Coronavirus Precautions Close Arkansas’ Three Casinos

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered the state's three casinos to close through March in response to the coronavirus. Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs (l.) had run races without spectators the previous weekend.

Arkansas’ three casinos–Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Southland Racing Casino in West Memphis and Saracen Casino Annex in Pine Bluff—were ordered by Governor Asa Hutchinson to close on Tuesday, March 17 through the end of the month to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Oaklawn had already closed its casino and sportsbook on Monday morning. It held horseraces the prior weekend without on-site spectators. Officials said the property’s 1,000 employees would continue to receive full pay and benefits during the closure.

Southland officials closed the greyhound racetrack Tuesday morning until further notice.

The Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma shuttered its Saracen Casino Annex and Q-Store in Pine Bluff on Tuesday, March 17 for two weeks. Quapaw Chairman John Berrey said the closure will affect 300 employees. “It’s fluid, but right now we’re paying people for two weeks. We want to be smart and protective,” Berrey said. He noted construction will continue on the Saracen Casino Resort for now.