A Las Vegas casino operator said Saturday morning they were notified that Pope County officials would endorse another group for the casino license there when the Pope County Quorum Court meets Tuesday.
In a letter to Ben Cross, county judge of Pope County, obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and dated Saturday, Warner Gaming CEO Bill Warner said they were told that the endorsement would go to the Cherokee Nation Businesses of Catoosa, Okla.
Messages left for Cross on two cellphone numbers were not immediately returned. Also, messages left for Amanda Clinton of Cherokee Nation Businesses were not immediately returned.
Warner released a public statement early Saturday saying that "Remarkably we were asked if we could submit our final offer after we were informed that a different operator will be selected."
Warner Gaming letter to Ben Cross, county judge of Pope CountyView
In the direct letter to Cross, Warner tells the county judge "Since you informed us on Friday that the Quorum Court has already decided to support the Cherokee proposal and no others, we do not feel that it makes sense for us to submit an updated proposal at this time."
Of the 13 Pope County justices of the peace, only Justice of the Peace Jamie Jackson responded early Saturday to requests for comment from an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter.
Jackson said he was not privy to any information that the Cherokee Nation Businesses had been selected, but said that all five of the proposals would be reviewed at a special-called meeting on Tuesday and that a decision will be made then on which company would be awarded the endorsement.