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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — A roulette wheel spins at Cherokee Casino & Hotel in West Siloam Springs, Okla.

​​​​​Attorneys for Cherokee Nation Businesses have asked the Arkansas Racing Commission to reverse its decision to deny the firm the license to construct and operate a casino in Pope County.

In their appeal filed with the racing commission on Thursday, the attorneys for Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation Businesses asked the commission to award the license to the firm rather than to the Mississippi-based Gulfside Casino Partnership.

On June 18, the seven-member racing commission signaled its intent to award the casino license to Gulfside based on the seven commissioners’ total scores of 637 for Gulfside, compared to 572 for the Cherokees.

After an attorney for the Cherokees complained, six of the seven racing commissioners voted Monday to find that commissioner Butch Rice’s scores for the casino applicants were biased, though Rice disputed the allegation. Rice gave Gulfside a score of 100, compared to 29 for the Cherokees. The commission voted Monday to ask the attorney general’s office and representatives of Gulfside and the Cherokees to try to reach agreement on a remedy.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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