The Quapaw Nation has opened an annex to its $240m Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas, four days ahead of schedule after just a 100-day build.
The 15,000-square-foot annex, connected to the Saracen Q Store, formerly the site of Southern Edge Truck Stop, has opened with a bar and 300 slot machines. The full 80,000-square-foot casino is slated to open at the end of next year with a 13-floor, 300-room hotel.
Carlton Saffa, spokesman for Saracen Casino Resort, said: “This is our surprise for the community. This is our 100-day casino. We started on it 100 days ago and here we are, open for business.”
The early soft opening for the annexe came as a surprise.
Mr. Saffa added: “We made a decision to give a sneak peak to the city. We had intended for it to be a soft opening to folks we traded with, that we’d done business with. But then we decided, you know what, folks are so excited so let’s let them all in.”
Arkansas voters approved Amendment 3 in the Nov 2018 election legalizing casino gambling and authorizing the state to issue casino licenses for the first time ever.
Saracen Casino is the third casino licensed in Arkansas and the third owned by the Quapaw Nation. The tribe also owns the Quapaw Casino in Miami, OK and the Downstream Casino Resort in Quapaw, OK.