ballot

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- An ad campaign for a casino legalization proposal that was approved to appear on the November ballot in Arkansas is drawing criticisms from the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) for being misleading about the funds being used for Arkansas roads.

The campaign's ads claim revenue from the new casinos could go towards roads and highways in Arkansas, but ARDOT says it's possible Arkansas roads might not get any of the funding from the casino measure.

ARDOT spokesperson Danny Straessle says there is a possibility the casino revenue could be used for Arkansas highways, but that is not a guarantee.

"It could also be used for education, department of human services, services for women and children," said Straessle.

Nate Steel with Driving Arkansas Forward said the original amendment did allocate the revenue from the casinos to highway dollars but Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge changed it.

"The version that was certified, dedicates the money to general revenue, Driving Arkansas Forward as an organization is still determined to fund first and foremost our infrastructure and highway system," said Steel.

Straessle said for the department to get money from the state's general fund it has to be requested and approved by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Steel said the goal of the ballot measure is to keep gambling money in Arkansas.

"We just want to make sure we capture gaming revenue that is going across state lines. Capture that in the state to be used for several things, and we think highways are a major need of the states."

The Arkansas Department of Transportation says they are not taking a position on the ballot measure, they simply want to clear up confusion and ensure people know what they are voting for on the November 6th ballot.

If voters approve, the amendment would expand gaming casinos in Garland County and West Memphis. It would also add 2 casinos in Russellville and Pine Bluff upon city approval.

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