A Casino in Pope County Would Result in Arkansas Earning $3.15 Billion
Cherokee Nation Business ordered a study recently, and the results of it were quite interesting. According to the study, if there was a casino in Russelville, Ark., it would bring up to $3 billion to the state just in the first decade after it is open.
The study was conducted by the Economic Impact Group, and it was part of a proposal submitted by the CNB several days ago.
Chuck Garrett is the CEO of the CNB, and he was eager to comment on the events. According to him, the reason why they turned to “a network of experts” was to understand how their plan would impact the economy of the region.
Namely, the CNB has a plan to open a casino resort in Arkansas called Legends Resort and Casino, and they wanted to know how much would they stir the economy in the region. It turns out the casino would have a great positive impact.
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Garrett added that it was fitting for them to conduct the research with the help of Rr. Russell Evans and EIG, as they were already very familiar with the way things work with the CNB.
The study has taken into account the data from six counties in Oklahoma that are somewhat similar to the size of Pope County, the county where the casino construction is being planned. These areas are, as stated in the study, “micropolitan” areas, meaning they are located near huge metropolitan areas but are not adjacent to them.
What Did the Research Reveal?
According to the research, the casino and hotel would result in a total of 1,750 jobs being created in the first year alone. During that time, the total employee income would reach $43.3 million.
Moreover, they used this information to make a projection, stating that during the 10-year period, the property will create more than 21,000 jobs, and the total employee income would be over $530 million.
Naturally, Pope County, as well as the state of Arkansas, would have huge benefits that come with tax. The research has taken tax revenue into account, and it was calculated that Pope County would earn a total of $4.3 million in revenue during the first year.
However, the revenue would increase with years and would reach the annual amount of $5.8 million during the 10th year.
Although the CNB has been rather enthusiastic about the idea of building a casino in Pope County, it seems that not everyone was so thrilled about the idea. According to citizens who are members of a Better Pope County, the Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC) did not play according to the rules when they granted a permit to the CNB to build a casino.
According to this group, the sole act of granting the permit was not in line with the constitution of the state as there was no official public vote. Therefore, they requested that the permit is taken from the CNB.
However, they were not successful in their effort. The case was put before a judge who ruled that there were no breaches of the constitution of Arkansas. In other words, the agreement reached between the Cherokee nation and the state was both legal and binding.
Yet, there are still several issues on the rise, and a couple of lawsuits are filled that is connected to the bidding process. That would postpone CNB’s plans for a little longer. If the operator manages to win those lawsuits, they would be able to proceed with constructing a casino in Pope County.