Ark. high court hears arguments in expanded gambling case

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Opponents of expanded gambling in Hot Springs and West Memphis told the Arkansas Supreme Court today that the racetracks shouldn't have been able to decide whether county or city voters should authorize the games.

Family Action Council attorney Martha Adcock argues that the 2005 law gave Oaklawn Park and Southland Park power akin to that of a government.

Legislators approved a measure that permitted local voters to decide whether to allow electronic games of skill in their cities. Later that year, voters in West Memphis and Hot Springs passed the resolutions. The Family Council says voters in Garland and Crittenden counties should have been able to vote.

Oaklawn attorney Jim Simpson told justices that the state attorney general, the legislature, voters and two different lower courts, had agreed with the law so far. He said the expanding gaming would help the tracks compete in the industry.

Southland attorney Kent Rubens told justices the law gave the tracks no unlawful delegation of powers and that the Legislature had not exceeded its own power in passing the law.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)