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Pope County’s Casino License Journey Nears Resolution



Arkansas Set to Revitalize Pope County with Fourth Casino License

In a significant development for Arkansas’s gaming sector, the Arkansas Racing Commission is poised to breathe new life into Pope County’s casino landscape. Following a series of regulatory revisions and delays, the commission is gearing up to accept applications for the state’s fourth and much-anticipated final casino license.

The Arkansas Advocate reports a hopeful commencement of the application process by May, pending legislative nod. This advancement comes after the commission greenlit a revised set of rules on March 11 to facilitate a streamlined 30-day application window for prospective casino operators eyeing Pope County.

Third Time’s the Charm for Pope County’s Casino License

Pope County’s journey to securing a casino has been fraught with legal entanglements and public opposition. Despite being one of four designated locations approved by Arkansas voters in 2018 for casino development, Pope County’s path has been anything but smooth. The commission’s latest endeavor marks its third attempt to issue a casino license in the region, following two invalidated attempts involving Gulfside Casino Partnership and Cherokee Nation Business/Legends Resort & Casino due to legal setbacks.

The protracted litigation has taken its toll, with Chairman Alex Lieblong expressing a collective desire to move past the legal battles that have marred the commission’s efforts for over five years.


A Boost for Arkansas’s Gaming Revenue

The introduction of a casino in Pope County isn’t just a win for the region but a potential boon for Arkansas’s burgeoning gaming industry. With three casinos currently operational in the state, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reports a gross gaming revenue of $686.6 million in the last year—a notable 12% increase from 2022. The addition of a fourth casino could significantly amplify the state’s gaming revenue, creating economic ripple effects, including job creation, tourism boost, and infrastructural development.

The Path Forward: A Timeline for Pope County’s Casino License

The proposed rules set by the Arkansas Racing Commission outline a meticulous process for application, ensuring a transparent and equitable selection. With legislative approval anticipated in April, the commission aims to open the application window by May, setting the stage for a summer of anticipation and potential for Pope County.

This development signals a critical juncture for Arkansas’s gaming landscape, marking the end of a tumultuous chapter and the beginning of a new era of opportunity for Pope County and the state at large. As stakeholders and the community await the legislative decision, the promise of economic revitalization and enhanced gaming entertainment looms on the horizon.

The resolution of Pope County’s casino license saga embodies the persistent efforts to balance regulatory compliance, legal integrity, and public interest. With the commission’s refined approach and the state’s legislative backing, Arkansas is on the cusp of unlocking a new dimension of its gaming potential, promising a future of prosperity and dynamic growth for Pope County and beyond.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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