The Quapaw Tribe owns and operates the Downstream Casino Resort in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Photo: Downstream

Quapaw Tribe sees another setback with gaming bid in Arkansas

A gaming initiative that could help the Quapaw Tribe return to its homelands in Arkansas has seen another setback.

Leslie Rutledge, the state's attorney general, rejected the proposed "Drive Arkansas Forward" referendum in an opinion on Monday. She said the title and the language were too long, misleading and vague, marking the second time she has turned away the proposal.

The ballot initiative would authorize four casinos in four particular counties in the state. Revenues would be used for highway and road construction.

If the referendum appears on an upcoming ballot and is approved by voters, the tribe could seek to operate one of the casinos. The tribe once had a reservation in Arkansas, and is seeking to have land there placed in trust, but that county isn't a part of the initiative.


Instead, the tribe is interested in Jefferson County. The tribe's ties include the burial site of Chief Saracen, also known as Sarasen, who was laid to rest in the city of Pine Bluff.

“This is a chance to bring Pine Bluff back to its old self,” Quapaw Chairman John Berrey said at an announcement for the proposal, The Pine Bluff Commercial reported. “It’s a big deal for the citizens of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County.”

The tribe already operates the Downstream Casino Resort and the Quapaw Casino on its homelands in Oklahoma. Portions of Downstream extend into Kansas and Missouri, though gaming is not presently offered in those states.

Read More on the Story:
State AG rejects casino proposal (The Pine Bluff Commercial March 13, 2018)
AG Rutledge shoots down ‘casinos for highways’ amendment a second time (Talk Business & Politics March 12, 2018)
Attorney general rejects casino amendment wording (The Arkansas Times March 12, 2018)

Related Stories:
Quapaw Tribe joins partnership to authorize up to three casinos in Arkansas (January 9, 2018)
Quapaw Tribe blames non-Indian track for opposition in Arkansas (March 4, 2016)
Quapaw Tribe seeks to acquire more ancestral land in Arkansas (February 18, 2016)
Quapaw Tribe hits snag in agreement for ancestral Arkansas land (January 21, 2016)
Quapaw Tribe works on agreement for ancestral Arkansas land (November 10, 2015)
Quapaw Tribe still vows no casino on ancestral land in Arkansas (November 3, 2015)
Quapaw Tribe still willing to sign no-casino pledge in Arkansas (August 31, 2015)

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