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House of cards?

MBJ Editorial

The possibility of legalized casino gaming in Arkansas is remote.

Similar measures in the state have been defeated in recent years, and analysts predict that Amendment 5 will also be rejected solidly by voters. However, the issue is

on the Nov. 7th ballot in Arkansas and just about anything is possible in politics.

Whether or not gambling is approved by Arkansans, it is worth examining the impact – even hypothetical – such a move would have on Mississippi gaming

operations.

Glen Hooks, the campaign manager for Amendment 5, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette recently that Arkansans spent $300 million gambling in Mississippi in

1999.

“…Are we going to continue subsidizing Mississippi, or are we going to keep some of that money in our state,” he told the newspaper.

The real issue for Mississippi is not about gaming in Arkansas or how much money folks from across the river spend in casinos here. The real issue is how stable is

gaming? Is it real economic development – for the long haul? Is it a good business for Mississippians?

There is no denying that legalized gaming has forever changed the economic landscape in the Magnolia State. Thousands benefit from new jobs related to the casinos.

Thousands enjoy the entertainment, food and fun. But only time will tell if our investment, many would say gamble, in gaming is worth it.

We hope our neighbors in Arkansas carefully consider the good and bad gaming might bring their state before casting their ballots this November.

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