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.

An Arkansas panel has approved an American Indian Tribe’s application to operate a casino in Jefferson County while rejecting five applications from casino operators for a facility in Pope County.

The Arkansas Racing Commission unanimously granted the Downstream Development Authority of the Oklahoma-based Quapaw Nation a casino license for Jefferson County. The tribe was the only applicant for that license. The tribe says they will move forward immediately with construction of the casino and resort estimated at $350 million. The commission also approved Sportsbook Wagering at Oaklawn Racing Casino in Hot Springs.

Chairman John Berrey Thursday afternoon at soon to be site of Saracen Casino and Resort

Chairman Berrey and others gathered at the future location Thursday afternoon to move some dirt.  The official ground breaking will be in the next few days.  Work is expected to start early next week at the latest.

Deltaplex Radio’s Greg Horne visits on air with Chairman Berrey . Win Trafford(L) and Judge Gerald Robinson (R) look on.

The commission denied licenses to all five applicants in Pope County because none have legally required support from local authorities. The commission also voted to return the full $250,000 application fee to each company.

We will have more as it becomes available here at and on The Voice of the Delta, Oldies 101.3