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

Cherokee Nation and Quapaw Tribe secure victory with gaming initiative

After spending nearly $6 million on the effort, the Cherokee Nation and the Quapaw Tribe have emerged victorious with their gaming campaign in Arkansas.

With almost all precincts reporting, Issue 4 secured 55 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Arkansas Secretary of State. The initiative authorizes four casinos in the state.

Two of the casinos will be located at existing gaming facilities. But two others will be open to bids and the tribes could bring their expertise from neighboring Oklahoma to new markets.

The Cherokee Nation operates nine Indian gaming facilities, including one near the border with Arkansas. Cherokee Nation Businesses donated $2.28 million to the Driving Arkansas Forward campaign.

The Quapaw Tribe operates two casinos in Oklahoma, including one whose property reaches into Kansas and Missouri. The tribe also owns land in Arkansas and once had a reservation there.

The tribe's Downstream Development Authority contributed $3.65 million in support of Issue 4. A non-Indian racetrack owner also donated to the effort.

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