Arkansas has a large and successful gambling industry. Soon, the state’s casino and sports betting market may grow. New reports indicate that gambling revenue in Arkansas surged more than most analysts initially predicted.
That’s fantastic, and slightly unexpected news. Today, we’re going to talk about how much revenue was made from the gambling industry here. We’ll also check out how the state’s gambling industry may expand.
Additional Casinos Set to Open in Arkansas in 2020
Some are unaware that Arkansas has a large and profitable gaming industry. Perhaps this is because it wasn’t always the case. Throughout much of the 20th century, lawmakers in this state worked to ban most traditional forms of gambling.
Eventually, state politicians began allowing Class II casinos here. These gambling venues were only legally allowed to provide electronic gaming machines. In 2018, officials approved amendment four, which finally allowed Class III gambling venues to begin operating. In 2019, a law was passed to allow sports betting in the state.
Today, there are three different casinos operating in Arkansas. Two of them are racinos, which offer both horse race wagering and casino games. Recently, several tribes in the state began pushing to open gambling venues in Arkansas.
The Quapaw Nation has worked to open a new Arkansas casino for years. Plans for a massive 500,000 square foot casino have finally been approved. Reports indicate this venue will open to the public in June of 2020.
More tribes here are also working to obtain a casino license in this state. Revenue from casinos here continues to grow. Here’s how much these venues brought in last month.
Gambling Revenue in Arkansas Surpassed Expectations in February
Ever since Class III casinos were approved in Arkansas, gambling revenue has surged here. It’s fluctuated before, yet has generally increased for the past two years. Reports from the State Department of Finance and Administration just released new revenue figures and things are looking great.
New reports claim that tax revenue from casinos here came out to $2.8 million in February. That’s about $300,000 more than analysts predicted. Most felt that the coronavirus would significantly hurt the state’s gaming market.
Officials in the state expect to earn $31.2 million from the gambling industry. That’s considerably less than the $69.7 million brought in last year. Much of the reason for this decrease is the state’s new gambling tax structure.
As more casinos open here, revenue is likely to increase. Money earned from the gambling industry will help to find new highways and roads in the state.
Lawmakers are looking for new ways to generate revenue from this industry. Unfortunately, the coronavirus may end up significantly lowering the amount of money the state makes from legal gambling.
Coronavirus Expected to Lower US Gambling Revenue
Over the past few weeks, cases of the coronavirus in the United States have skyrocketed. More than 100 individuals have already been infected and more than ten have died. Many believe the actual number of people infected with the coronavirus is far higher.
This is showing no signs of slowing down, too. Health officials believe this will continue to spread around the country. Containment efforts have proved extremely difficult.
The coronavirus will certainly take a toll on the US gambling industry. Many will not be willing to visit a crowded casino if there’s a chance for infection. For this reason, gambling revenue projections in Arkansas have fallen dramatically.
Many also worry about the impact this virus will have on Las Vegas. This city relies heavily on its gambling industry. If no one is visiting the casinos here, the local economy will suffer significantly. State officials are already gearing up for a possible coronavirus outbreak.
Gambling revenue in Arkansas may drop as this virus spreads. Last month, however, things went better than expected.
Stay tuned for more US casino news over the next few months!