Arkansas approves casino licence for Cherokee Nation

The fourth Arkansas casino licence will be issued to Cherokee Nation Businesses of Oklahoma.
The fourth Arkansas casino licence will be issued to Cherokee Nation Businesses of Oklahoma.

The Arkansas Racing Commission has agreed to grant a licence to the Cherokee Nation for a casino in Pope County.

US.- The Arkansas Racing Commission has voted to issue a casino licence to the Cherokee Nation, voiding an earlier licence to a competitor that the state Supreme Court said didn’t meet the state’s qualifications. The panel voted 3-2 to issue the licence to build and operate the casino in Pope County to Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation Businesses.

Cherokee Nation Businesses is proposing to build a casino through a company named Legends Resort & Casino LLC. It’s the last of four casinos voters authorised under a 2018 constitutional amendment. Last month, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in the tribe’s favour against Gulfside in a long legal battle over authority to build the Pope County casino.

Though the Racing Commission had earlier granted a license to Gulfside, the company had not begun to construct a casino in Pope County, pending a legal challenge. The Pope County project had become the fourth casino authorized to open in the state after the 2018 vote.

The other three casinos are already in operation: Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Oaklawn Casino Resort in Hot Springs and Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis.

The proposed Cherokee Nation venue would be a $225m casino resort. The facility is set to count with 1,100 slot machines, 32 table games and 200 hotel rooms. It will be located near Russellville, in northwest Arkansas.

The Pope County site is northwest of Little Rock, the state capital. The state will be required to refund Gulfside’s $250,000 casino license fee for a proposed resort in the Pope County town of Russellville.

See also: Arkansas could regulate online sports betting early next year

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