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Arkansas Online Sports Betting: Updates for Legal Sportsbook Apps

Updated: February 21, 2023 | Author: Mitchell South

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Mobile sports betting appears to be on the horizon for Arkansans. In February 2022, online sports betting was approved by a key Arkansas committee but will need final approval from a full committee prior to official legalization.

If online betting on sports in the state is legalized as expected, it could mean an influx of Arkansas sportsbooks including DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. It will also mean Arkansas sports bettors can place wagers on professional sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and potentially even the NCAA from within their state lines.

If mobile sportsbooks become available, there won’t be any need for Arkansans to travel to nearby Louisiana or Tennessee to place wagers from their mobile device. Sports fans can simply sit in the comfort of their home in Little Rock, for example, and place bets on the Arkansas Razorbacks and other sports teams they follow.

Legal sports betting is currently available at casinos in Arkansas. After the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned on May 14, 2018, each state in the US can create its own laws and regulations for sports betting. Subsequently, bettors in Arkansas have been enjoying legalized retail sports wagering since July 1, 2019.

The first bet was placed at the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. All betting in Arkansas is over-the-counter and mobile wagering is not allowed, however that could change in 2022.

Arkansas residents have also been able to bet on daily fantasy sports (DFS) since 2017. Outside of sports, there is a state lottery as well as horse racing and greyhound racing.

Arkansas Sports Betting: Key Info

Legal gambling in Arkansas has taken shape over the last 15 years. ‘Games of skill’ were approved in 2005, which allowed Oaklawn and Southland casino bettors to make bets on electronic games of skill. Video poker and other electronic table games were also authorized at those locations.

Sports Betting Legalized: 2018 (Retail), 2022 (Online)

Online Launch Date: TBD

Live Platforms: Online and Retail

Age Requirements: 21+

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act passed in 2008 allowing for the launch of a state lottery the following year. All proceeds go towards public education. There was a long break in legislative efforts surrounding gambling until 2017, when further steps were taken to allow for bingo and raffles to operate with proceeds going to charitable causes.

With PASPA overturned in 2018, sports wagering was approved more recently.

Arkansas currently has three casinos in the state. The legal age to bet on sports in Arkansas is 21, however, you can bet on horses if you are 18.

Arkansas Sports Betting Latest News and Updates

Check back for the latest news and updates surrounding Arkansas sports betting.

  • March 4, 2022: Mobile sports betting is allowed in Arkansas as of March 4, however no platforms are currently available. The BetSaracen app is expected to become available soon.
  • February 22, 2022: The Arkansas Joint Budget Committee has approved the subcommittee rules for online sports betting, including the 51% profit share requirement for state casinos. Online sports betting can begin after a 10-day filing period, with online sportsbooks potentially launching in Arkansas before March Madness begins on Sunday, March 13.
  • February 17, 2022: An Arkansas legislative subcommittee voted to approve online sports betting. Sportsbooks partnered with Arkansas casinos will be required to share 51% of all profits with the casinos, a rule that multiple sports betting sites operators opposed. Online Arkansas sports betting still needs to be approved by a full committee vote before its officially legalized.
  • February 16, 2022: The scheduled meeting for January 28 was pushed back to February 17, and state legislators will now attempt to launch Arkansas online sports betting in time for March Madness.
  • January 3, 2022: The Arkansas Racing Commission has officially approved new rules to legalize and regulate online sportsbooks. The Arkansas State Legislature  will meet on January 28, and if the new online sports betting rules are approved, mobile wagering could go-live in time for Super Bowl LVI.
  • November 18, 2021: Arkansas regulators are advancing rules to allow between three to eight online sportsbooks in the state. There is no official launch date yet, but this could mean Arkansas would become the first Southern state with online sports betting and retail casino sportsbooks.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Arkansas?

Yes, online Arkansas sports betting was legalized in February 2022. Retail sports betting has been legal and available since 2018, but mobile sports betting is just about to get underway in the Natural State.

We’re keeping this page updated with all the latest information, and while online sports betting isn’t currently available through any operators, that will change soon. Make sure you check back here soon to find out when online sports betting becomes available.

Arkansas Online Sportsbooks: Projected Betting Sites & Apps

Determining which betting sites and mobile apps will enter the Arkansas market is a difficult task. The 51% profit sharing rule for casinos created by state regulators will scare off many major operators, potentially even big names like DraftKings and FanDuel.

