Mobile Sports Betting to Start in Arkansas

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

The Legislature's Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday morning signed off on the Arkansas Racing Commission's proposed rule to allow mobile wagering in The Natural State.


The budget committee approved the racing commission's proposed rule without any debate.

The state’s casinos would have the opportunity to launch apps by the end of the first week of March, Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin said Thursday.

There is currently one sportsbook operating a retail business at a casino in the state. Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, formerly Oaklawn Park Race Track, is an American thoroughbred racetrack and casino in Hot Springs, Arkansas that was one of three venues given approval to operate a sportsbook.  SBTech, now owned by DraftKings, runs the book.

“March Madness, which has been raised several times in the review discussion, formally begins March 13 [when the teams selected are announced],” Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin said Thursday.

In addition to DraftKings, BetMGM was also expected to be approved for mobile sports wagering.  Up to eight mobile apps are anticipated.

At least one online sportsbook, Bet Saracen, should be available before the start of March Madness betting.  The site is named after the Saracen Casino Resort is a casino in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

There is one thing standing in the way:  Surprise, surprise......a lawsuit.

The national sportsbooks are fighting against a mandatory 51% revenue split for the casino operators.

- Gilbert Horowitz,

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