Oklahoma Tribe Submits Casino License Application in Pope County
An Oklahoma Tribe has submitted an application for a new casino in Pope County. The application is for the fourth and last gaming license permit for a commercial casino that the state of Arkansas will give out. The application was handed in before its deadline, which was the Arkansas Racing Commission’s close of business on Monday. Choctaw Nation is the tribe that submitted the application. They currently operate three casinos and over 15 other gaming venues. The Choctaw tribe is the second tribe that has applied for a casino license. Pope County revealed that the Cherokee Nation has also applied for a casino resort license.
In 2018 voters in Arkansas passed what is known as issue 4 to enable the establishment of two casinos. Issue 4 refers to an amendment to seek four licenses relating to the establishment of casinos and gaming venues. These will be spread across four counties in Arkansas; Garland, Jefferson, Pope as well as Crittenden. The casinos were to come into place following the transition of the state‘s two racetrack racinos based in Southland and Oaklawn.
Pope County Approves Oklahoma Tribe Application?
Initially, prior to Issue 4 being passed, Pope County had voted against it. Recently, Pope County stated that it is repealing its previous stance on the matter. They then proceeded to issue a letter detailing their support to the Cherokee Nation. Now, there are two Oklahoma tribes competing for the casino license. The casino license that is up for grabs in Pope County is the only one remaining.
May the Best Tribe Win
Janie Dillard, spokesperson of the Choctaw Nation Oklahoma Tribe, said the Choctaw Nation is in favour of a transparent and fair process. She said; “We hope that the state will take action to allow all proposals to receive fair consideration”. Cherokee Nation CEO, Chuck Garrett, stated that Cherokee Nation Businesses (CNB) is the only operator to fully meet the qualification requirements pursuant to Amendment 100”. He further mentioned that the tribe was hopeful and optimistic that they met all the laid out requirements set out by the Arkansas State Racing Commission.
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