Unfortunately, Arkansas online sports betting is not available at this time, and it will likely remain that way for years to come.
There are just four retail locations approved to accept wagers on sporting events, but only three of them are currently in operation.
Bettors in the state are allowed to bet on collegiate sporting events, and that has helped create some momentum in the market.
All of the Arkansas sports betting must be done in person, and all the wagers must be placed at four properties in the state. Currently, there are just three casinos open as a legal battle has ensued before the fourth property can open.
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort accepted the first wager in July 2019, and Southland Casino Racing launched in January 2020. The Saracen Casino Resort was the third retail location to start accepting wagers on sporting events.
Since Arkansas online sports betting is not available, it has shut out some of the top online sportsbooks in the industry. This is also a huge burden for bettors as many don’t want the hassle of trying to travel to a casino to place a bet.
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AR Sports Betting Rules
One thing that Arkansas did get right was allowing betting on collegiate sporting events, including betting on in-state teams. The Arkansas Razorbacks are the most popular college program in the state, especially when it comes to football.
Betting on professional and international sporting events is also offered in Arkansas, but each sportsbook can choose which markets to feature. There are currently no esports markets in the state, but there is not a law prohibiting this from taking place.
AR Sports Betting Regulations
AR sports betting was able to launch rather quickly as there wasn’t’ a long legal process to change the old gambling laws. A referendum was put in front of voters in November 2018, and that measure passed, changing the state constitution to allow for sports betting.
The Arkansas Racing Commission was put in charge of the sports betting industry, and that group regulates each operator and casino. Sports betting revenue is taxed at a rate of 13% for the first $150 million and 20% after that.
The sports betting vote in 2018 did not include AR online sports betting, but that is something that lawmakers would like to change in the future.
Until the state allows Arkansas online betting, bettors in the state will continue to have to travel to one of the casinos or racetracks to place a wager. Leaving out online betting is also hurting the handle and revenue numbers, leaving Arkansas as small sports betting market.
The current AR sports betting rules could be revisited at any time, but they have not been changed since they were put in place in 2019. The fourth in-person location should be completed in either 2021 or 2022, giving bettors four retail options.