Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs announced Thursday that it will now be known as Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort.
The name change comes ahead of legalized casino gaming in Arkansas, which voters approved via constitutional amendment in November. Last weekend, the state Racing Commission began the process of awarding Oaklawn and Southland Racing and Gaming in West Memphis full casino licenses under the amendment.
Commissioners were expected to issue the licenses by Monday.
In a news release, Oaklawn said it begin offering live craps and live blackjack on Monday, and it will continue offering slot games. At noon that day, Oaklawn General Manager Wayne Smith and city officials, along with Oaklawn senior management and local dignitaries, are scheduled to roll the first dice on live craps.
The casino will add sports betting in the following weeks.
“There has never been a more exciting time in Oaklawn’s history than right now,” President Louis Cella said in a news release. “We are already reaping the benefits of racing all the way through May 4 with amazing crowds and world-class racing. We couldn’t be more thrilled about our future as we continue to elevate Thoroughbred racing and strengthen regional tourism in Hot Springs and Arkansas.”
Following voter approval of the amendment, Oaklawn announced in November a $100 million expansion. Construction on 28,000 SF of additional gaming space, a 200-room luxury hotel and 14,000-SF multipurpose entertainment center begins in early May.