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Arkansas Racing Commission Renews Casino License Process in Pope County

August 21, 2019
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The Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC) reopened Monday the license application process for the development of a casino in Pope County.

The regulatory body rejected applications from Warner Gaming, Gulfside Casino Partnership, Choctaw Division of Commerce, Kehl Management, and Cherokee Nation Businesses in June, citing their failure to obtain necessary letters from the Pope County Judge Ben Cross and local officials.

“If multiple applications are received, the commission must weigh several factors within each proposal to determine the best fit for Pope County,” said Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Spokesman Scott Hardin.

The deadline for the application is November 18, with the commission adding that “applications will not be shared publicly.”

The announcement of the new process comes just days after Judge Cross and the Quorum Court revealed their support of the Cherokee Nation Businesses’ proposal for a $225 million casino resort.

Warner Gaming and the Choctaw Nation have accused the local officials of impropriety after the Cherokee Nation received their backing, with Warner Gaming CEO Bill Warner saying that “a transparent process with a level playing field can be established regarding the county support letter.”

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