Arkansas Online Sports Betting

At the present time, Arkansas online sports betting is not available. While retail sports betting has been legal since 2018, online options have been met with strong opposition in the past. The Arkansas Racing Commission is working on a plan that could eventually change this stance.

Right now, there are four retail locations approved to accept wagers on sporting events with only three up and running with live sportsbooks. 

Bettors in the state are allowed to bet on collegiate sporting events, and that has helped create some momentum in the market. 

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Arkansas Sportsbooks

All of the Arkansas sports betting must be done in person, and all the wagers must be placed at licensed retail sportsbooks in the state. Currently, there are just three retail books open. There is fourth casino and sportsbook project in the works near Russellville.

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.

This is why the state’s racing commission is considering a change in the current rules. More and more state lawmakers also agree that it could be time for a change. If the Arkansas Racing Commission rules in favor of online sports betting, the next step of the process would be a 30-day public comment window.

Next, there would have to be a formal commission vote and approval from a legislative committee. If the entire process comes off without a hitch, legal mobile sports betting in Arkansas could go live in early February of next year. The big target date for launch for be ahead of the NFL’s Super Bowl on Feb. 13.

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. However, that is something that many state lawmakers would like to add. 

Summary

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 revised with the current effort. They have not been changed since they were put in place in 2019. The fourth retail sportsbook location would also expand in-state sports betting options. 

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