Arkansas Racetracks Taking Different Approaches To Expand Casino Gaming

Jan 28, 2019

The proposed design for Oaklawn's $100 million expansion would include a high-rise hotel, a multipurpose event center, and 28,000 square feet of new gaming space.

With the passage of November's constitutional amendment legalizing casino gambling in Arkansas, two of the state's mainstays of gaming are taking markedly different approaches to expansion. 

Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Park Gaming & Racing in West Memphis both announced multi-million-dollar expansion projects in the wake of the casino amendment's passage. But Oaklawn, a horse racing track that has operated since 1904, is choosing to downplay its new casino offerings as just another complement to its racetrack. Southland, a greyhound dog racing track, is embracing casino gaming whole-heartedly as public opinion shifts away from dog racing. 

Arkansas Business reporter Kyle Massey discusses the two tracks and their expansion projects in an article in this week's issue. Massey joined KUAR's Daniel Breen for a conversation about his article, and some of the backstory behind casino gaming in Arkansas.