Cherokee Nation backed gaming initiative off ballot in Arkansas

The Cherokee Nation owns and operates the Cherokee Casino & Hotel in West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma. The facility is on the Arkansas border. Photo from Facebook

A gaming initiative backed by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma won't go before voters in Arkansas.

The tribe poured $1 million into the Arkansas Wins campaign in hopes of managing a commercial casino in Washington County. But the Arkansas Supreme Court removed the proposed constitutional amendment from the ballot in a decision on Thursday because it includes a reference to sports wagering, which is illegal under state law.

"Our campaign is disappointed in the court’s decision today," the campaign said on Facebook. "Most importantly, it’s a shame that the voters of Arkansas, including the more than 100,000 that signed our petitions are being denied opportunity to vote on an amendment that would create thousands of jobs and more than $120 million in new tax revenue for the state and local communities."

The tribe operates nine casinos in Oklahoma, including one in West Siloam Springs, near the Arkansas border. A 10th facility is due to open this winter.

Read More on the Story:
Arkansas high court strikes down casino ballot item (The Branson Tri-Lakes News 10/13)
Why The Casino Amendement Was Booted Off The Ballot (KNWA 10/13)
Arkansas State Supreme Court pulls casino measure from November ballot (KSPR 10/13)
Business Owners Happy With Casino Amendment Rejection (KARK 10/13)

Arkansas Supreme Court Decision:
Lange v. Martin (October 13, 2016)

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