Hard Rock Casino CEO meets in Russellville

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – There was a packed house at the Hughes Community Center in Russellville Tuesday night.

Many people are hoping a casino could bring luck to Pope County.

John Edwards in Pope County says, “Well, we need a little bit more entertainment around here. There is not a lot to really do like that. We have to drive hours away and it’s something I think everyone would look forward to.”

CEO for Warner Gaming Bill Warner showed a presentation about the benefits Hard Rock could bring to the area and says the company stands out from the other four casino vendors.

“When you look at brand it matters in the way that people buy things. Brands matter in the way people visit properties. In entertainment and resort environment the Hard Rock stands as tall as any,” says Warner.

A Facebook group with almost 6,000 members known as the Pope County Majority is showing their support through shirts and buttons.

The group says a casino would help in several ways.

“Economic benefits for Pope County would be amazing. The jobs that the casino resort would bring in for us,” says Michele Trent the Team Captain for Pope County Majority.

So what’s keeping people from raising the bet?

In November, voters passed an ordinance that would require a letter of support from County Judge Ben Cross to endorse a casino proposal.

Now, many people and those five vendors are just waiting to see how things play out.

“I think the County leaders want to create a process where they can select in the event they people support where they can select the casino operator and we hope we get a fair shot at pitching our story,” Warner continues.

“I would like Judge Cross to sign the letter in support of the best resort casino for Pope County and to get the bell rolling,” adds Trent.

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