The Arkansas Racing Commission granted Downstream Development/Quapaw Nation their gaming license on June 13th. Ground was broken that afternoon to begin construction of the casino resort.
The Quapaw Nation is moving forward with work on the Saracen Casino and Resort as well as upgrades to the Southern Edge truck stop, where a casino annex is being constructed. Residents will be able to see work being done at both locations along Highway US79/63 near the Martha Mitchell Expressway.
“I am super excited for the people of Jefferson County, the people of Pine Bluff, and my tribal nation,” Chief John Berrey said. “It is really a game changer for all of us. We are all going to work together to do it. There are a lot of exciting things happening in Pine Bluff. We had the Aquatics Center open last weekend. There is just a feeling of excitement in Pine Bluff, and a feeling of hope. That is a good feeling, and we are happy to be a part of that.”
Berrey added that there were similar feelings in Quapaw, Oklahoma, when Downstream Casino Resort was under construction there.
Quapaw Nation has also stepped up to help with tornado and flood recovery efforts, in addition to helping with other projects around Pine Bluff. Berrey said that the efforts are to show their sense of community, and willingness to help.
Berrey and his staff will be back in Pine Bluff on Tuesday, July 9, for a meeting at the Pine Bluff Convention Center at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend to get the latest information on the progress of the casino.