The Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Arkansas made an unofficial opening on Thursday, October 15 and is tipped to open to the general public tomorrow Tuesday, October 20.
Saracen Casino Resort Completed, Grand Opening for October 20
Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, made an unofficial opening Thursday night, welcoming special guests and residents from the state. The casino resort which has been developed by the Quapaw Nation since August 2019, announced its grand opening will be October 20.
Billed as the largest commercial construction project in Arkansas, the casino resort soft opening attracted interest from Gov. Asa Hutchison, as well as other elected officials, among which Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington and Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson, along with Quapaw Nation’s Chairman Joseph Tali Byrd and Tribal Princess Kristal Glass.
The 200,000 square foot casino will house 80,000 square feet of gaming space, offering 2,000 slot machines, 30 table games, a poker room and a sports book. The resort will offer amenities such as a 300-room hotel tower with luxury accommodation options, 6 restaurants, an outdoor venue for special events, as well as 15,000 square feet of event facilities for indoor concerts, special events and banquets.
The casino resort built in a region which was once home to the Quapaw Nation has already hired over 700 people and is further looking for around 100 more, as the tribe wants to contribute to the thriving of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County by its homecoming, feeling proud of the economic development it would bring to the region.
Divvying up the Tax Revenue
According to a constitutional amendment voted by residents in Arkansas, Pine Bluff will receive 19.5% of the gaming revenue from the casino resort, while Jefferson County will get 8% of it. Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington noted that further infrastructure projects will be funded by the increase in receipts due to the addition of the casino.
“I think this money is going to help us give those increases to our first responders that we’ve been looking to for so many years so we can have that level of retention that we need.” Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington
Shirley Washington further outlined that the city could not attract a lot of industries and should make the most of this opportunity by making Pine Bluff a destination city. Furthermore, the Mayor expressed hopes that due to the new jobs created and the opportunities for people to afford nicer homes crime levels would be driven down.
Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson expressed his expectations things would start to evolve fast around Pine Bluff, as due to the revenue from Saracen Casino Resort, “we’re building three new buildings, the new health department, a new veterans service building and were also building a new coroner’s office”.
The casino will open following strict guidelines for health and safety, and wearing of masks will be mandatory, as well as temperature checks at the entry. Slot machines are divided by plexiglass barriers and table games are limited to 3 to 4 seats.