Casino events

A peek inside the expanded Southland Casino & Hotel

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) – After years of planning, Southland Casino & Hotel will welcome its first guests to an expanded 113,000 square foot casino.

The ambience is like a Las Vegas-style casino, and it certainly lives up to the hype.

“We have the latest technology here, so it’s going to be a game-changer,” Southland chief executive David Wolf said.

A total of 2,400 slot machines and 60 live table games will fill this space, along with 6 new restaurants, 4 bars and a VIP lounge.

While Southland has been made famous for its greyhound racing for the past 60 years, it has been reported that the racing portion of the casino will be phased out in December this year.

Outside the gaming complex will be a new 1,250-space car park – connected to a 300-room hotel, which will include 84 suites.

According to Wolf, the hotel will be the tallest building in Arkansas, outside of Little Rock.

“It’s been in the works for a long time here, so it’s a new era,” Wolfe said. “It’s great for Arkansas State, great for West Memphis.”

We are told that the addition of the casino and hotel will create 400, potentially 500 new jobs, making Southland the largest employer in Crittenden County.

“That will bring our workforce to around 1,400-1,500,” Wolf said.

Southland has already started hiring for these positions, and they are looking for professions across the entire casino and restaurant industry: chefs, hosts, baristas, servers, managers, bartenders, dealers, slot machine technicians and security, to name a few.

There will be weekly hiring events every Wednesday through March 9 at the Southland Kennel Club located on the 2nd floor mezzanine.

The operating company of Southland, Delaware North, asks applicants apply on their career site before arriving at hiring events.

Benefits for Southland positions include:

  • Base salary of $15/hr for shifts without tip; $10/hr for tip stations
  • Health, dental and vision insurance
  • 401(k) with business match
  • Holidays and public holidays
  • Company-paid chef training and certification
  • Free parking
  • Free meals during the shift

“There will definitely be an impact on our city,” West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon said. “Southland has always been great for the city of West Memphis, and with this new expansion, it shows just how great they are going to be.”

Mayor McClendon said he sees the potential for new businesses moving into the town to surround the wider Southland and also a wider tax base which will be directed towards town infrastructure and public services.

“The city needs it badly,” McClendon said. “We’re definitely going to take those dollars and make sure we’re protecting the city while building it.”

For Wolf, he said this massive expansion project is one of the highlights of his 40-year video game career.

“To be involved in this from start to finish and help not only the benefits that will help the employees but help the community, it’s very satisfying,” said the general manager.

The casino opens in April, although a specific date has yet to be finalized, and the hotel will open later this year.

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