Pope County casino push gains strength

A Pope County casino could soon turn into a reality.
A Pope County casino could soon turn into a reality.

Pope County held a public forum on the casino proposal that will finally get its vote next March 3 to see whether locals support it.

US.- Next March 3, voters will have a chance to decide whether they want a Pope County casino. For that matter, County officials held a public forum to answer questions on the matter.

The vote isn’t actually on the venue but on how the county will use certain funds.

The Pope County casino is running against a criminal justice centre, a Russellville Fire Department substation and others.


Pope County judge Ben Cross has highlighted that Russellville is a top beneficiary of the Cherokee casino deal. Even as the agreement with the tribe doesn’t mention the city, he said it wasn’t left out.

“Quite to the contrary. Russellville will get a convention centre, water park, and concert venue for absolutely free. (It’ll be) with no expense to the taxpayer, all of which, were conveyed to me by city residents as their priorities,” Cross told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The Pope County casino was approved in early August by the Pope County Quorum Court. However, Cross also presented the “Economic Development Agreement” he negotiated with the Cherokees.

The document talks about a US$38.8 million “economic development fee,” but doesn’t mention Russellville. However, according to Cross, the city is “actually the largest” beneficiary.

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