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LITTLE ROCK—An Arkansas panel has approved an American Indian tribe's application to operate a casino in Jefferson County while rejecting five applications from casino operators for a facility in Pope County.

The Arkansas Racing Commission on Thursday unanimously granted the Downstream Development Authority of the Oklahoma-based Quapaw Tribe a casino license for Jefferson County. The tribe was the only applicant for that license. The tribe says they will move forward immediately with construction of the estimated $350 million casino and resort.

But the commission denied licenses to all five applicants in Pope County because none have the legally-required support from local authorities. The commission also voted to return the full $250,000 application fee to each company.

In addition, the commission approved sportsbook wagering at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs.

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