Page 14 - Jackpot Magazine Tunica ~ June, 2022
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Southland Casino Hotel celebrates opening of expanded gaming space and amenities
WEST MEMPHIS — Southland Ca- sino Hotel and its parent company, Dela- ware North, a global hospitality and en- tertainment leader, on Tuesday, May 3, cut the ribbon on a new 113,000-square-foot casino complex, the latest milestone of the property’s ongoing $320 million expansion project that began in 2019.
The expanded casino space boasts 2,400 gaming machines, as many as 50 live table games, sports betting, a covered parking garage with more than 1,400 spaces and an array of new restaurant and dining options.
Construction is ongoing for the signa- ture component of Southland’s expansion, a 20-story high-rise hotel tower that will feature 300 rooms, including 216 standard rooms, 72 corner suites and 12 penthouse suites on the top floor.
“The newly expanded Southland Casino Hotel represents a transformative, new age in gaming and entertainment,” said Lou Jacobs, CEO, Delaware North. “Today’s event is a testament to our commitment to long-term, mutually beneficial partnership between Southland and the community and leaders of West Memphis, Memphis and Arkansas. We’re confident that this will establish Southland as a destination for not only the Mid-South region, but for gaming enthusiasts from all across the country and around the world. I’m grateful to our Dela- ware North leaders and team members for their years of planning and effort to stew- ard this incredible new venue.”
New dining options at include The Kitchens, Sports Bar & Grill, Ignite Steak- house, The Fry House and The Grind cof- fee shop, while new bars include the Chair- man’s Bar and Ignite Steakhouse Bar.
The project has created an estimated 1,500 construction jobs and 400 additional permanent jobs for the new casino com- plex and hotel, bringing employment at Southland to about 1,200 jobs.
Delaware North is privately financing the project with no use of public funds. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and
Pictured, left to right, Ness Sechrest, chairman emeritus of Southland Board of Directors; Board members Randy Sullivan, Dr. Debra West, Dr. Susan Ward, Jones Fred Leonard, Reena Holmes, Tom Kennedy and Bill Bissett, West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge; Jeremy Jacobs, Delaware North Chairman; Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson; Lou Jacobs, Delaware North CEO; Arkansas District 24 Senator Keith Ingram and David Wolf, Southland president and general manager.
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several other state and local elected leaders attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Today’s announcement by Southland Casino Hotel and Delaware North contin- ues the extraordinary success story of this company,” Hutchinson said. “Southland has brought tourism, revenue, and jobs to Crittenden County and the state of Arkan- sas since 1956, and I wish them well as they continue to grow.”
The expansion project has allowed Delaware North to continue and enhance the positive impact that Southland has on the state’s economy and the support it provides to many worthwhile community organizations in the region, including Ar- kansas State University Mid-South in West Memphis, East Arkansas Family Health Center and Mid-South Food Bank.
Currently, Southland is estimated to have a total economic impact – via employ- ment, operational spending, charitable giv- ing and taxes paid to the state, Crittenden County and City of West Memphis – of
$311 million annually.
Southland opened in 1956 and became
one of the most popular greyhound race- tracks in the country. Delaware North completed its purchase of the property in 1976 when it was known as Southland Greyhound Park.
Under Delaware North’s ownership, major milestones at Southland have includ- ed the introduction of electronic games of skill in 2006; an $11 million, 200-ma- chine expansion in 2012; and a $38 million expansion in 2015, which added 41,000 square feet and brought the number of gaming machines to 1,700.
In 2018, Arkansas passed an amend- ment allowing full casino operations and Southland added traditional live table games. With the introduction of the ex- panded casino and soon-to-open hotel, the property is being rebranded Southland Ca- sino Hotel in 2022. Through its divisions, Delaware North operates more than 25 lodging properties.

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