The proposed $225 million Pope County casino parlay is back on again, so says the seven commissioners at the Arkansas Racing Commission. The Arkansas Racing Commission on Thursday (Aug. 15) kicked off a special meeting by denying a lone appeal from Gulfport, Miss.-based Gulfside Casino Partnership to build a multimillion-dollar hotel and gambling complex in Pope County. They later ended the meeting by reopening a new 90-day application period for new casino bids for the county after five proposals were summarily rejected by the panel two months ago. The Commission’s decisions, which occurred at an overflow meeting at the gaming agency’s headquarters just west of the State Capitol, took place amid a flurry of activity this week. The seven-person regulatory panel made quick work of an appeal by the Gulf Coast casino operator to restart its original proposal to build a $250 million, three-phase hotel and gaming development in the bedroom…
The proposed $225 million Pope County casino parlay is lend a hand on again, so says the seven commissioners on the Arkansas Racing Fee.
The Arkansas Racing Fee on Thursday (Aug. 15) kicked off a special meeting by denying a lone attraction from Gulfport, Miss.-basically based Gulfside Casino Partnership to create a multimillion-dollar hotel and gambling complex in Pope County. They later ended the meeting by reopening a recent 90-day application duration for current casino bids for the county after 5 proposals were summarily rejected by the panel two months prior to now.
The Fee’s choices, which took place at an overflow meeting on the gaming agency’s headquarters factual west of the Stammer Capitol, took space amid a flurry of state this week. The seven-particular person regulatory panel made fast work of an attraction by the Gulf Traipse with the circulation casino operator to restart its customary proposal to create a $250 million, three-fraction hotel and gaming pattern in the bedroom community about a 90-minute drive northeast of Limited Rock.
On June 13, the the same panel also denied Gulfside’s customary application and 4 other out-of-convey bids to create a casino in Pope County as a result of the dearth of letters of enhance from high officeholders in Pope County. Scott Hardin, media liaison for the gaming regulatory agency housed sooner or later of the convey Division of Finance and Administration (DFA), talked about Thursday’s formal denial of Gulfside’s application exhausts all attraction alternate choices for the Mississippi casino operator below the convey’s Administration Procedures Act.
“Gulfside has stated publicly plans to pursue the next risk, which is litigation,” Hardin talked about following the meeting.
Indeed, Gulfside has threatened marvelous motion in opposition to convey gaming regulators since its application turn into once denied on the June meeting, after the commission took up all 5 applications for a lone casino license in Pope County submitted ahead of the convey’s Would possibly possibly 31. There, ARC Attorney Byron Freeland told the gaming panel that none of the proposals had got letters of solutions from native metropolis officers or the county prefer now in office where the casinos would be located.
Freeland also warned commissioners that Act 371 by Sen. Breanne Davis, R-Russellville, which turn into once authorized by the legislature sooner or later of the most up-to-date 2019 traditional session with an emergency clause, made clear that approval for a casino in both Pope or Jefferson County need to device from the native quorum court docket, county prefer or mayor on the time an application is made for a casino license.
In November, Arkansas voters authorized Advise 4, now Modification 100, to permit for expanded casino operations at Oaklawn (Garland Co.), Southland (Crittenden Co.) and contemporary casinos in Pope and Jefferson counties. Nonetheless, that ballotissue failed in Pope County by a 60%-40% margin, and voters there also passed a local ordinance by a almost 70% margin that requires an election to permit a casino to be constructed in the condominium. Among the many 5 Pope County applications now earlier than the gaming commission, handiest Gulfside’s proposal had the signatures of enhance from domestically elected officers, a requirement of the process. Nonetheless, Freeland talked about those signatures were submitted earlier than the Russellville mayor and Pope County System to a risk left office on the tip of 2018, which doesn’t meet the necessities of the commission’s tips and Act 371.
Gulfside: “We’re disenchanted”
Gulfside authorized professional Casey Castleberry issued a commentary pertaining to the commission’s risk almost as we converse after the meeting, arguing that Gulfside’s turn into once the handiest Pope County applicant that timely complied with every requirement of the voter-initiated act that opened the door for casino gambling in Arkansas.
“We’re disenchanted by the Racing Fee’s risk, but judge we now have got a resounding case to attraction its denial sooner or later of the judicial process,” talked about Castleberry, who supplied Talk Enterprise & Politics a 22-online page notarized reproduction of a complaint that lays out the Mississippi casino proprietor’s marvelous case. “As soon as we receive the license, we see ahead to constructing our first class resort and fine our dedication to be a resounding partner to the River Valley.”
Earlier this week, several key trends took place that opened the door for the commission’s risk on the present time to connect apart the applications lend a hand on the roulette wheel for one more try on the lone Pope County gaming license. On Tuesday, the Cherokee Nation Companies got the blessing of the Pope County Quorum Court docket for a license to start The Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas factual outdoors Russellville metropolis limits. By a vote of eight for, four in opposition to and one abstention, quorum court docket members authorized a resolution supporting the Cherokees’ remark, which incorporated a partnership with Legends, a stadium-administration, sports, and live entertainment company based in 2008 by Arkansas native and Dallas Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones and the slack George Steinbrenner, extinct proprietor of the Unique York Yankees. The resolution of enhance wanted seven votes from the 13-member county council.
The casino pattern, which is in a position to be designed by world firm HKS Architects and can showcase architecture influenced by the pure landscape of the Arkansas River Valley, is deliberate for device Russellville, on roughly 130 acres north of Interstate 40 along Nob Hill Highway, between Weir Highway and Alaskan Depart. That outdoors-the-metropolis contend with is serious since the casino crew doesn’t want a letter of enhance from the mayor of Russellville. If it had been in the metropolis limits of Russellville, it might per chance possibly per chance per chance well have also required a letter from the mayor. The casino modification does require the casino to be within two miles of the Russellville metropolis limits if outdoors of its parameters.
Concerning the Pope County resolution of enhance for the Cherokee’s Legends Resort Casino, Hardin talked about the Fee obvious a recent application duration of 90 days shall be opened.
“This can even start up the day the public stare is posted, which we await shall be this weekend,” talked about Hardin. “Essentially based on this, the applying duration will halt in mid-November.”
The commission’s risk also places three other casino proposals lend a hand in the queue from the Choctaw Nation Casino and Resort in Durant, Okla.; Tri-Peaks Entertainment Community LLC, which is in a position to license with the Laborious Rock Cafe ticket; and the Robert and Ruth Kehl family of Iowa, making employ of as the River Ridge Casino Resort.
As casino plans in Pope County are level-headed undecided, the enterprise entity for the Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma broke ground final week on a $350 million gaming complex in Jefferson County. Essentially based on the distinctive blueprints from Quapaw Nation’s Downstream Trend Authority LLC that turn into once authorized by the commission on the June meeting, the Saracen Casino Resort will consist of 570,000 square toes of construction on 110 acres, including an 80,000 square-foot gaming floor, 300-room hotel, convention center and entertainment venue. Quapaw Nation officers have talked about the pattern stage will compose extra than 1,000 construction jobs, which is anticipated to happen over 18 months.
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