February 21, 2024 3 min read


Local Voters in Charge Push for Casino Referendum in Arkansas

The proposed referendum seeks to repeal Pope County casino gambling and ensure local voters have a final say for proposed casino projects

Several years ago, in 2018, residents in Arkansas voted in favor of an amendment to the state’s constitution that proposed casino gambling expansion. Per the amendment, casinos would be established in Crittenden, Jefferson, Garland and Pope Counties. By now, all counties have already established their casinos with the exception of Pope County, where the fourth casino license was tangled in a legal dispute that is still ongoing.

In light of the ongoing legal battle, the Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC), the gambling regulator in the state, confirmed its plans to revise casino rules with the ultimate goal of settling the dispute once and for all. This revision is expected to restart the application process under new guidelines, ensuring that a suitable bidder is selected for the Pope County casino license.

Yet, not everyone agrees with the casino expansion. Local Voters in Charge, a group that opposes the casino expansion, seeks to repeal the efforts for casino gambling in Pope County. The group seeks to change Amendment 100 which voters in Arkansas approved back in 2018. Local Voters in Change proposes to repeal the text that focuses on Pope County: “The Arkansas Racing Commission shall award a casino license to a casino applicant for a casino to be located in Pope County within two miles of the city limits of the county seat.”

The group intends to achieve its goal via a referendum where voters would be asked to remove the aforementioned text. This is in opposition to the ongoing efforts of the ARC and instead of resolving the legal battle proposes to end the possibilities for a casino in Pope County. Still, considering that the process is expected to be completed via a referendum, this doesn’t guarantee a win for Local Voters in Charge.

Local Voters to Determine the Future of Casino Projects

Besides the aforementioned effort, the activist group seeks further changes that would guarantee local voters’ opinion is heard when it comes to casino gambling. Local Voters in Charge proposed local voters in different counties to give the final green light when it comes to casino projects.

The group supports the idea of organizing a countywide special election that would determine the outcome of proposed casino projects with voters supporting or rejecting such projects. This would otherwise put the matter in the hands of the voters, who would have the right to vote in favor or against casino projects under the proposed referendum from Local Voters in Charge.

To put up the two topics for a referendum, the group would need a green light from Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin’s office. Under the existing regulations, once the Attorney General greenlights the efforts, Local Voters in Charge would have to gather signatures from all counties equal to a minimum of 10% of the total votes from the last state governor election, representing nearly 91,000 signatures.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.


  • Jim Martini
    February 21, 2024 at 2:04 pm

    Local voters in charge only want what is best for them, not the county or state. They have been fighting the casino, many times under different names. They don’t accept what the majority of people in Pope want…A CASINO!

  • Judy Oaks
    February 21, 2024 at 5:39 pm

    Happy whenever they ever get open and you don’t have to travel so far wish it was already open should of already been opened up by now

  • John Henry Jones
    February 21, 2024 at 7:11 pm

    I pray that the referendum can get passed before this great place to live gets destroyed by corruption from a casino!

  • Maggie Ford
    February 21, 2024 at 8:06 pm

    These so called local voters need to get a grip on reality. The voters already voted. They voted yes to having a casino. Give it up. The people want it. There are only a handfull that don’t and are trying to make it as difficult as possible for everyone concerned.

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