Mississippi operator insists on Arkansas casino

Mississippi casino operator Gulfside Casino Partnership appealed an Arkansas Racing Commission’s decision to reject a bid for a casino in Pope County.

US.- Arkansas casino expansion legislation paved the way for a new venue in Pope County. However, the Racing Commission rejected the appeal by Mississippi operator Gulfside Casino Partnerships for its bid. That’s why the company’s attorney filed an appeal with the state’s regulator.

The Mississippi operator pushed for a US$200 million casino resorts in Pope County. That’s why Casey Castleberry, an attorney for the company, requested the appeal in a letter to the Racing Commission. He asked for a hearing before the regulator “to appeal the Commission’s decision.

“As the only Pope County applicant that met the requirements of Amendment 100, Gulfside is hopeful the Arkansas Racing Commission will reverse its denial and award a license to River Valley Casino Resort,” Castleberry said.

“We anticipate the commission will make a decision on the appeal at the close of the hearing,” spokesman for the Department of Finance and Administration Scott Hardin said.

All five Pope County applicants – Gulfside Casino Partnership; Warner Gaming of Las Vegas; Choctaw Nation of Durant, Okla.; Cherokee Nation Business of Catoosa, Okla.; and Kehl Management of Dubuque, Iowa – were denied but only one appealed so far.

Bill Warner of Warner Gaming said the group has no intention of appealing the decision.

“We remain committed to bringing the Hard Rock Arkansas to Pope County and believe the best way to do that is by reaching out to the local community, not by suing the state,” Warner was quoted by Arkansas Online. “We will continue to build on the excitement for our project by communicating our plans, project amenities, and economic impact to voters in Pope County as this process moves forward.”

The application

After new regulations cleared the way for a new Arkansas casino, the industry set its eyes on Pope County. That’s why a Mississippi operator became the first to apply for a licence to take over the venue.

According to the authorities, three more bidders may soon put up their own proposals before the end of the month. However, Gulfside Casino Partnership delivered the application packet to the Arkansas Racing Commission’s (ARC) office first.

“We believe our application makes a compelling case for why River Valley Casino Resort will be a strong partner not only to Pope County and the River Valley but the entire state,” Gulfside attorney Casey Castleberry had said in an email to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

However, it will now have to wait until the appeal gets an answer.

In this article: