Arkansas Sports Betting: A Comprehensive Guide

In November 2018, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, Arkansas embraced sports betting. This pivotal moment led to the opening of retail sportsbooks in the state’s four casinos, with the first bets placed on July 1, 2019. It wasn’t until March 2022 that Arkansas introduced state-approved online sportsbooks, marking a significant expansion in the state’s sports betting landscape.

Key Rules and Regulations

  • Legal Age: Bettors must be 21 years or older to legally place bets in Arkansas.
  • Regulatory Body: The Arkansas Racing Commission oversees the sports betting industry.
  • Retail Sportsbooks: Arkansas has four casinos, each with its own retail sportsbook.
  • Taxation: Sports betting revenues are taxed at 13% on the first $150 million and 20% thereafter.
  • Online Sportsbooks: State-approved online sportsbooks, such as Betly Sportsbook and BET Saracen, were launched in March 2022. International platforms are also accessible.

Online Sports Betting in Arkansas

The state-approved online sports betting market began in March 2022, following the acceptance of a 51% revenue sharing rule by the Joint Budget Committee. Betly Sportsbook and BET Saracen are the primary online operators. This rule implies that any partnership with third-party apps like FanDuel and DraftKings would require these operators to share at least 50% of net online sports betting receipts with their casino partners.

Legal Sports Betting Venues

Arkansas offers a range of in-person sports betting options:

  • Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort
  • Saracen Casino
  • Southland Casino

These establishments provide diverse betting opportunities on various sports, including NCAA games, professional leagues, and more.

The Path to Arkansas Legal Sports Betting

  • May 2018 -The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, allowing states to legalize sports betting if they see fit.
  • November 2018 – The residents of Arkansas vote to legalize sports betting.
  • July 2019 – The state’s first sports bets are placed.
  • April 2021  – House Bill 1942 is passed that will look to permit online sports betting.
  • November 2021 – Arkansas Racing Commission votes to publish rules for online sports wagering and allow for a 30-day public comment period.
  • December 2021: Lawmakers voice opposition to a rule change that would give Arkansas casinos 51% of mobile sports betting profits.
  • December 30, 2021 – The Arkansas Racing Commission approved this rule change, clearing the way for approval from the joint legislative Rules Committee and Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
  • January 2022 – The 51% revenue sharing rule, is removed from the legislative agenda
  • February 2022 – A subcommittee agrees with the 51% rule for Arkansas online sports betting and is accepted by the Joint Budget Committee, allowing Arkansas mobile sports betting to launch in time for March Madness.
  • March 5, 2022 – Southland Racing Casino becomes the first operator to offer state-approved online sports betting in the state via its Betly online sportsbook. Yet, it’s not available on mobile.
  • April 8, 2022 – Southland Casino’s Betly online sportsbook (Android only) is the lone state-approved betting platform.
  • April 26, 2022 – Betly’s sportsbook app is enabled for iOS users.
  • May 10, 2022 – Saracen Casino’s BET Saracen app goes live.

Arkansas Sports Teams

While Arkansas doesn’t have professional sports teams, it boasts several minor league and college teams, including the renowned Arkansas Razorbacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sports betting legal in Arkansas?

Yes, when it comes to retail sportsbooks there are a few in-person options within the state of Arkansas and two state-approved online operators.

Can I use my mobile to bet on sports in Arkansas?

Yes, there are two state-approved options - Betly Sportsbook and BET Saracen - and international sportsbooks also accept wagers from bettors in Arkansas.

How old do I have to be to sports bet in Arkansas?

You must be at least 21 years of age to place bets within Arkansas.