OKBET CASINOS | The Arkansas lawsuit against the proposed Legends Resort and Casino has been permitted to continue
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A court in Arkansas, in the south of the United States, has allegedly dismissed two applications seeking to dismiss a case filed against the planned Legends Resort and Casino construction.
The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported on Thursday that Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen denied the separate submissions of the Arkansas Racing Commission and Cherokee Nation Businesses LLC, paving the way for a lawsuit against the upcoming $225 million gambling-friendly property. This suit, allegedly filed in December by John ‘Cliff’ Goodin, challenges the validity of the licensing procedure used by Pope County and seeks to halt the whole project.
Democracy via popular vote:
After Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2018 allowing for up to four casinos, the Legends Resort and Casino venture was allegedly hatched in 2018. The Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma spent $350 million on the first phase of its Saracen Resort Casino development in rural Jefferson County, which was made possible by the referendum that supposedly led to the transformation of the Oaklawn Racing and Gaming and Southland Park Gaming and Racing facilities into Las Vegas-style casinos.
Conclusion reached with finality:
According to reports, the Arkansas Racing Commission granted the fourth casino license to the federally recognized Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation Businesses LLC in November with the goal of opening the planned Legends Resort and Casino by the end of 2024. In addition to a music hall, an outdoor water park, and a recreational vehicle element, this 135-acre development in the middle of Russellville is said to include a hotel, a massive casino floor, and a convention center.
Hotly contested claim:
A short time later, however, Goodin allegedly filed a lawsuit challenging this strategy on the grounds that Cherokee Nation Businesses LLC was a “non-applicant company” when it was granted a gaming license by the Arkansas Racing Commission. A citizen of Pope County is reportedly arguing that this renders the whole licensing process unlawful under Amendment 100, the casino-enabling legislation approved by voters nearly four years ago.
The Arkansas Racing Commission and Cherokee Nation Businesses LLC both filed motions to dismiss the complaint, with the former claiming that Goodin lacked standing and the latter arguing that the court had jurisdiction due to sovereign immunity regulations, according to the newspaper. According to the operator’s side of the story, the plaintiff’s position was “seriously flawed” since he was trying to halt construction “at any costs,” and the operator was “the only qualified candidate” throughout the licensing procedure.
Goodin is a taxpayer in Pope County who is affected by state legislation like Amendment 100, but Judge Griffen has allegedly dismissed both of his requests to dismiss and found that Goodin has standing in the lawsuit. The claimed ruling moreover said that since the plaintiff is just seeking injunctive remedies and not monetary damages, Cherokee Nation Businesses LLC may not use sovereign immunity.
After arguing that Cherokee Nation Businesses LLC would have “all rights claimed by the putative licensee declared null and invalid” should a later favorable judgement for Goodin be issued, Griffen concluded, as reported by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
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