Arkansas panel leader withdraws from casino license process

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The chairman of the Arkansas Racing Commission has recused himself from the process to assign a casino operating license.

Chairman Alex Lieblong says his decision ensures the integrity of the process. Lieblong’s move Monday follows a report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that indicated he had discussed the procedure with a lawyer for one of the parties vying for the contract.

Cherokee Nation Businesses of Oklahoma and Gulfside Casino Partnership of Mississippi have been competing for a license to run a casino in Pope County.

Lieblong’s letter to the commission didn’t explain why he recused himself or mention the discussion with the lawyer.

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