UPDATE: Arkansas Racing Commission decides Pope Co. casino license for Gulfside still stands

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POPE COUNTY, Ark. — Another step in awarding a license to a Pope County Casino company.

Back in June, the Arkansas Racing Commission Awarded Gulfside Casino Partnership the license over Cherokee Nation Businesses. There was bias found by a commissioner who voted. Then a third party consultant looked at both applicants and the final report showed CNB was the better applicant.

CNB filed an appeal hearing and that meeting was held today.

Commissioner heard from the two companies looking to open and operate a casino in Pope County.

After a three hour hearing, the commission decided to not rescore the applications and stay with the original vote from June and award the license to Gulfside Casino Partnership.

“It is a wonderful feeling it’s been a lot of hard work for the commission and for us,” said Terry Green the Co-Owner of Gulfside Casino Partnership.

The Co-Owner of Gulfside Casino Partnership Terry Green says this is another step closer to opening a Pope County Casino.

“We just want to let everybody know and Pope County that we are going to build the biggest and best casino we can possibly build,” said Terry Green.

Gulfside got a letter of recommendation from the former Pope County judge and Russellville Mayor who has since been voted out of office. The current Pope County Judge Ben Cross who supports Cherokee Nation Businesses says this is a disappointment.

“When we tried to have a say we were denied the ability to have our choice,” said Cross.

In a statement, Cherokee Nation Businesses legal counsel Dustin McDaniel says in part “The Commission entered the full report of its consultant affirming that Legends is the superior applicant on all grading criteria, and we brought a mountain of proof that Mr. Green had made many misleading and inaccurate statements about their experience, finances, and Pope County project…. Yet, the Commission declined to re-score the applications, denied our appeal by a 3-2 vote, and gave Gulfside the license in spite of everything.”

As it stands from the commission, Gulfside Casino Partnership is one step closer to breaking ground in Pope County.

“We are right now working on plans elevation slate layouts and all that good stuff,” said Green.

They anticipate more litigation will be filed and this will ultimately be decided in a courtroom.

UPDATE:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The Arkansas Racing Commission decided Thursday the casino license for Gulfside Casino Partnership still stands.

The commission also decided they will not rescore the applicants, Legends Resort & Casino and Gulfside Casino Partnership.

The commission expects more litigation will follow.

ORIGINAL STORY:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The Arkansas Racing Commission will meet Thursday morning to discuss the future Pope County casino.

According to the agenda, the commission will discuss the consideration and approval of games and licenses. They will also review scores.

The group is also set to consider Gulfside Casino’s request for determination about Legends Casino’s qualified applicant status.

According to the agenda, the group will also discuss Legends Casino’s appeal hearing regarding the denial of a license.

To watch the meeting live, click here.

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