Last Updated Feb 15, 2022, 10:39 AM

Arkansas Looking to Expand with Mobile Sports Betting in the Natural State

Sportsbooks · Bonus Codes · Betting News · Special Update

Since July 2019, Arkansas sports betting has been legally launched in the state. At this time, retail sports betting is already available in the state. However, there is a question as to whether mobile sports betting will be able to launch this month, in addition to online sports betting in the state. 

If online and mobile sports wagering were to launch in Arkansas in February, it would be in time for this year’s March Madness. This could be a lucrative betting season nationwide, making it a great time for the state to launch sports betting in the online sphere.

As of this writing, residents of Arkansas are able to bet legally on sports using three retail sportsbooks. Yet, online sports betting has faced an uphill battle to launch in the Natural state. However, Daily Fantasy Sports sites allow users to legally play for real money in Arkansas. 

Back in November 2018, Arkansas sports betting was approved and it launched nine months later with retail sports betting. Now at three of the state’s casinos, there are three separate retail sportsbooks that accept legal sports bets in the state. At this time, these are the only places where residents can legally place their sports bets. 

But, there is potentially good news on the horizon for online and mobile sports betting in Arkansas. The Arkansas Racing Commission has chosen new rules that would allow for a gaming expansion in the state, including mobile sports betting statewide in the not too distant future.

This means that we could see mobile sports betting in Arkansas in the coming months. Many sportsbook operators are hoping to launch mobile sports betting in Arkansas around the beginning of March Madness. However, the future of online sports betting on its own is not as certain.

The minimum age to bet on sports in Arkansas is 21. When online sports betting does launch in the state, the three casinos that already have sportsbooks will have the ability to partner with two online sportsbooks each. This will allow for six online sportsbook operators in the state.

DraftKings and BetMGM are both expected to launch online sportsbooks in the state as soon as they are able. Both sites have applied for two respective partnerships. 

There are two neighboring states to Arkansas that offer online sports betting. These are Mississippi and Tennessee. This means that the state is currently losing potential revenue from online bettors to these neighboring states and will continue to do so until it also launches online sports betting.

BetMGM is already live in both of those neighboring states, Mississippi and Tennessee, so it will most likely make a play for the Arkansas online sports betting market. DraftKings is one of the Daily Fantasy Sports sites that accepts real money playing in Arkansas, so it will have a built in online sports betting fanbase when it is able to launch online sports betting. 

Mobile and online sports betting needs to be signed into law by the governor of Arkansas. Right now, retail sports betting in Arkansas is active at Southland Casino Racing, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, and Saracen Casino. Bet Saracen is expected to launch in Arkansas once online sports betting is able to legally launch.

And, a fourth casino is under development in Arkansas which is expected to be finished and open in the coming years. This casino will also have its own retail sportsbook.

The Arkansas Racing Commission late last year in December 2021 voted to introduce new rules that would expand the options for sports betting in the state. However, these rules have yet to be approved by a legislative committee. Though, there does appear to be support for expanding into the online and mobile sports betting arena in the state.

A legislative committee is expected to meet to discuss these new rules in the coming weeks. So, that is good news for an Arkansas mobile sports betting launch.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

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