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Arkansas commission supports casino

29 November 2006

FORT SMITH, Arkansas – As reported by the The Fort Smith Advertising and Promotion Commission voted 5-2 Tuesday to support a proposal for a casino and hotel along Fort Smith's riverfront.

"In October, the commission decided in favor of the proposal in a 3-2 vote, but the result was called into question because two commissioners were absent and a minimum of four votes was believed to be required for passage.

"…Bennie Westphal, chief executive officer of The Westphal Group investment company, sold 10 acres along the river to the United Keetoowah Band where the casino would be located.

"The tribe has made application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place the land in trust. That must be granted by the BIA before tribe can seek permission from the federal government to operate a casino…"

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