Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team, has a hospitality company that is working hard to add a casino in Arkansas. Legends Hospitality has partnered with Cherokee Nation Businesses on the project, a group that manages businesses for the Cherokee Nation located in Oklahoma. Local officials have now endorsed the plans of the casino project.
The idea is to create a full-scale casino offering 1,200 slot games and a hotel with 200 luxury hotel rooms. The property would also be home to a music venue as well as an outdoor water park.
Named Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas, the project has been endorsed locally but with controversy. Other operators of casino submitted proposals to be considered for the site in the northwest region Arkansas feel that the plan for Legends’ was chosen during private meetings instead of after final offers were given consideration.
Warner Gaming is one such company that is hoping to be given the go-ahead for the project. They have teamed up with Hard Rock to bring a themed casino to the region.
Hard Rock Arkansas took to Facebook one day before the officials in Pope County took a vote in support of the Legends’ project. It read: “We’ve been invited to submit a new proposal at a hastily called emergency meeting and have been informed that the selection of an operator has already been made, without any kind of public deliberation.”
Voters in Arkansas amended the state constitution to allow for four casino licenses. The one that Jones hopes to grab with the Legends’ plan is the last one for a location in Russellville.
Legends Hospitality was created in 2008 by Jones and George Steinbrenner, the late owner of the New York Yankees. The company managed the hospitality services of the Cowboys Stadium as well as Yankee Stadium.
Since its creation, the hospitality company has become a major player in the sports marketing industry, handling deals involving sponsorship agreements, premium seating sales and more.
If the casino is allowed to be built, Legends will be in charge of the building design, culinary decisions and guest experiences that are not related to gambling. The Cherokee Nation Businesses will be in charge of operating the casino. If the gaming license is given to them, they will be paying close to $39 million in fees for economic development to nearby communities as well as nonprofit organizations.