Arkansas voters decided to give their approval to casino operation in two new counties, as well as expansion in two existing racetracks. Now that it has been confirmed that casino plans will indeed happen, Oklahoma Native American Quapaw Tribe announced it is planning to obtain a casino license for operation in Pine Bluff in the foreseeable future, securing launch of operation by 2020.
John Berrey, the tribe’s Chairman, recently stated that Quapaw strives to oversee the operation of a brand new casino venue in Jefferson County. This is one of the counties with the right to welcome a casino venue for the very first time. With the appropriate regulations, the facility is going to be built within two miles of Pine Bluffs and diversify the entertainment offerings in the area. The Chairman confirmed that the tribe could receive the license in April.
Pine Bluffs Could Welcome Casino by 2020
In order to keep things happening in a timely manner, the tribe wants to make sure it bags the permit for operation in the area. Once it pinpoints the exact location of the new tribal casino, action can move further. It is known that the tribe owns a parcel of land in the southwest side of the city, but for the time being no additional information has been given.
According to the tribe’s plans, it is going to need up to 220 acres for the first phase of operation on site, potentially expanding its project in the future. The month of January will see additional legislation approved, essentially giving the casino amendment the go. This is the projected time when other developers will also seek a permit for a new venue in Russellville, Pope County with the State Racing Commission, as the deadline for filing is 1st June 2019.
About a month of thorough revision will be necessary, according to estimations before the license is issued. Construction work should commence around June providing the tribe with enough time for the project finalization and its official launch by the first quarter of 2020. This projection is based on previous experience with casino construction in Joplin, Missouri which took less than a year to be finished.
Tribal Operation Might Trasnform Pope County
The very beginning of operation will see a launch of the casino facility with a wide array of offerings usually associated with the tribal operation. An adjacent restaurant offering fine dining will also open doors. Accommodation provided by the hotel tower will take more time to launch operation. As for the casino operation, it has been confirmed now that it will feature sports betting. However, taking profitability into account, the tribal Chairman stated that the spotlight will not be on it.
The main objective for Quapaw Tribe is to benefit the community to the best of its abilities with this new venue and the revenue it is going to generate. The area was not chosen in a random manner, as Pine Bluff and Little Rock are both linked to the cultural history of the tribe. Quapaw Tribe was one of the main supporters of Issue 4, dedicating its efforts to a lavish promotional campaign. Citizens received information about the benefits of gaming operation in their area and statewide.
Through the support of tribes based in neighboring Oklahoma such as Cherokee Nation Businesses and Downstream Development Authority of the Quapaw Tribe managed to invest a combined $5.8 million in the campaign. It should be pointed out that Pope County acted in advance and approved through a referendum that casino operation must be voted by the community before it could launch operation. The ultimate decision could be established by the court.