The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted Wednesday (Aug. 20) to close its three regional claim centers in Springdale, Jonesboro and Camden, a savings measure expected to free as much as $381,000 to fund additional scholarships for Arkansas students.
The motion, made by Commissioner Mark Scott and approved by the Commission, provides for the closure of each claim center when its lease runs out.
The Springdale center will close effective Oct. 1, 2014, with claim centers in Jonesboro and Camden shuttering effective Nov. 30, 2014. Commissioner Bruce Engstrom, noting that each claim center has a staff of two, asked Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Bishop Woosley to make those persons aware of any job opportunities for which they might be qualified within the Lottery.
“Certainly, the human element of is the hardest part for us,” Woosley said after the meeting. “These folks have served loyally, and we appreciate their service over the last five years. But faced with an increasing demand for lottery-funded scholarships, and the relatively low traffic at these three claim centers, the Commission simply feels those dollars are better spent helping Arkansas students go to college and building a more educated workforce in our state.”
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery provides scholarships to Arkansas residents enrolled in public and private nonprofit two-year and four-year colleges and universities within Arkansas. Since 2009, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has raised more than $446 million for scholarships to more than 135,000 Arkansas students.