The Arkansas Racing Commission on Thursday heard presentations from two companies seeking the license to operate a casino in Pope County and selected Gulfside Casino Partnership as the winner.

Gulfside, based in Gulfport, Miss., was selected over Cherokee Nation Business who will have 15 days to ask for a second hearing.

Arkansas voters passed what became Amendment 100 to the Arkansas Constitution in November 2018 which authorized a single casino in Jefferson and Pope Counties, as well as the expansion of casino gambling and resorts at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs at Southland Racing in West Memphis.

Issuance of the license for Jefferson and Pope Counties was contingent upon winning the support of local and county officials and both Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington and County Judge Gerald Robinson signed letters supporting the Saracen Indian Tribe’s bid for the license which they received.

The Saracen Casino Annex opened last year as construction on the main casino continued. It is expected to open in late summer.

Gulfside Casino Partnership currently operates the Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport, Miss. And according to media reports last year was planning a three-phase $250 million casino resort in Pope County.