RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — The committee charged with vetting casino companies for the City of Russellville picked a favorite Monday night.

The panel voted 3-0, with two abstaining, in favor of River Ridge Casino Resort.

Among the factors in River Ridge's favor: the promise that it would put more money back into the community than the other two casinos that were in the running.

But it still needs the backing of the county government if it wants the final available gaming license from the state.

"But the reality is, the financial thing is, and benefit to the community is one thing, but I think they really need to find a great partner. And we feel confident that we'd be a good partner with the City of Russellville and Pope County," said Dan Kehl, CEO of Kehl Management.

The county quorum court already wrote an official letter in favor of Legends Casino.

River Ridge has to convince them to write another letter before the state's November 18 deadline.

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