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RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — The Russellville City Council is forming a committee to evaluate applications for a new casino, even though Pope County has already made its pick on an applicant.

Arkansas voters in 2018 authorized four casinos in the state: two at racetracks in Hot Springs and West Memphis and two in Jefferson and Pope counties. The Jefferson County casino is already under construction, but the process in Pope County has been slowed by challenges.

Last month, the Pope County Quorum Court endorsed a proposal from the Cherokee National Businesses, but leaders in Russellville say they want a say in the process.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the council voted Thursday to establish a seven-member committee to review proposals. The state Racing Commission has set a Nov. 18 deadline to receive casino license applications.

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