WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Tunica casinos could have some competition headed their way as Southland Gaming and Racing begins a multi-million dollar expansion that is set to bring jobs and new life to West Memphis, Arkansas.
For more than six decades, Southland Gaming and Racing has given people a place to watch races, eat and play poker and black jack.
"Ever since I landed, I realized this is the worst kept secret in Crittenden," said Jeremy Jacobs, the chairman of parent company Delaware North.
It's a secret that's about to get even harder to keep.
"Our investment will include a new casino complex with state of the art games and an exciting culinary program. It will also include a signature 300 room high-rise hotel," said Lou Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North.
The $250 million project is expected to change the game in West Memphis. It may even pull in some people from surrounding areas.
Once completed, the expansion will add 400 permanent additional jobs at Southland, company officials said.
That's on top of the 800 jobs already made possible through Southland Gaming and Racing.
Senators, the mayor, and even Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson showed up for Thursday's announcement of the new additions.
"While there's a lot of rich history in Southland, we are focusing on the future. Southland will become even more of a destination than it is today,"
Delaware North operates Southland Gaming and racing.
They say, over the years they've developed a loyal customer base and look forward to expanding that base into new territory with expansion.