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Arkansas State Panel to Consider Legalizing Mobile Sports Betting

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Nov/12/2021

The Arkansas Racing Commission plans to consider a rule change next week that would legalize mobile sports betting in the state, according to Arkansas Online.

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Arkansas voters previously gave the green light for casinos to allow the activity on their premises.  Currently, the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, the Saracen Casino Resort, and the Southland Casino have licenses to offer domestic sports betting.  Oaklawn does have a sportsbook open with 24/7 kiosks.  That venue is located just outside of Hot Springs but an hour away from Arkansas' biggest city Little Rock.

If the rule change proceeds, officials expect the full approval process – which includes a 30-day public comment period, the commission’s formal vote on whether to approve the change and legislative approval – to be complete in late January or early February. That means Arkansans could be placing mobile sports wagers by February, maybe not in time for the Super Bowl but perhaps for March Madness.  Southeastern states are tending to permit wagering on in-state schools, and Arkansas is no exception.  The Razorbacks were entering this new season at 30-1 odds to win the NCAA Men's College Basketball Championship.

It is not immediately clear if there is a strong enough appetite for mobile sports betting.  Three of Arkansas's neighbors to their south and east - Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee - each offer gambling on sports.  Only Mississippi does not offer mobile but lawmakers are also considering that option.   

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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“You freakin’ idiots … Selling out your own students who you’re supposed to be caring for,” said Ramsey. “The No. 2 addiction in North America today — and fastest growing addiction in North America today — is online gambling. It starts with the sports betting as a gateway drug.”

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