A request made by the Arkansas Racing Commission to cut the 90-day application period to 10 days only, was rejected in the name of transparency.
Yesterday, the Quorum Court in Pope County voted 8 to 4 to issue a letter of support to Cherokee Businesses and Legend’s Entertainment. According to the legal representative of the casino operator, commissioners would be the only ones who have a valid application. He explained that the company would appear as the sole qualified applicant for a casino license in Pope County.
Gulfside Casino Partnership, however, has letters of support issued by the former Pope County Judge and the Mayor of Russellville. Now, it has taken the Racing Commission to court after the latter denied its applications several times. Gulfside Casino Partnership has commented on the lawsuit, saying they believed they had the strongest proposal among the applicants, so they should be the ones awarded a letter or resolution.
At this point, it remains unknown which casino company would emerge as the winner for the permission for a Pope County casino. Another lawsuit has been filed against the quorum court from the group which opposed a Pope County casino.
Arkansas Racing Commission Opens Application Process in the Name of Transparency
Pope County has seen a large number of lawsuits filed in regard to the future of casinos there following the meeting of the Racing Commission yesterday.
Currently, decisions regarding the future of the casino in Pope County are being made. Judge Ben Cross explained to commissioners that the commitment to Cherokee Nation Business is as strong as theirs to Pope County. Still, in spite of the fact that Pope County Judge Cross has provided his support to the legends Casino, which is operated by the Cherokee Nation, the Racing Commission is not ready to make the same.
The Commission chose to open the application process for another 90 days, which could pave the way to other casinos, despite the decisive stance of Judge Cross, according to whom Pope County is done with the issue. He and the quorum court provided their support to the Cherokee, despite no other meeting of the quorum court has been held since their last one.
The Racing Commission has reiterated its refusal to allow Gulfside Casino Partnership to appear as a qualified applicant based on the letters of support which the operator has from the former city and county officials. As mentioned above, the Commission’s members voted to formally deny the appeal made by the casino company to their ruling.
The rejection vote of the Commission finally allowed Gulfside to take both the DF&A and the Racing Commission to court, arguing that their letters of support meet the provisions of Amendment 100, which established the casino license.