he Arkansas Racing Commission on Monday signed off on Saracen Casino Resort's sports betting plans. The Pine Bluff-based casino began offering sports wagering on Tuesday at 8 a.m.
"It's an amenity," casino project manager Carlton Saffa said when asked how much gambling casino officials project each year for sports betting. "It's one more option. In terms of a projection, we'll see."
John Berry, chairman of the Quapaw Tribe, added that the tribe doesn't offer sports betting at its casinos in Oklahoma. The racing commission in June approved the license application of the tribe's Downstream Development Authority to build the Jefferson County casino.
The Saracen Casino Annex opened Friday evening, four days ahead of this morning's planned grand opening, Arkansas’ Democrat-Gazette reports. The 15,000-square-foot annex is connected to the Saracen Q Store, formerly the site of Southern Edge Truck Stop, with 300 slot machines.
IT's TIME TO PLAY! The New Saracen Annex and Ox Bow Bar are now open! GRAND OPENING today at 11 AM followed by prizes, prizes, prizes starting at 1 PM! Don't forget to try our new Sports Bet Kiosk. See You There!#SaracenAnnex, #SaracenHomecoming, #GrandOpening pic.twitter.com/80ryjFHvvv— Saracen Casino Resort (@SaracenCasinoAR) 1 de octubre de 2019
Casino officials plan to open an 80,000-square-foot casino with 2,000 slots across the street by the end of next year.
The Saracen operation is the second Arkansas casino to win the seven-member racing commission's approval to begin sports wagering.
The commission -- chaired by Alex Lieblong of Conway -- approved the casino's sports wagering plans during a meeting that lasted about 15 minutes. The commission also includes Mark Lamberth of Batesville, Butch Rice of Beebe, Denny East of Marion, Michael Post of Altus, Bo Hunter of Fort Smith and Steve Landers of Little Rock, according to its website.
Saracen is working with International Game Technology to use its sports betting platform known as "Play Shot" as its technical and general provider, according to the casino's proposal.
Saracen Casino Resort plans to initially offer wagering on football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, auto racing, and fighting/boxing.