PINE BLUFF, Ark. — You won't have to wait until June to get a taste of the Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff.
In just two weeks, on October 1, the casino's annex will open its doors.
The building has been a three month project for the Quapaw Nation. Now, only the finishing touches are left and the annex is already changing lives, one employee at a time.
"I love this job. I'm happy here. I've been looking for an opportunity like this and I guess the Lord sent the Quapaws my way," Store Maintenance Technician for the Q Store Vincent Bullard said.
The Saracen Casino Resort Project Manager, Carlton Saffa, said the Native American tribe is coming back to its roots.
"The Quapaw came from Pine Bluff; the Quapaw have returned to Pine Bluff and there's an obligation to take care of their original homeland," he said.
Saffa said that commitment turned nothing into something.
"Three months ago, the site we are standing on was an open field, and here we are today with a full-fledged casino, that's essentially ready to go," he said.
The Saracen Casino Annex is fully stocked with 300 slot machines, a convenience store, a sports bar, and a gas station.
Saffa said the annex brings three more opportunities to Pine Bluff.
"Revenue for the city, jobs, and your chance to play," he said.
That second opportunity of employment means the world to Maintenance Technician Vincent Bullard and Chef Sherry Pickett.
Bullard said this job was just what he needed.
"I've been in dead-end jobs here in Pine Bluff," he said.
Pickett said this job is better than anything she has ever had before.
"I did jobs similar to this one, but this is the best, this is the absolute best," she said.
Both of them expressed how the aspect of family is the center of this new workplace.
"I haven't had that type of treatment on a job in a long time," Bullard said.
Both of them agreed they are here to stay.
"I plan on retiring from here. I'm just going to be straight up with you because I don't see me going anywhere else," Bullard said.
"I am. I'll be here," Pickett said.
With bright lights and slot machines, the Quapaw Nation is taking care of their original tribe.
"We made a lot of promises and the building we are standing in today shows that we keep our promises," Saffa said.
Saracen hopes to have sports betting available when it opens. The racing commission is set to review Saracen's proposal by the end of this month.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be on October 1 at 11 a.m.
Then, the annex will be open 24/7.