First Mobile Sportsbooks Launch in Arkansas

Three Casinos in Arkansas
Sports fans in Arkansas have something new to cheer about. The Razorbacks made it all the way to the Elite 8 in the 2022 March Madness tournament. Since then, the state has launched its first two mobile sportsbooks. A third mobile sports betting operator could also be available soon.

Arkansas first allowed online sports betting in March, with BetSaracen being the first sportsbook available online. BetSaracen was quickly followed by Betly. In recent weeks, both Betly and BetSaracen have launched the state’s first mobile sportsbooks as well. Oaklawn hopes to join the electronic sports betting world with a website and sports betting app of its own.

Unlike some other states, Arkansas does allow in-state college betting. That is great news for the many SEC football fans in the state. Now that BetSaracen’s betting app is live, Android users can access mobile sports betting. The Betly sportsbook app is currently only available for iOS users.

Betly Becomes the First Mobile Sportsbook in Arkansas

Betly was the second online sportsbook to launch in Arkansas. However, the popular Delaware North brand was the first to offer a mobile betting app in the state. Betly’s app is currently limited to Apple users, however. It first became available on April 26th.

In order to enter Arkansas, Betly had to partner with Southland Casino, which is located in West Memphis, AR. The casino and racetrack first opened in 1956 and was the first venue to offer greyhound racing in the state. Southland Casino began offering live table games and slot machines in 2019 following amendments to the Arkansas constitution.

Part of the reason Betly was able to launch its mobile betting first was because it already existed in West Virginia. The prior experience made it easier for the Betly mobile app to be developed for use in Arkansas. Betly has not commented yet on the possibility of making a mobile sportsbook app for Android users.

BetSaracen Offers Both Android and iOS Sportsbooks

Android users in Arkansas had to wait longer for a mobile sportsbook, but that wait is finally over. Earlier this week, BetSaracen launched its mobile sports betting app. The sportsbook app is available for both Apple and Android users. Sports bettors in the state may already be familiar with BetSaracen’s product. It was the first online sportsbook in the state.

BetSaracen is the sportsbook brand for the Saracen Casino Resort. The casino resort is located in Pine Bluff, AR. It is owned and operated by the Quapaw Nation and originally opened in 2019. Saracen Casino Resort also offers a retail sportsbook on-site.

Despite being the first online sportsbook, BetSaracen came in second in the race for a mobile betting app. This was due in part to the sports betting operator having to build its platform from the ground up. For now, it is the only mobile sportsbook available to Android users in Arkansas.

Oaklawn Hopes to Have Sports Betting App Soon

Betly and BetSaracen are currently the only online and mobile sportsbooks in Arkansas. However, they will not be alone for long. Oaklawn Racing Casino has stated that it is planning to launch its online and mobile sports betting operations this summer.

Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is located in Hot Springs, AR. The gaming operator currently offers a retail sportsbook at its casino. It has been reported that the online and mobile sportsbooks will both use the Oaklawn brand. No launch date has been announced for either the online or mobile Oaklawn sportsbook.

According to the Arkansas Business Journal, there are other gaming operators that could release mobile sportsbooks as well. Major developers such as Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel all have connections in the state. Caesars, for instance, will soon be part of the fourth casino in Arkansas, the River Valley Casino. The casino is under construction in Russellville, AR.

Conclusion

At the start of 2022, Arkansas did not allow any forms of online or mobile sports betting. Now, the Natural State has two online and mobile sportsbooks. Betly and BetSaracen were the first two operators to launch online sportsbooks. They were also the first two sports betting operators to offer mobile betting options.

This year has been full of changes for sports betting in Arkansas. The changes are likely to continue as more sports betting operators open up shop in the state. Currently, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is developing its electronic sportsbook options. Other major gaming operators have been connected to Arkansas as well.

Saracen Hotel-Casino Holds “Soft Opening” to the Public

For months, casino gambling fans in Arkansas have awaited the opening of the Saracen Hotel-Casino, located in Pine Bluffs. Initially, the casino’s owners claimed the new gambling venue would open on October 1st. These owners changed things up and held a “soft opening” to the public on Friday evening.

Saracen Casino Logo

That’s right! Arkansas’ newest casino opened up last night. Let’s take a quick look at the road to get this casino built, and why its owners have decided to open it early.

What We Know About the Saracen Casino

For many years, lawmakers in Arkansas set strict laws on the gambling industry. Most forms of traditional gambling were banned here, including casinos. Last year, however, politicians in Arkansas passed a new bill that allows brick and mortar casinos to operate.

This bill allows for four new casinos to open in the state. The Quapaw Native American Tribe quickly secured one of the casino licenses being handed out by the state. The tribe named this casino the Saracen Hotel-Casino after the Quapaw Chief, Saracen.

Officials took their time opening this new venue. Pine Bluff city council members even tried to ban smoking in this casino. Eventually, this proposal was shot down.

For months, this new casino in Pine Bluffs has been under construction. Tribe officials revealed that it will feature an 80,000 square foot casino floor, a 13-floor hotel, and several restaurants. According to the Quapaw Tribe, it will be the best gambling establishment in the state.

It’s exciting news for gambling fans in Arkansas. For months, the casino’s opening date was scheduled for October 1st. Yesterday, to the surprise of many, it was opened to the public, who had the opportunity to see for themselves what’s available here.

Saracen Hotel-Casino “Soft-Opened” On Friday Night

It seems like the Quapaw Tribe can’t hold in their excitement with this new gambling venue. Yesterday, the tribe held a “soft opening” to the public. It ran from 6 pm to 11 pm. Visitors had access to all of the casino’s gambling options and a full-service bar.

Carlton Saffa, project manager of the Saracen Hotel-Casino, believes that the casino is ready to officially start operating.

“The Quapaw came from Pine Bluff; the Quapaw have returned to Pine Bluff and there’s an obligation to take care of their original homeland,” he said. “Three months ago, the site we are standing on was an open field, and here we are today with a full-fledged casino, that’s essentially ready to go.”

From what we’ve seen, the soft opening was a major success. Visitors had the opportunity to see everything that this new casino has to offer. Many now believe that it will grow to become the most popular gambling venue in Arkansas.

Sports Betting Could Soon Become Available at the Saracen Casino

Today, 19 states have officially legalized sports gambling. Arkansas lawmakers approved a sports betting bill earlier this year and have begun allowing casinos to offer sports gambling options.

Hope is that this casino can soon begin offering sports betting. Back in July, the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort officially offered the first legal sports wagers in the state. The Quapaw tribe believes that the Saracen Casino will be granted a license to offer sports wagering odds very soon.

Unfortunately, online sports wagering is still prohibited in Arkansas. Only licensed land-based casinos are eligible to host sportsbooks. Some believe that in time, the state government will choose to legalize online and mobile wagering after seeing the revenue potential.

The Saracen Hotel-Casino represents a major upgrade to Arkansas’ casino industry. There are a huge number of different gambling options and soon, a sports betting platform. The official grand opening of this casino will take place on October 1st at 11 am.

Make sure to stay tuned for more Arkansas casino news over the next few months!