The casino situation in Pope County continued to develop Thursday with the filing of a lawsuit by a competitor whose application was rejected once again by the Arkansas Racing Commission.
Gulfside Casino Partnership, a Mississippi-based company, filed a lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon challenging the Racing Commission’s decision earlier that day to deny the company’s appeal of the board’s decision to reject its application because it lacked the support of current public officials.
Gulfside also asked the circuit court for an injunction barring the commission from awarding a casino license until the legal challenge has been resolved.
“Gulfside is the only Pope County applicant that timely complied with every requirement of Amendment 100,” Casey Castleberry, Gulfside’s attorney said in a statement. “We are disappointed by the Racing Commission’s decision, but believe we have a strong case to appeal its denial during the judicial process. When we receive the license, we look forward to building our first-class resort and fulfilling our commitment to be a strong partner to the River Valley.”
The Racing Commission also rebuffed a request from the Cherokee Nation Businesses to cap the open window for new applications at 10 days instead of the 90-day window it agreed upon in June if an applicant came forward with the required letters of support for the Pope County casino license.
Cherokee Nation Businesses this week obtained the support of the Pope County Quorum Court and will apply for the license. Three other companies also had applied for the license and were rejected by the Racing Commission because they didn’t have local official support.
Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.