An artist's rendering promotes a proposed "Saracen Casino Resort" in Arkansas. Saracen was a Quapaw leader who is buried in Pine Bluff, where the tribe hopes to build a casino. Image: Quapaw Nation

Quapaw Nation reaches deal to sell land as it pursues casino in Arkansas

The Quapaw Nation plans to sell some of its land in Arkansas now that the tribe's gaming dreams are finally being realized.

The tribe reached a deal to sell the 160-acre property to the Little Rock Port Authority, The Arkansas Times reported. The pending acquisition ends long-running speculation about a possible casino on the land.

"We're glad it worked out," Chairman John Berrey told The Times.

Berrey at one point was willing to sign a no-casino pledge for the land in Little Rock, which lies within a former reservation. But now that the tribe is moving forward with plans for a development elsewhere in Arkansas, the property is no longer of interest.

The proposed Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff would also be located on ancestral land. Chief Saracen, a leader of the Quapaw people, was laid to rest in the city in 1832 at the age of 97.

The tribe has won local endorsement to operate the facility, which was made possible after voters approved Issue 4 on the ballot last November. The project still needs a license from the state of Arkansas.

The tribe operates two casinos in Oklahoma, including one whose property stretches into Kansas and Missouri.

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Quapaws strike deal to sell land at Little Rock Port (The Arkansas Times January 16, 2019)

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