In a dispute over a casino permit, the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned a judgment by Circuit Judge Tim Fox and sided with the Cherokee Nation. The company pitted against Gulfside Casino Partnership in a long-running and contentious series of legal and regulatory battles to establish a casino in Pope County.
With a 2018 constitutional amendment, Arkansas voters paved the door for legalized gaming in Pope County. The Cherokee Nation and the Gulfside Casino Partnership of Mississippi have been vying for the license ever since, bringing numerous court proceedings in the process.
Arkansas Supreme Court Sides With Cherokee Nation Businesses in Pope County Casino Case
Arkansas Times said Jim Ed Gibson, a former Pope County Judge, signed a letter of support for the Gulfside Casino proposal ten days before his tenure ended at the end of 2018. Gulfside received this assistance before submitting its petition to the Arkansas Racing Commission. However, they subsequently rejected the claim due to the endorsement’s timeliness. However, Judge Fox ruled that the racing commission’s regulations were illegal. Meanwhile, Cherokee Nation Businesses received backing from Pope County Judge Ben Cross, who favored them.
The Supreme Court in Cherokee Nation Businesses and Arkansas Racing Commission vs. Gulfside Casino Partnership asked Gulfside was a legitimate casino license applicant.
Associate Justice Karen Baker, writing for the majority of the Supreme Court, found that the plain text of Amendment 100, which Arkansas people approved, stated that the casino applicant had filed its application to the Arkansas Racing Commission.
In layman’s words that KATV provided, the court ruled that there could be no applicants until the Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC), which regulates casino licenses, started the application process.
Judge Should Be At The Time Of Casino Application
The Associated Press (via US News) said a lower court ruled that the Legislature and Racing Commission added to the qualifications by specifying that the judge must be in the office at the time of the application. The supreme court, on the other hand, disagreed.
According to a spokesperson for the commission, the state’s Racing Commission should convene once the decision takes effect. The attorney general’s office said it would discuss the next steps with the commission.
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