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Arkansas governor remains against casino

2 August 2007

ARKANSAS -- As reported by the Fort Smith Times Record: "Gov. Mike Beebe is unlikely to reconsider his opposition to a proposed Fort Smith casino in response to a letter-writing campaign, a spokesman said.

"The governor's spokesman, Matt DeCample, said a statewide vote to change the Arkansas constitution to allow the gaming might cause Beebe to reconsider his position on the issue.

"Developer Bennie Westphal and the Fort Smith Riverfront Progress Committee sponsored a gathering of more than 300 casino supporters Tuesday, and speakers at the event urged those in attendance to write the governor and ask him to support it, too.

"Several of the speakers said the economic impact of the casino, which includes a planned hotel, would be big and positive.

"Randy Steinman, a spokesman for the United Keetoowah Band, and Westphal said it could employ as many as 1,300 people full time and part time as well as spur millions of dollars in other riverfront development..."

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