Gulfside Casino Partnership Appeals Racing Commission’s Denial Of Its Application

RUSSELLVILLE (KATV) — The Arkansas Gaming Commission is in the process of hearing an appeal from Gulfside Casino Partnership. This comes after the commission denied Gulfside’s application to build a casino in Pope County.

Gulfside’s attorney, Casey Castleberry, showed a list of stipulations to the commission at Thursday’s meeting. Ultimately, the commission decided they needed more time to go over the list before making a decision on the appeal.

In the list of stipulations, Castleberry mentioned the commissions’ June 13th denial of Gulfside’s application — on the grounds that its required letters of support were from a former mayor and county judge.

Castleberry claims the commission’s denial is unconstitutional in that the commission changed a rule saying letters of support must be from current leaders after Gulfside presented its support letters.

“By adopting this rule, the Commission excluded the only qualified applicant. So, by adopting this rule it ensured that during this application period there would not be a qualified applicant,” Castleberry argued.

Gulfside says if granted a license, it would give back to the Pope County community by pumping $20 million into five school districts over 20 years.

“We need economic growth and development in Pope County,” Kelly Jett, leader of grassroots organization #PopeCountyMajority, said.

“What we’re looking at getting is a resort with the “C” word. I think that’s the only thing that is keeping it from coming in at this point, because of the dreaded “C” word.”

The commission plans to meet again in early August. If they deny Gulfside’s appeal, Gulfside says it will file a lawsuit.

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