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Recruiting craze at Arkansas casinos with more job openings coming soon

Posted on April 26, 2021, 3:48 AM

Last updated: April 26, 2021, 08:29 h.

Larry Henry

Arkansas casinos are in hiring mode. The three licensed casinos in the state are also expanding their operations with construction projects underway or nearly completed.

Southland Casino Racing
This illustration shows what the hotel tower at Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, Arkansas will look like when it is completed in 2022. The facility anticipates hiring more staff by next year. (Picture: WATN-TV )

Each of the three casinos recently announced that they are looking for employees. One casino offered to hire people locally. Another was handing out 1 $, 500 to those who want to be card dealers.

The three casinos are Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, Oaklawn Casino Racing Resort in Hot Springs, and Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff. A fourth casino has been licensed for Russellville but is pending a legal dispute.

In Southland, job seekers wishing to become dealers began attending a free dealer school on Monday. A Southland tweet indicates dealers can earn 1 $, 500, in addition to free school.

Southland is a casino and dog trail across the Mississippi River from the greater Memphis, Tennessee metropolitan area. The dog track will close next year, but the facility will remain open and growing.

Southland also recently raised its wage earner without tip to $ 15 hours. According to WR EG-TV in Memphis.

Security officer Tomeka Banis told the TV station that she called her boss when she heard about the raise to make sure it was true.

"I've been here for seven years and this is the highest salary we've ever received," she said.

Southland CEO Dave Wolf said 400 workers will benefit from the raise now. As post-COVID-19 operations increase, a few hundred more workers will receive a raise, he said.

"Come as you are"

In Saracen, Carlton Saffa, the market director, posted several notifications this month on Twitter, informing potential employees that Pine Bluff has numerous job openings.

Pine Bluff is approximately 45 minutes south of the centrally located capital city of Little Rock.

Earlier this month, Saffa tweeted: "How about 100 extra jobs, hiring locally." The offers included salaries and working hours, in addition to management positions.

He called on job applicants to "Come as you are." You can walk away with a new career, ”he wrote on Twitter.

At Oaklawn, CEO Wayne Smith said recently KATV-TV that only about half of the last 400 job vacancies had been filled by mid-April.

"Since the stimulus money came out in February, people just haven't come," Smith told Little Rock.

Construction in progress

Oaklawn's recruiting craze has been fueled by the $'s 100 millionth add-on, which includes additional gaming space and an eight-story 198-hotel room. Oaklawn is about an hour southwest of Little Rock.

Saracen has been open for six months but is already expanding its poker room, Saffa tweeted.

In Southland, the resort plans to expand the casino area by 2022 and complete its 21st feature hotel. This will create even more job offers.

"We will be employing an additional four to five hundred people over the coming year," Wolf told TV station. "So we'll probably start hiring us sometime in December or January."

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