Online Betting Approved in Arkansas

The Arkansas Joint Budget Committee held a meeting on Tuesday morning, and sports betting was one of the topics. It was announced early Tuesday morning that the Joint Budget Committee approved new sports betting rules, and it will lead to legal online sports betting in the state.

According to a report from the meeting, there was no debate before these rules were approved, and online sports betting could be available soon. Casinos that wish to offer an online sportsbook must wait ten days, but then they will be able to get those sportsbooks up and running.

The Arkansas Racing Commission approved online sports betting rules a few months ago, but it took longer than expected for the rules to become official. The initial goal was to offer sports betting by the Super Bowl, but mobile sports betting will be available by March Madness.

There is an extra incentive to launch sports betting as quickly as possible since the SEC Tournament will begin on March 9. This state is not home to any professional teams, but the Arkansas Razorbacks are extremely popular throughout the state.

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Will Operators Want to Launch?

Since there wasn’t any debate during the meeting on Tuesday morning, that also means that there were no rule changes that took place. This is disappointing for national sportsbook operators as they were hoping for a chance in some of the laws.

According to the rules, national sportsbook operators will have to pay a tax rate of 51% to the casinos that they have partnered with. Arkansas will be the first such state to have this law in place, and it has not made operators happy.

It will likely take some time before operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel seek out a license in the state. Some of the smaller national operators might stay out of the Arkansas sportsbooks list entirely as they don’t want to pay this fee.

Saracen Should Have the Jump

All three of the current casinos in Arkansas will be able to offer online sports betting, and the fourth casino will have this opportunity as well. According to recent statements and reports, it appears that only one casino is currently looking to launch a mobile app.

The Saracen Casino Resort has been working behind the scenes on a new mobile app, and “BetSaracen” will likely be the first online sports betting option in the state. Saracen will still be able to partner with an online operator then, but they might want to get their own product off the ground first.

Oaklawn Racing Casino does not have any plans to offer a mobile sports betting app soon as it currently plans to launch during the third quarter. The Southland Casino has not yet made any official comment about an online sports betting launch date, but it will not be able to get off the ground before Saracen.

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