As of now, the only operator anticipated to launch an online platform is BetSaracen. While mobile Arkansas sports betting is allowed to start as of March 4, 2022, no betting sites have become available, and it’s unclear which major sportsbooks are eager to enter this emerging market. Stay tuned for more information on the projected betting sites and apps.

Where to Bet on Sports in Arkansas

Established in 1904, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is Arkansas’s oldest casino. It is the home to the Arkansas Derby, a prep race for the Kentucky Derby. Currently, it is the only location with sports betting in Arkansas, however, Southland Casino Racing should have it soon as well, as will the new casinos to be built in the near future.

Casino/Racetrack Sportsbook Address Hours
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort Oaklawn Race & Sports Book 2705 Central Ave.
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Saracen Casino Resort Saracen Casino Resort 1 Saracen Resort Dr, Pine Bluff, AR 71601 24/7
Southland Casino Southland Casino 1550 Ingram Blvd, West Memphis, AR 72301 24/7

Each of these casinos are able to partner with two online sportsbooks, however, sports betting sites partnering with these casinos are required to share 51% of their profits. This could have an impact on the number of major operators willing to launch their online sportsbooks in Arkansas.

Legal Arkansas Sports Betting History

Sports betting has a long and storied history in Arkansas, but the timeline for legal wagering dates back to 2018 when the US Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

Once the Supreme Court gave US states the ability to regulate sports betting, Arkansas was quick to act. Arkansas voters approved Amendment 100 in November 2018, which authorized in-person sports betting at local casinos. Despite expediting the process for in-person wagering at brick-and-mortar shops, online Arkansas sports betting would remain illegal until 2022.

The Arkansas Racing Commission first established rules to allow online sports betting in December 2021. The most intriguing aspect of these rules and regulations is a 51% profit sharing requirement for sportsbooks partnering with local casinos. Sportsbooks are required to partner with a casino to launch online in Arkansas, however, they must split 51% of their profits with the casino they partner with.

The 51% profit sharing rule was a point of contention as Arkansas state legislators, the Arkansas Racing Commission, and major sportsbook operators worked to approve sports betting apps across the state. Nevertheless,  an Arkansas legislative subcommittee voted to approve online sports betting with the 51% profit sharing rule on February 17, 2022.

The Arkansas online sports betting bill needs to be approved by a full committee vote before online sports wagering is officially legalized. This is expected to happen in early 2022, and Arkansas sports betting apps could be available in time for March Madness.

Popular Sports to Bet On in Arkansas

When it comes to popular sports to bet on in Arkansas, there’s no doubt that college sports reign supreme.

The NCAA college basketball and college football leagues are extremely popular in Arkansas. This is largely due to the fact that there are no major league sports teams in Arkansas.

Arkansas Sports Teams

Here are some of the most popular Arkansas sports teams:

  • Arkansas Razorbacks
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions
  • Little Rock Trojans
  • Southern Arkansas Muleriders
  • Arkansas State Red Wolves

Bettors will be happy to learn that the state of Arkansas has very few restrictions for wagering on local college sports teams.

Arkansas Sports Betting FAQs

Looking for more information about Arkansas sports betting and more? We’ve got you covered below.

Is online gambling legal in Arkansas?

Yes, Arkansas state law has approved online sports betting, however it is currently unavailable. As of now, any form of mobile wagering is not up and running. The next best option is traveling to the Prairie State, where sports betting Illinois allows for mobile wagering.

Does Oaklawn have sports betting?

Yes. The Oaklawn Race & Sports Book was the first to accept a sports bet in Arkansas. They offer both teller and kiosk betting.

Can I play online poker in Arkansas?

Because mobile wagering is still not available and no legal poker venue has been established as of yet, options are limited in Arkansas for poker players. Global Poker is a sweepstakes site that falls into a grey area and does allow for residents to play online.

Can you use sports betting apps in Arkansas?

Not yet, but that is changing soon. An Arkansas legislative subcommittee voted to approve online sports betting in February 2022. Arkansas online sports betting could launch before the March Madness tournament.

Can you bet on college teams in Arkansas?

Yes, Arkansas sports bettors are allowed to wager on college teams, including in-state programs like the Arkansas Razorbacks.

You can track up-to-date data and analysis of monthly Arkansas revenue reports, from sports betting handles to hold percentages.

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