In November, Arkansas voters approved Amendment 100 authorizing the expansion of gaming and casinos. The amendment is facing legal action now as local residents oppose casino development in Pope County.
While the amendment was passed by the state, Pope County did not vote in favor of the amendment. In spite of this, the amendment authorizes expanded gaming at Oaklawn and Southland racetracks while also establishing casinos in Jefferson and Pope county.
An issue of approval is required in both Jefferson and Pope County to establish the casinos.
Pope County Judge Ed Gibson issued a letter of approval for the casino. Judge Gibson will leave office on December 31.
However, voters passed an ordinance which mandates a county-wide vote before approval can be issued. In addition, both the incoming county judge and Russellville major oppose the casino.
A lawsuit was filed by Pope County resident, James Knight, in an attempt to obtain a restraining order to prohibit Judge Gibson from issuing a letter of approval without the appropriate voter referendum.
The Cherokee Nation and Mississippi casinos are both being considered for casino development, but Judge Gibson’s letter detailed support for Mississippi’s Gulfside Casino Partnership.
Learn more here where Attorney Stiritz has outlined the developing situation in an interview with Conduit News Radio.