Home » Arkansas boosts revenue with mobile sports betting as casinos expand digitally

Arkansas boosts revenue with mobile sports betting as casinos expand digitally

Sports betting was officially legalized in Arkansas in 2018, when Arkansans voted for casino gaming.

Despite the 2018 legalization, the first sports wager was not placed until July 2019.

Initially when Arkansans approved this, the only way to place a legal sports wager in the state was to physically go to one of the state’s three casinos.

In 2022, the Racing Commission said that they were going to allow the casinos to accept sports wagers via apps.

The regulations for this are that the individual would have to be at least 21 years of age and physically within the state of Arkansas for these apps to work.

We spoke to Scott Hardin, spokesman for the Department of Finance and Administration who said, “When you drive into the state and pass that state line, the technology recognizes that you are within the state of Arkansas and then you can place a sports wager. During big events like the Super Bowl, or March Madness, we see many come into Arkansas from other states to use this technology. Ultimately that revenue that the casino makes, once taxed, goes to the state.”

Casinos pay 13% on all their revenue up to $150 million dollars for the year.

Once they hit $150 million dollars, then the tax rate goes up to 20%.

All the tax revenue is then collected by the state and is distributed to the state, live horse racing, and cities and counties where the casinos are located.

When sports betting went to the mobile option, it made it more accessible to many across the state.

Instead of having to make a round trip drive of what would be six hours to the nearest casino for many, they can now participate from the comfort of their own home.

There has been a significant increase in 2022 from $186 million to $404 million in 2023.

This year alone, they have accrued an estimated revenue of $1.5 million per day.

Carlton Saffa, CMO at Saracen Casino Resort, says “If we’re going to be Arkansas’ favorite sports book, and book close to two thirds of all sports bets in Arkansas, we better be booking things that are Arkansas specific.”

The three casinos in Arkansas are Saracen (Pine Bluff), Southland (West Memphis), Oaklawn (Hot Springs). A new location is in the works as well, in Pope County, as the Arkansas Racing Commission plans to meet soon about obtaining a county license.