When House Speaker Robbie Wills announced his three appointees to the new state lottery commission last week, a gambling follower noted that one, Dr. Susan Ward-Jones of Marion, was involved in another gambling enterprise.
Dr. Ward-Jones, a physician, serves on the Board of Directors of the Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis. No rule prohibits lottery commissioners from having ties to other gambling enterprises and the Southland board is largely advisory, not a governing board of the track. Wills said that he didn't view lottery sales as being in competition with Southland any more than lottery sales compete with “potato chip and Cokes in convenience stores.” He said the tracks and the lottery will “draw from different crowds.”
Troy Keeping, president and general manager of Southland, said the track and lottery for the most part would have different audiences, but given the scarcity of gambling options in Arkansas, there'd likely be some crossover. The track will be watching. I had one related question: Will Southland sell lottery tickets? “Undetermined at this time,” Keeping said.
The Traveler newspaper at the University of Arkansas picked up a wrinkle we'd missed on recently approved legislation to ban smoking on Arkansas college campuses effective August, 2010.
Many campuses already have put various forms of smoking prohibitions in place, but they lack enforcement and the bans are often ignored by students on campus, UA students say. The new law will provide fines for violator and the Traveler quoted a campus official as saying the law will mean the end of non-enforcement.
That's one thing. But here's another. The law says that the campus is defined as “all property” owned or operated by a university. Think: parking lots outside Razorback Stadium. Just saying. Will cops slap tickets on smokers at Hog tailgate parties beginning in 2010? They'll probably issue as many smoking tickets as they issue for drinking alcohol on campus. Under past rules on alcohol enforcement, the ritzy skyboxes will be exempt as the “private property” of the high-dollar crowd that rents them.