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Arkansas Considering Mobile Betting
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Arkansas Considering Mobile Betting

by Ryan BurksNovember 15, 2021

Statewide mobile sports betting could soon be coming to Arkansas, and an official vote is expected soon. The Arkansas Racing Commission oversees sports betting for the state, and it is expected to hear arguments to change the current law.

Amendment 100 was passed back in 2018 that allowed the state of Arkansas to offer sports betting, but only at licensed casinos. Voters in Arkansas had to approve Amendment 100 before it could go into effect, but this new rule change doesn’t need voter approval.

The Arkansas Racing Commission will have the first decision to make regarding whether or not the rule will continue moving forward. There would be a 30-day period that comes as the next step and the public would be able to comment on the proposal.

There is a chance that mobile sports betting could be in place before the Super Bowl, but that would require this process to get going immediately. The three casinos in Arkansas would be able to offer mobile betting through its own app, or could partner with an outside company.

The total sports betting handle in Arkansas since 2018 is just $86 million. Nearly $12 million in tax revenue has been generated through sports betting, but mobile betting will cause those numbers to jump.

Only 3 Current Casinos

The gaming industry in Arkansas is still relatively small as there are only three licenses that are currently in operation. The three casino properties are Oaklawn Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, and Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis.

All three of these properties do offer sports betting currently, but would welcome the opportunity to launch mobile betting. A fourth casino is coming to the state of Arkansas, and it will be located near the state capital of Little Rock.

Arkansas has not been competitive with other states in terms of the total betting handle each month, but that will change with mobile betting. This state has also seen several of its neighbors launch mobile betting, taking more business from the state.

Cherokee Nation Wins the Battle

A new casino property in Pope County has been in the works for months, and it has eventually turned into quite the legal battle. The Gulfside Casino Partnership was initially given rights to that license, but it was challenged by the Cherokee Nation.

The Arkansas Supreme Court actually had to get involved in the battle and it favored the Cherokee Nation over Gulfside. This was a crushing blow to the casino partnership out of Louisiana, but construction had not yet begun when the decision from the court was announced.

The Cherokee Nation Businesses will now have the rights to that license, and the Arkansas Racing Commission approved that license at the most recent meeting. According to reports, the new casino will be built by Legends Resort & Casino LLC.

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About The Author
Ryan Burks
Ryan has been writing sports betting content and industry news pieces for more than 3 years. He stays on top of all of the latest industry news as well as providing sports betting strategy articles and opinion pieces. Ryan is a former college basketball player and someone that continues to participate in sports to this day. He is a die-hard fan of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks and also roots for the Fighting Illini. Ryan currently resides in Illinois.