Judge Tim Fox of Pulaski County Circuit Court has found that Arkansas officials “unconstitutionally” approved licenses for Cherokee Nation Businesses and as a result, the Legends Resort and Casino licenses are now invalid.
The judge stated that the Legends Resort and Casino should not have been issued with a license as the company had a lack of gaming experience.
Legal proceedings were originally filed by Gulfside Casino Partnership, another company seeking the state’s fourth casino license. The company had previously been approved for a license in 2020 but this was later found to be invalid.
At that time, the Arkansas Supreme Court found that Gulfside had obtained its license through a letter of support from a Pope County judge who was no longer in office at the time. Following that decision, the Arkansas Racing Commission then decided to award the fourth license to the Cherokee Nation Enterprises/Legends Resort and Casino in late 2021. However, Gulfside then challenged the committee’s decision.
Speaking of the ruling, Chuck Garrett, Cherokee Nation Businesses’ CEO, said the judge’s decision was disappointing but the company intended to file an appeal with the Arkansas Supreme Court.