Complaint Against New Games at Oaklawn Dismissed

Edited press release

A judge has dismissed a complaint against installation of "electronic games of skill" at Oaklawn Park, which was approved for the machines in a November 2005 ballot initiative.

Garland County Circuit Court Judge John Lineberger on May 2 dismissed the complaint filed in December. Voters in Hot Springs, Ark., where Oaklawn is located, approved the games in the election. Lineberger's opinion indicated the complaint contained "no genuine issues of material fact."

The Arkansas State Racing Commission is in the process of preparing guidelines for operation of the machines. Oaklawn currently offers Instant Racing machines, which resemble video lottery terminals but are pari-mutuel in nature because the outcome is based on recycled races.

In response to Lineberger's decision, Oaklawn general manager Eric Jackson said: "We are very pleased that the judge has ruled in favor of the vote of the will of the people. We will continue to work with the (racing commission) on the rules and fegulations for the new games. We are ready to move ahead with the opportunity to put more people to work and generate tax revenue."

Revenue from Instant Racing has allowed Oaklawn to increase purses, but track officials have said revenue from electronic games of skill could lead to a 50% hike in total purses.

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