Hospitality and entertainment management company, Warner Gaming, LLC, will partner with the Hard Rock brand to propose a new resort casino for Pope County.

Along with a state-of-the-art casino gaming experience, the new fully-integrated resort planned for the Arkansas River Valley will additionally include a hotel and dining options on par with the iconic brand’s worldwide portfolio. Conference facilities and indoor and outdoor venues to accommodate live entertainment and other amenities will also be included.

community input and involvement is critical to our success

Reach beyond the region:

“We aim to deliver to Pope County a facility that will attract visitors throughout the region and beyond,” Bill Warner, owner and Chief Executive Officer for Warner Gaming said. “With its truly global reach, the Hard Rock brand will help us do that,” according to the Tuesday, April 23, 2019 announcement, as cited by and other local news sources.

Including 11 casinos, 27 hotel and 185 Hard Rock Cafes, the Hard Rock brand has a presence in 75 countries and is a globally-recognized brand. Chief Operating Officer for Hard Rock International, Jon Lucas, said…

“We are pleased with the opportunity to bring the Hard Rock brand to Arkansas and continue our relationship with the Warner Gaming team.”

Issue 4 approval:

Arkansas voters on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, approved a constitutional amendment (Issue 4) authorizing the expansion of gambling operations at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Gaming and Racing in West Memphis. The measure also authorizes the state to issue licenses for casinos in Jefferson and Pope counties, provided local support from elected officials has been obtained.

At the time, voters there approved a proposed ordinance that would require either the county judge or the Quorum Court to obtain approval from Pope County voters in a local election prior to supporting a casino in the rural county of more than 63,800 residents.

The last time a proposed constitutional amendment authorizing casinos in Arkansas was on the ballot was in 2000 and it was defeated.

Community involvement:

Warner said…

“Arkansans have decided to keep the jobs and tax revenues associated with casino gaming within the state, and we are excited for the opportunity to be a part of that. In the coming weeks, we will continue our discussions with Pope County residents so that we can get a feel for what the community would like to see in a project like this. Our past experience has taught us that community input and involvement is critical to our success.”

Info forthcoming:

According to the Tuesday press release, the Las Vegas-headquartered firm [Warner Gaming] will submit its application to the southern U.S. state’s Racing Commission in May. The application will reportedly include the proposal further describing project details. Information such as the projected budget for the undertaking is also expected next month.