LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Racing Commission has voted to approve the license for the Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff.
It’s being operated by the Quapaw Tribe’s Downstream Development Authority from Oklahoma.
This vacant plot of land — in eastern Pine Bluff… will quickly change. These are renderings of what the new Saracen Casino Resort will look like.
“Big day for my brothers and sisters in Pine Bluff and Jefferson County,” says John Berrey.
John Berrey is a chairman of the Quapaw Tribe.
The Arkansas Racing Commission awarded the Quapaw Tribe the sole casino license for Jefferson County at its meeting Thursday afternoon.
Many supported the decision saying it will add good-paying careers in the area.
“We need jobs. I have college students from Philander Smith and UALR. They want jobs.”
“Probably in August there will be job fairs. We’ve been having job fairs for construction workers,” says John Berrey.
Berrey says work has already started on the project.
“Construction is starting as we speak.”
While work is being done on the casino–the Quapaw Tribe will open a separate facility where people can start gaming sooner.
“In five months we’ll have our gas station with an annex which will have slot machines. We’ll have some food there,” he says.
As excitement builds for the future… Berrey says this part of the state will cash in.
“We want to use this opportunity to not only add to our community back home but to uplift the community in Jefferson County and Pine Bluff,” says Berrey.
Along with the casino — there will be a hotel and a convention center.