The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the state Racing Commission approved a proposal this week for the Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma to build a casino in Pine Bluff.

The commission also reportedly rejected five bids to build casinos in Russellville — including a proposal by the Cherokee Nation Business of Catoosa, Oklahoma.

Last year the Quapaw Tribe and Cherokee Nation spent millions of dollars passing a state constitutional amendment authorizing four casinos in Arkansas.

The amendment makes Oaklawn in Hot Springs and Southland in West Memphis full-fledged casinos, and it lets the Racing Commission authorize two other casinos to operate in Jefferson County and Pope County respectively.

The amendment was written in such a way that wealthy casino corporations already operating out-of-state have an easier time meeting the criteria for running a casino in Arkansas.

As we’ve written before, counties with gambling in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi continue to struggle with poverty, despite promises that casinos can be an economic boon.

Photo By Ralf Roletschek [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons.