Casino in Pine Bluff holds surprise “soft opening”

Local News

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) — A casino in Pine Bluff held a surprise “soft opening,” four days before its planned grand opening.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the Oklahoma-based Quapaw Nation’s Saracen Casino Annex opened at 6 p.m. Friday with about 300 slot machines and a full service bar.

At 6:00 p.m. Friday night, Saracen Casino Annex opened for five hours.

This morning the annex was open at 8:00 a.m. and will close at six to give staff a chance to review how operations are going.

The annex will be open from 8:00 a.m. to midnight Sunday.

The plan is to then begin business Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. and remain open after that, according to Carlton Saffa, spokesperson for Saracen Casino Resort.

Saracen Casino Resort spokesman Carlton Saffa said the facility is a preview of the 80,000-square-foot casino that will have a 13-floor hotel, 300-room hotel across the street by the end of next year. Saffa said the soft opening was planned to be by-invitation only, but those plans were changed because of high interest.

The Arkansas Racing Commission in June approved the license for the casino after Arkansas voters last year approved a constitutional amendment legalizing casino gambling in four counties.

Above is some current employment statistics from the newly open Pine Bluff casino.

Total project will be 1100 permanent Saracen employees

To date 400 additional involved in construction jobs, will ramp up to 1,000

They provide extensive benefits, medical, dental and vision together are $25 a pay period.

They provide a life insurance policy at our cost for employees equal to 2X their annual pay

There are a number of other large benefits, including the childcare center they are building- the Saracen Child Development Center will provide a place for employee children at a greatly subsidized rate.

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