Arkansas Sees a Thriving Sports Betting Market

Busy Sportsbook Next to Arkansas Logo and City
Arkansas was one of the first states to change its sports betting laws after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act was overturned. Fans in the Razorback State have been able to access sports betting in Arkansas since 2019.

However, mobile sports betting was not available until last year. The addition of mobile betting caused a huge spike in Arkansas sports betting activity. As a result, revenues from sports gambling have exploded in the state.

Keep reading to see the latest on online gambling in Arkansas and how it has been impacted by mobile betting.

Arkansas Sports Betting Laws

Dozens of states have created new sports betting laws in recent years. Arkansas was one of the first states to jump on the sports betting bandwagon.

Sports fans have been able to wager on many of their favorite teams at retail sportsbooks since 2019. Initially, only the three land-based casinos were able to accept sports betting wagers. The three casinos with sportsbooks in Arkansas are:

  • Saracen Casino Resort
  • Southland Casino
  • Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort

There are plans for a fourth casino in Arkansas. Voters in 2018 approved Pope County as a destination for the fourth casino.

The sports betting laws in Arkansas are not as strict as in many other states. For example, you can wager on in-state collegiate sporting events.

Other states, like New Jersey and Virginia, restrict betting on in-state collegiate events. Arkansas allows the practice and even allows betting on the Olympics. However, betting on non-collegiate amateur sports that are not sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee is prohibited.

Licensed operators may accept sports wagers in-person via betting stations. As of 2022, sportsbooks can also accept wagers through mobile betting apps.

Mobile Sports Betting in Arkansas

Smartphones have revolutionized a lot of activities in modern life. One of the many industries to benefit from mobile devices is sports gambling.

With mobile sportsbooks, the latest betting odds on any sporting event are always at your fingertips. Licensed operators in Arkansas can now offer mobile betting apps. This change has made it easier than ever for bettors to access betting odds on their favorite sports teams.

All three casinos in the Razorback State have launched mobile betting apps. These apps were live just in time for the college football season.

College football fans certainly took advantage of the new gambling opportunities. As reported by KARK, Arkansas sportsbooks set a new record for total monthly betting handle in September.

Bettors wagered a total of $21.28 million in September of last year. This far surpassed the previous record of $12.6 million, which was set in June 2022. The massive betting handle resulted in $417,000 in tax revenue for the state.

That record did not last long. According to the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), bettors set new records in October and November. The current record is now $30.5 million based on the latest information from the DFA.

Revenue from Sports Betting in Arkansas

Sports betting is a lot of fun, and it can be profitable when done correctly. Gambling can also earn lots of money for operators and state regulators.

Sportsbooks can earn a profit from every wager you place. Operators use a vig to ensure they always come out on top. This also helps them ensure they have even money on both sides of a wager.

In-person sportsbooks, like the ones in Arkansas, can also earn money in other ways. By offering food and drink in their sports betting lounges, operators can earn money through non-gambling operations.

State and local agencies can earn money from sportsbooks as well. Operators have to pay a fee to obtain and maintain a license. Also, states can tax revenue earned from sports gambling.

Cost of Obtaining a Sports Betting License

There are currently only three casinos in Arkansas and all three of them operate sportsbooks. Arkansas casino operators had to pay a pretty penny to obtain their sports gambling licenses.

According to the American Gaming Association, new gambling operators in Arkansas have to pay a licensing fee of up to $250,000. This will allow them to operate both casino games and offer sports wagers.

Of course, paying the licensing fee is just one part of the process. Operators also have to regularly pay taxes on their revenues. Revenue from sports betting is taxed at the rate of 13% if it is less than $150 million.

If the revenue exceeds $150 million then it is taxed at a 20% rate. Revenue is determined based on the net casino gaming receipts for the operator.

How Does Arkansas Use Tax Revenue From Sports Betting?

The recent boom in sports betting in Arkansas has been great news for the gambling regulators in the state. It has led to an increase in gambling revenue that will help fund several state programs.

Using tax revenue from gambling to fund state programs is a common practice in the US. But each state allocates tax revenue differently.

In Arkansas, the revenue from gambling taxes is divided into four areas.

  • Arkansas General Revenue Fund – 55%
  • Casino Host City – 19.5%
  • Arkansas Racing Commission Purse and Awards – 17.5%
  • Casino Host County – 8%

The casino is not the only party that needs to worry about paying taxes. Gambling winnings are considered taxable income in the Razorback State.

What Is Next for Arkansas Gambling?

The gambling industry has undergone a lot of changes in recent years. Many of the recent developments have been positive and allowed the industry to grow in new and exciting ways.

Arkansas bettors have more betting options than ever before. Three straight record-breaking months prove that bettors are taking advantage of these new opportunities.

Sports gambling in Arkansas has grown significantly in recent months, and it has a lot of room to keep growing, too.

Will New Operators Set Up Shop?

Currently, there are only three permanent casinos in Arkansas. There are currently plans to open a fourth casino. However, there have been legal challenges surrounding this planned gambling site.

This new casino is going to be built in Russellville, Arkansas. The bid for the new casino project was won by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

Several legal challenges have slowed construction efforts. Currently, there is no opening date set for the fourth casino in Arkansas.

How Did Sportsbooks Fair in December?

The DFA only recently released the sports betting revenue information for November. Once again, the record for the total sports betting handle was broken.

December could be a different story. The Razorbacks only played one football game in December. Arkansas won the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against the Kansas Jayhawks.

Without the added revenue from betting on college games, revenue in December could be lower than in previous months.

Luckily, college basketball is alive and well in the Razorback State. Arkansas is ranked in the top 25 and could make another run in the NCAA Tournament.

Another beacon of hope is the NFL playoffs. The postseason is an exciting time for bettors and sportsbook operators. Even if the December handle falls short, the early months of 2023 should make up for it.

Bet On Sports Online

Arkansas started offering regulated mobile sports betting in 2022. However, savvy sports bettors have been able to bet on their favorite sports for years with unregulated sportsbooks.

Sports betting operators that are licensed by offshore gambling commissions can often accept bettors from the US. This includes bettors from the Razorback State. You can even use mobile sports betting apps from these operators to access the latest betting odds at any time.

Our experts have spent years searching for the best sports betting sites. We have found plenty of awesome sportsbooks that accept bettors from Arkansas. All you need to do is sign up for one of our recommended sportsbooks and you can start betting today.

BetUS is the sportsbook our gambling experts recommend the most for bettors in Arkansas. This sports betting site offers odds on dozens of sports, including college and professional football. It also has a great user interface with awesome features, including an odds tracker.

Another sportsbook that is highly recommended by our experts is Bovada. Members of this sportsbook also have access to one of the best US casinos. You can redeem exclusive welcome bonuses for extra casino or sports betting funds.

BetOnline is also a fantastic sportsbook that is perfect for sports fans from Arkansas. The customer service department at this betting site is one of the best we have ever seen. Also, it has a great welcome bonus and offers awesome sports betting competitions.

How Will Sports Betting in Arkansas Fair in 2023?

Arkansas sports betting reached new heights in 2022. The addition of mobile wagering led to at least three straight record-breaking months. With the NFL playoffs and March Madness right around the corner, the current betting record may not stand for long.

Find out more about sports betting by reading our latest sports betting blogs.

Posted in: Gambling LawsSports Betting

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