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Southland Casino Hotel Opens In ‘Murder City USA’

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • The Southland Casino Hotel has completed a $320 expansion ‘making it the premier Mid-South casino destination’.
  • The Southland Casino Hotel is better known as the former Southland dog track.
  • The property is located in West Memphis, Arkansas–a fixture at the top of the ‘most dangerous city in America’ list.

Those of you who enjoy murder, drug trafficking, violent crime and poverty with your casino gaming now have the ideal vacation destination! That would be the newly remodeled venue formerly known as the Southland Dog Track and now the Southland Casino Hotel. The Southland Casino Hotel is located in the bustling tourist destination of West Memphis, Arkansas. The only previous mention of West Memphis, Arkansas on this website was in an article where we noted that even a dump like Tunica, Mississippi is a better gaming option:

That’s a much better option than heading to West Memphis, Arkansas where the Southland Dog Track is the only game in town and you’ll find yourself in one of the murder capitals of the US.

The entire Memphis area is dangerous and a frequent top choice on lists like ‘The Top 30 Worst Places to Live in the United States’. Spoiler alert–the BBQ is better in Kansas City and you’re much less likely to get mugged:

Residents here have a 1 in 41 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime, making it the most dangerous city to live in. Nearly 7% of its homes and businesses will be in 100-year flood plains within the next 30 years. The historic districts, restaurants, and pockets of southern hospitality may be big pluses in Memphis, but the crime and climate issues are a deterrent.

Among other things, Memphis has an unemployment rate a full percentage point over the national average. The median household income is $41, 864–$23k less than the National median. Of course, casinos are illegal in Tennessee. That means you’ll have to go to the mid-South equivalent of Macau–minus the money and power–by heading across the bridge to West Memphis, Arkansas.

How bad is West Memphis? This little chart is one of endless examples. Keep in mind that Arkansas has the 5th highest murder rate in the United States at 13 per 100,000. Those silly people in Utah obviously don’t know what fun is–they have a murder rate of 2.9 per 100K, putting them near the bottom at #45. Now take a look at West Memphis’ murder rate compared to Arkansas and the US average (which also isn’t much to be proud of):

West Memphis, Arkansas

This chart ends in 2018 but don’t think that things have improved. They did for a while, for which the various local politicians rushed to take credit. In 2021, ‘most major crimes were down double digits’ as of April. You know where else violent crime was down double digits in early 2021? Pretty much everywhere–that was the nadir of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the latest assessment of the carnage:

According to the most recent data from the FBI, the total crime rate in West Memphis is 7,027.5 per 100,000 people. That’s 199.55% higher than the national rate of 2,346.0 per 100,000 people and 113.90% higher than the Arkansas total crime rate of 3,285.3 per 100,000 people.

Keep in mind that the United States as a country is ranked as the 128th safest country in the world. If there has been any improvement in West Memphis, it might be because it has become increasingly difficult to find accurate crime data. That’s why the above chart ends in 2018. My guess is that they’ve been ‘cooking the books’ to get more murders counted in the Memphis metro scores and not their local scores. That’s one way to solve a problem. Very likely the ‘real’ West Memphis murder rate is closer to the 65 per 100K from 2018 than the 28 per 100K that the local government is claiming. Who can blame them? At 65 per 100k, West Memphis would be just outside of the top ten of the most violent cities *in the world*.

But don’t take my word for it….

Here’s the press release about the Southland Casino Hotel remodeling.

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