This week attorneys for the Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma submitted an application to the Arkansas Racing Commission to build a casino in Pine Bluff, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The Quapaw Nation currently operates casinos in Oklahoma.
Attorneys for the Quapaw Nation drafted Amendment 100 to the Arkansas Constitution. That amendment made a casino in Pine Bluff possible in the first place.
The Quapaw Nation also spent more than $3.7 million putting Amendment 100 on the ballot and passing it in 2018.
We have said before that Amendment 100’s wording favors wealthy casino corporations who are looking to expand their business to Arkansas. Applicants who want to operate a casino in Arkansas must be able to pay $250,000 in application fees and must have experience operating casinos in other states.
Casinos are a blight on the community. Jefferson County already has enough trouble with poverty as it is. Opening a casino in Pine Bluff simply will compound that problem.
Today Sen. Breanne Davis (R – Russellville) filed S.B. 185 closing a potential loophole regarding casinos in Pope and Jefferson counties.
Last November Arkansas passed an amendment to the state constitution effectively converting the race tracks in Hot Springs and West Memphis into full-fledged casinos and permitting casinos in Pope and Jefferson counties, upon approval from local officials and the Arkansas Racing Commission.
The Arkansas Racing Commission is in the process of writing rules for the casinos and the application process companies must follow in applying for a license to operate casinos in those counties.
The outgoing Mayor of Russellville recently expressed support for a casino in the city, prompting questions about whether a local official’s support for a casino expired once he or she left office.
S.B. 185 clarifies that a company applying for a casino license must include a resolution or letter of support from the quorum court or current county judge with the application; if the casino will be located inside city limits, the application must include a letter of support from the current mayor as well.
This will prevent gambling corporations from trying to use the support of former judges or past mayors in their casino applications and make it a little more difficult for them to expand their gambling operations to Arkansas.
Photo By Ralf Roletschek [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons.
The outgoing mayor of Russellville expressed support for a proposal to build a casino in the city on his last day in office.