🎰 Arkansas Racing Commission Reconsiders Two Pope County Proposals

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Amendment allows four licenses for gambling sites in two counties by of voters in a local election before supporting a casino in Pope County. in fiscal , which starts July 1, and fiscal if voters approve Issue 4.


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6, for the second election cycle in a row, Arkansas voted for vice. of April, to be β€œdigging dirt” by June and to open a casino in Pine Bluff early in side of the city, but he wasn't ready to reveal the precise location yet.


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Often earlier called the Arkansas, after they became known as the Quapaws, lOCaTIOn The tribal headquarters for the β€œQuapaw Tribe of Oklahoma” is about All eligible voters popularly elect the business committee of seven members, of , the Saracen Casino Resort on acres in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


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Historical Election Results Registered Voters [As of 6/3/] - As reported by Arkansas county clerks per Arkansas Constitutional Historical District Maps.


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Pope County voters will decide in the March 3 election whether to pledge Today's Paper Obits Digital FAQ Newsletters Coronavirus Cancellations NWA Screening Sites Virus county proposals by Jeannie Roberts | February 3, at a.m. coverage of casinos in Arkansas at 1nazhdy.ru].


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Supreme Court earlier this year, and Issue 4 overrides an Arkansas statute that otherwise still bans the practice in the state. Those criteria will be part of the rules now being promulgated by the commission. The Cherokee were eyeing Pope County, but local opposition may derail their plans. The campaign for Issue 4 won voters over by framing its arguments in terms of economics. At this point, the racetracks are holding their cards close to the vest. Driving Arkansas Forward believes that number will rebound and then some within several years. The big question is what happens after that. Arkansans rejected ballot initiatives that would have amended the state Constitution to allow casino gambling in , and Issue 4 faced two legal challenges of its own, but in October the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Driving Arkansas Forward, the committee behind the measure. Their opposition helped bring down the proposal, which was pushed by a group of Missouri investors and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. In short, that means more money for city and county government, more money for purse support which bolsters the status of Arkansas as a racing destination , more money staying in the pockets of Oaklawn and Southland and less money for state general revenue. Berrey said it took 10 months to build a casino the tribe operates in Joplin, Mo. Arkansas Blog. It was just an attempt to boost our economy, create thousands of jobs and keep our tax dollars here. The passage of Issue 4 was no foregone conclusion. He said it would devote more to community development than a casino corporation driven strictly by the bottom line. Federal law says that lands held in trust for recognized tribes can be used for any type of gambling otherwise permitted elsewhere in the state. The Quapaw Tribe is a government, not a shareholder-owned corporation, Berrey emphasized. Rock Candy. Both sent terse nonstatements to the Times when asked for comment. On top of that, an additional 15 percent is set aside for purse money meaning prizes distributed to live racing winners and support for the racing commission. Of that 13 percent , a little over half will go to state general revenue and a little over a quarter will go to local governments. It also gives them a tax cut and a sizable head start on their two potential competitors, which still must secure licenses, build facilities and gain the blessing of local officials. In Pope County, at least, that could prove to be a significant roadblock. No entity may hold more than one license. Also, while medical marijuana laws are still fairly new, casinos have been operating in many states for decades. Some land lies outside the city and would be voluntarily annexed. Read this month's issue. The Quapaw-run casino would offer all gambling options, including a sports book, but Berrey said sports wagering is not a major focus of casino operation because it has a low profit margin. City and county officials took a number of steps to prevent the Quapaws from doing that after they acquired the land. The racing commission will award the other two licenses following a merit-based application process that has yet to be established. The ballot title was drafted properly, people could understand it and … we got good signatures. It might take longer to complete the hotel portion of the project, Berrey said. With the racetracks and their attorneys co-opted, groups opposing Issue 4 were left underfunded and outgunned. Pine Bluff was briefly home to the Quapaw during the 19th century. Gray said the situation is different with Issue 4. Gray said Driving Arkansas Forward projects general revenue to increase thereafter. Cox also said the casinos will have a negative impact on local economies, as some will choose to spend money on gambling instead of more essential purchases, like groceries and house payments. The passage of Issue 4 is indicative of Arkansas voters becoming less socially conservative, according to Cox. The tribe occupied eastern Arkansas during prehistoric and historic times. Christopher Burks, the lawyer for Citizens for a Local Choice, a Pope County group that sought to throw Issue 4 off the ballot, noted that the amendment could be read as having contradictory language. But would a local option election be permissible, given that Issue 4 is now enshrined in the Arkansas Constitution? Representatives of the Cherokee Nation met last summer with Cross. But he said this was in part due to voters being susceptible to expensive, deceptive advertising for Issue 4. Gray also noted state and local governments will also receive more sales, property and income taxes as a result of the casinos. In , the Family Council, a conservative political advocacy group that opposes gambling in all forms, found itself effectively aligned with Oaklawn and Southland in fighting out-of-state gaming interests. Issue 4, a constitutional amendment authorizing four casinos in the state, was approved by 54 percent of voters on Election Day β€” an echo of the vote on the medical marijuana amendment that Arkansans approved by a similar margin in Note that the state also overwhelmingly supported Republicans both years. After the racetracks obtain the new licenses under Issue 4, the 15 percent dedicated to purses and the racing commission will remain in place. After construction is complete, he said, the casinos should sustain about 6, new positions statewide. Many GOP voters in Arkansas seem increasingly comfortable with sinful behavior , at least when it has the potential to be entertaining. Sanctioned gaming activities include anything found in casinos from Tunica to Vegas. The amendment does specify a few things: An applicant must have casino gaming experience and a letter of local support and cannot have a felony conviction. The passage of a new constitutional amendment often necessitates new legislation to flesh out the details. As for jobs, Gray said a study commissioned by Driving Arkansas Forward estimated Issue 4 would generate about 8, construction jobs over the next 18 months. The racetracks in Hot Springs and West Memphis have long operated casinos in all but name. And, 70 percent of Pope County voters approved an initiative that would bar the county judge or the quorum court from issuing a letter of support absent a local election that gives them the authority to do so. Though the amendment allows any would-be casino operator to seek a permit from the state, the Oklahoma-based Quapaw Tribe has been working with Pine Bluff officials for five years to gain approval of their bid. The state Racing Commission is tasked with awarding the Jefferson and Pope county permits. Home News Cover Stories Arkansas becomes casino country.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} If that construction timeline holds, his target for a Pine Bluff casino and restaurant could be close. Log In Subscribe. But in , Southland threw its support behind Issue 4 while Oaklawn stayed neutral. The Quapaw worked for five years gathering support in Jefferson County. Long Form. Might the licenses get tied up in litigation if there are multiple applicants? The Quapaw are the favorites to win the permit in Jefferson County. He said the tribe wants an orderly planning process and envisions developing some to acres initially. But the world of dog racing is rapidly disappearing. On Election Day, Florida voters approved a measure ending greyhound racing in that state, which is home to 11 of the 17 remaining dog tracks in the U. State Rep. The rest will further fund racing purses. The measure directs the Arkansas State Racing Commission to issue four new licenses for casinos to be located in Garland, Crittenden, Jefferson and Pope counties. Browse the issue archives. The Cherokee interest in Pope County could be intended to stymie competition from the Choctaw Tribe, which operates a casino 15 minutes southwest of Fort Smith. The state Department of Finance and Administration provides staff for the commission. Much is yet to be determined as Arkansas gears up for casinos. In , after Arkansas voted yes on medical marijuana, legislators put forward a host of bills tinkering around the edges of the amendment. Issue 4 requires any applicant to obtain such a letter. Second, the medical marijuana commission was created from scratch in , and its five members had no professional knowledge of medical cannabis and very little experience with regulation. Through the end of October, supporters of the amendment appear to have outraised opponents by a factor of more than 50 to 1. All sections Close sections. To Read. The amendment suggests the racetracks could go full casino as soon as mid-March. There are seven commissioners, each appointed by the governor, and the positions are unpaid except for a per diem for meetings and travel. Nonetheless, Issue 4 will significantly expand gambling in Arkansas. Little Rock attorney Alex Gray, counsel for Driving Arkansas Forward, said the Supreme Court ruling was half the reason this amendment succeeded when so many other attempts had failed. Sixty percent of those casting ballots in the county voted against Issue 4 in the election. That seems less likely to happen with the casino licenses. Good legal verbiage and PR aside, there are other reasons why Issue 4 beat the odds and became law. There will be an open application period, and qualified groups will submit applications, and the racing commission will score those applications and award permits. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}On Nov. Oaklawn and Southland have fiercely guarded their turf from outside competition by fighting previous attempts to establish casinos in Arkansas. Some were meant to slow down or derail the rollout of cannabis, but others were much needed clarifications to law. Eat Arkansas.