POPE COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - Election Day is now behind us, but one answer invites another question.
Issue 4, the Casino Amendment, passed, but it does not guarantee that any particular license will be issued.
One that’s really up in the air right now is Pope County. The majority of voters there were far from thrilled with the results.
“It doesn’t benefit Pope County,” said Hannah Jones. “"I understand why the state of Arkansas is for it because it's not in their home town. I've been to Vicksburg I've been to Oklahoma, their roads are not good. Their education systems are not good.”
Despite the measure's sponsor, Driving Arkansas Forward, promising a multi-billion dollar economic impact, majority of voters in Pope County aren’t buying it.
“When you see people go to let’s say Tunica, they are going to go to Tunica for the weekend. They don’t go there to go to small businesses and spend money. They go to the casino, spend their money, and they leave. It’s not going to benefit us at all.”
Others worry about a casino bringing problems to their hometowns, like crimes and other worrisome issues.
“I Just feel like the panhandlers and stuff like that is just going to get really bad,” said Kristin Harold, a Russellville woman. “I don't agree with it. I voted against it because I also think it’s going to take away from local businesses and bringing stuff that we just don’t want.”
Just over 60% of Pope County voters decided against Issue Four.
"It preys on impoverished people, it preys on people who are already vulnerable to getting their money taken away,” said Jones.
County voters aren’t losing hope to keep a casino-free home. A majority of county voters passed an ordinance on the same ballot to gain local control.
That proposal passed by at least 60% of votes, meaning the county will hold a separate election for voters to decide if they want a casino before local leaders issue a letter of support to any bidder wanting to secure a casino in Pope County.
It’s not yet clear whether the voters’ verdict would be final or if it could be overridden by local leaders.