Saracen soft opening by Brian Chilson
Governor Hutchinson and other elected officials were on hand Thursday to celebrate the completion of Quapaw Nation’s Saracen Casino in Pine Bluff, billed as the largest commercial construction project in the state. The 200,000 square foot casino, which opens to the public Oct. 20, has 80,000 square feet of gaming space. The casino has more than 2,000 slot machines, 30 gaming tables, a sportsbook and a poker room. Five of its seven restaurants will open next week with the other two expected to open in November.
The casino employs around 500 people. Officials expect that number to grow to 800 during the first phase of opening. The second phase will be opening a resort, with more than 300 rooms, a large pool and a convention center. Quapaw Nation officials expect to eventually employ 1,100 people.
Masks will be required to enter and staff will be taking guests’ temperatures as well. The slot machines are equipped with plexiglass dividers, gaming tables only seat three to four people and all dealers and food service employees are required to wear masks.
The casino will open its doors 10 a.m. Tuesday. The hours after that will be 9 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.