The Saracen Casino Resort in Arkansas is on a roll! The venue hit record revenues in March and has done it again in April. It seems business is booming due to players feeling more comfortable being out and about the COVID-19 pandemic is hopefully coming to an end. For last month, the casino paid over $2 million in gambling taxes to the state, which is the most it has ever paid since opening.
In general, the first of the year is a buy time for casinos. Players are tired of being cooped up during the winter months and the tax refunds start coming in which triggers spending. This year, stimulus checks were also provided by the federal government, which gave people more money they could spend.
For months, the casino has struggled due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, now, more people are being vaccinated and the number of positive cases are down. In Arkansas, around 30% of residents have received a vaccination shot. Masks are not worn anymore, and people are getting out more often than they were before.
For the month of April, the casino brought in close to $16 million, before taking care of expenses and taxes. This total stems from slot game play, table games, and sports betting wagers. The casino pays a 13% tax rate which equaled to over $2 million last month. In March, the casino paid just over $1.8 million in taxes.
From the money supplied by the casino, 55% is used by the state. A total of 17.5% goes to racing purses and 19.5% goes to the city in which the casino operates. An additional 8% is set aside for the county.
According to the general manager of the casino, Matt Harkness, the growth shows that the decision to create the Pine Bluff casino was a smart one. Saracen is growing, says Harkness, and the property continues to develop from a physical and financial standpoint.
The casino was allowed to be constructed by the Quapaw Nation after voters approved gambling expansion efforts back in 2018. Because of that decision, the state has seen more revenues and jobs with continued growth over the past few months for the casino.
The COVID-19 Aftermath
Casinos across the United States are trying to deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 virus. The virus was not something anyone thought would ever happen in the US, from the number of infected to the shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. The past year has been an odd time and casinos have been one of many business types affected negatively by the virus.
Because so many people across the US have stayed at home and have been away from others, now seems to be a time when people are starting to travel. As more people become vaccinated, states have lifted restrictions which provides a sense of security for many residents.
Casinos across the nation are starting to see an uptick in travelers and the summer months are expected to get quite busy. It will be interesting to watch the Saracen Resort as well as other casinos as to how well they do in the coming months and if travelers are going to be spending in large amounts this summer.