The Saracen Casino Resort’s $350 million Pine Bluff development hit a significant milestone Feb. 12 with a ceremonial topping-out of the resort’s 80,000-square foot gaming floor, officials say.


The celebration brought together tribal, project and community leaders, including Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington and Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson, to the 110-acre development.


“This is a significant milestone,” John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw Nation and Saracen Casino Resort, said in a news release. “We are here to honor each member of the construction team and express gratitude for their excellent work, their dedication to excellence and their push to beat construction deadlines. A special thanks to Nabholz and Suffolk Construction; through their leadership we have placed 700 tons of steel without incident. That’s incredible.”


The resort’s gaming floor will include more than 2,000 slot machines and 31 table games. Upon completion, the resort will have a 300-room luxury hotel with restaurants and lounges, a spa and conference center.


The casino is scheduled to open in June and the hotel and entertainment venue will open in December.


The Saracen Casino Annex, which has 300 slot machines, and the Saracen Q-Store celebrated their grand opening last October.


The Saracen Casino Resort is the Quapaw Nation’s first community development in Arkansas and is expected to create 1,100 permanent jobs while also expectantly serving as a catalyst for development throughout Southeast Arkansas, according to the news release.


“This homecoming is causing a ripple effect across the region,” Berrey said. “Since its opening last fall, the Annex has drawn visitors from all over Arkansas. This is just the beginning. When we open the casino this summer, you’ll see a draw from all across the south. As a result of this draw, you’ll see businesses open and expand. These are all things vital for a vibrant community. We’re proud to be a part of the renewal you’re seeing take place here.”