Gulfside chosen over CNB for Arkansas casino license

BY STAFF REPORTS
06/19/2020 10:00 AM
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Despite efforts spanning for than 18 months, Cherokee Nation Businesses was not chosen on June 18 to receive a license to build a resort and casino in Pope County.

The Arkansas Racing Commission instead awarded the license to Gulfside Casino Partnership of Mississippi, which proposed its River Valley Casino Resort.

Upon completion, the casino will be the fourth and final permitted under state law when Arkansans passed Amendment 100 to the state constitution in 2018. The amendment allowed the licensing and establishment of casinos in Jefferson and Pope counties, and the horse racing venues at Oaklawn and Southland.

The Gulfside proposal envisions a conventional casino and resort, with phased expansions and an effort to draw visitors from out of state, including Oklahoma. Gulfside also projected the creation of 1,600 permanent jobs upon opening, and 2,300 after five years.

Conversely, the CNB plan called for a casino with a more established footprint that was more family friendly.

Terry Green, co-owner and cofounder for Gulfside, said the casino would be completed in 20-24 months, and would require an investment of $254 million.

CNB and Gulfside each informed the ARC at a May meeting that a legal challenge should be anticipated regardless of which application was chosen.

“On Tuesday, I submitted a letter to the Attorney General’s office expressing my concern that an obviously biased Commissioner could potentially overturn the will of the rest of the Commission due to the proposed scoring system,” Dustin McDaniel, CNB legal counsel said in a written statement. “Despite the AG’s office expressly warning Commissioners not to engage in arbitrary, capricious or biased scoring, Commissioner (Butch) Rice in fact single handedly overturned the score given by the rest of the Commission. We anticipate both an administrative appeal and a request for injunctive relief from a court. This is a uniquely significant state decision, and such an egregious act of bad faith should not be allowed to control it.”

News

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/10/2020 04:50 PM
The pipeline would end at a terminal outside Vancouver, re...

BY PAUL MONIES
Oklahoma Watch
07/10/2020 04:37 PM
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires individual and gro...

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/10/2020 02:57 PM
As the filing deadline approach...

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/10/2020 02:55 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s data on its website showed Friday the state’...

BY CHAD HUNTER
Reporter
07/10/2020 11:17 AM
Edna “Dolly” Raper,...

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/10/2020 10:25 AM
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A federal judge has put the brakes on federa...