No Fair Play Casino in Arkansas Pope County

No Fair Play Casino in Arkansas Pope County

The state of the casino industry in the US is slowly changing as more states are looking to give operators a chance. Recently there was a bid to secure a casino position in Pope County, Arkansas. Officials at Fair Play Arkansas recently submitted 100,000 signatures to open a new casino at that location.

However, the Secretary of State John Thurston there weren’t enough signatures needed for approval. This is why Fair Play didn’t get the chance to open a casino in Pope County. Another, more favorable deal was presented by the Cherokee Nation Businesses that directly opposed Fair Play’s proposal.

A Question of Validity

The officials of Fair Play Arkansas needed to get a minimum of 66,864 signatures for their proposition to pass. However, these officials went over the board when they brought 100,000 signatures in. The Arkansas Secretary of State dismissed the majority of these signatures as invalid.

In other words, only 62,859 signatures were valid which was lower than the 75% needed for a cure period in which they would be able to get more.

Hans Stiritz, a spokesman for Fair Play, thanked the canvassing team for their efforts and their endurance during the signature gathering period which was met with stern resistance. Currently, there are 2 casinos operating within Arkansas and these are the Southland Casino Racing and Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. A third license was awarded to Jefferson county and the fourth one to Pope County.

As stated before, the Cherokee Nation Businesses were against Fair Play’s bid to build and operate a casino in Pope County which is why they have made a counter offer.

The Alternative Offer

The offer proposes that another native casino be built in Pope County. This includes the acquisition of 180 acres of land in favor of the Legends Resort and Casino. The idea is still in its infancy which is why officials at Cherokee Nation Businesses have stated that statements will be coming in the following months. In addition to this, they hope to get the litigation done in a timely manner so the company can begin the construction of the casino and resort, so the state of Arkansas can begin to enjoy the economic benefits of this venue.

But there’s still no sign of what’s going to happen. In other words, the Cherokee Nation proposal might be rejected and it would take some time before a casino is built in Pope County. Alternatively, the proposal might be accepted and the casino and resort might be built. But time will tell the outcome of this situation.


The fact that 2 more casino licenses were issued by the state of Arkansas shows that the state is moving forward with the possibility of having more casinos on its soil. The one in Pope County will be built eventually, possibly by the Cherokee Nation Businesses or another company. Either way, the state of Arkansas is increasing its number of casinos and will reap the benefits from this increment.