The Arkansas Racing Commission is a step closer to reopening the application process for a license to operate a casino in Pope County.

Members of the commission agreed Wednesday to review a set of rules proposed by Attorney General Tim Griffin, then vote on that proposal next week.

The panel is having to start the licensing process over after the state’s Supreme Court last year upheld a Pulaski County judge’s decision to void the casino license issued to Cherokee Nation Businesses.

The Cherokee Nation, which property is to be called Legends Resort and Casino, had already purchased more than 325 acres for the project.

Mississippi-based Gulfside Casino Partnership, a competing applicant, had filed the lawsuit challenging the license.

Gulfside had been issued a license for the casino in 2020, but that license was voided after the Arkansas Supreme Court said it needed to have the endorsement of current elected officials in the area. The Gulfside application had been submitted with the backing of Pope County’s former judge.

Pope County was one of four sites where casinos were allowed to be built under a constitutional amendment that voters approved in 2018. Casinos have already been set up in the other three locations, but the Pope County license has been tied up in ongoing legal battles.

If the racing commission moves forward with the application process, the license could be issued by spring to early summer.