The Quapaw Nation is returning to Arkansas on August 5 for the new Saracen Casino Resort’s groundbreaking ceremony in Pine Bluff, bringing a much-needed industrial influx to Jefferson County. The $350 million development will create an estimated 1,000 jobs during its construction, and around 1,100 permanent jobs on completion.
Named for a Quapaw chief who was buried in Pine Bluff in 1832, the Saracen Casino will feature 80,000 square feet of gambling space containing 2,000 slot machines and 50 table games. Opening a few months prior to the casino across US-63 is the Saracen Annex, an expansive convenience store containing an additional 300 electronic games.
This development follows the passing of Issue 4 last November, which permitted gambling in four areas of the state, the Quapaw Nation being a principal backer of the amendment, contributing over $3.65 million to promote the issue. This new development is accompanied by major renovations taking place at Hot Springs’ Oaklawn Racing and Gaming and West Memphis’ Southland Casino. The Cherokee Nation Businesses in Oklahoma has also expressed their intent to build a casino in Arkansas.
The Saracen Casino’s hotel will have 300 rooms and suites, restaurants, event spaces, and a cultural center dedicated to telling the story of the Quapaw people. It’s projected to rise 20 stories above the flatlands of Jefferson County, making it the tallest building in the area. The Saracen Casino Resort is slated to open mid-2020.