Hard Rock International is one of five organisations to have submitted an application to develop a casino resort facility within the state of Arkansas, after residents approved a constitutional amendment to legalise Las Vegas-style casino gambling last year, report media outlets.

The Florida headquartered gaming and hospitality firm, alongside Tri-Peaks Entertainment Group, joins The Gulfside Casino Partnership, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Robert and Ruth Kehl and the Choctaw Nation, as competition for the Pope County licence hots up.

The Arkansas Racing Commission also received one application for a casino in Jefferson County, from the Downstream Development Authority, with the regulator set to consider all six applications on June 13.

Jurisdictional amendment allowed four casino licenses, two for gaming operations at the existing Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs and Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, and two for the development of new gaming properties in Pope and Jefferson Counties

Partnering with Warner Gaming the two companies plan to build a Hard Rock-branded property in the region, with both parties having a long partnership, with Warner Gaming managing the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, as well as opening its Sioux City establishment five year ago.

The first phase of the plan is estimated to cost $230m, and if successful would see construction of a resort that will include a 300-room hotel and a 44,450-square-foot casino with 1,150 gaming machines, 28 table games, a poker room, a sports betting facility and a mobile betting operation.

Furthermore, the development would also feature a Bo Jackson 20-acre sports facility which will see an increased investment in youth sports, in addition to an RV park, 26,000 square feet of convention space and an 8,000-person outdoor amphitheatre.

Bill Warner, president and CEO of Warner Gaming, commented: “Our team is excited to bring this amenity to the local community as part of our overall resort destination proposal for Hard Rock Arkansas.

“We believe it will be a place for families to enjoy sports, be active, and spend time together and are proud to be able to provide the community what it wants.”