Cherokee Nation Finally Gets Green Light for New Arkansas Casino After Years of Legal Action

  • The Arkansas Racing Commission approved the application on Thursday
  • CNE expects the development to take about 18 months and cost $300m
  • One last hurdle is a petition that is trying to get onto November’s ballot
Approved stamp
Cherokee Nation Entertainment finally has its casino license in Arkansas following years of legal action. [Image:]

Cherokee Nation Entertainment (CNE) finally received a license to develop a casino in Arkansas after years of legal action. The Arkansas Racing Commission unanimously gave the seal of approval on Thursday for the tribe to get the fourth and final casino license permitted under the state constitutional amendment from 2018. It was the sole applicant under consideration during the meeting.

develop the 50,000 square-foot Legends Resort & Casino in Pope County

The plan is to develop the 50,000 square-foot Legends Resort & Casino in Pope County which will have 1,200 slot machines, a 200-room hotel, an external music venue with space for 5,000 people, and an area for conferences.

Welcoming the news of the approval, Cherokee Nation Entertainment CEO Chuck Garrett said that the tribe is now “prepared to finalize the remaining permitting and administrative processes so we can commence construction.” The expectation is that the work will take about 18 months to complete and cost $300m.

Despite the positive news, one hurdle remains. A group named “Investing in Arkansas” that has the backing of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is trying to gather enough signatures before the July 5 deadline to get a question on the November ballot that would give people a chance to vote to revoke the Pope County casino license.

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