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Cherokee Nation to appeal voided casino license ruling to Arkansas Supreme Court

An Arkansas judge has voided a license to put a casino in Russellville, extending a legal battle that has been going on for four years.

Update: The Cherokee Nation has filed a Notice of Appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court Friday afternoon.

"After a lengthy circuit court process, we are eager to move forward," Legal Counsel for Cherokee Nation Businesses Dustin McDaniel said. "We remain very confident in our legal position and have filed a Notice of Appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court. We will also seek an expedited briefing schedule in hopes of a timely decision and final resolution of this matter.”

A Pulaski County circuit judge ruled against Cherokee Nation’s license to put the state’s fourth casino in Russellville, according to Arkansas Business.

The decision came after Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled against the Arkansas Racing Commission and nullified a license it had granted to Cherokee Nation Businesses of Catoosa Oklahoma.

Cherokee Nation is promising to appeal the decision to the Arkansas Supreme Court. Chuck Garrett, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses called the ruling "disappointing" and said they will "quickly have our appeal heard."

Fox's ruling agreed with Gulfside Casino Partnership of Mississippi, which originally held the casino license for Pope County before the state Supreme Court ruled against it in a previous case.

The ruling stated that under the 2018 amendment to the Arkansas Constitution that the Cherokee Nation casino was "not a qualified applicant."

“Amendment 100 allows only for a single applicant for a casino license, and the Racing Commission acted ultra vires, in violation of Amendment 100, in issuing a casino license jointly to CNB when it had not submitted a casino license application,” Judge Fox wrote in his order.

To learn more about this story please visit our content partner, Arkansas Business.

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