October 20, 2020

Mississippi casino operator aims to open casino in Arkansas

A Mississippi company has applied for a casino license in Arkansas, but the proposal lacks the backing of current local leaders.

Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin on Monday said the state received an application last week from Gulfside Casino Partnership for a casino in Pope County. The company operates the Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport.

Late last year Gulfside Casino Partnership announced plans for a three-phase, $250 million casino development in Arkansas.

A constitutional amendment voters approved last year legalized casinos in Pope and Jefferson counties, at a Hot Springs horse track and a West Memphis dog track.

The state received an application for the Jefferson County license from the Downstream Development Authority.

Hardin said the Pope County application included letters from former local leaders. Racing Commission regulations say letters of support can only come from current officeholders.

The deadline for the Pope and Jefferson applications is May 30.