In 2018, Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing four casinos to operate in Crittenden, Garland, Jefferson, and Pope counties, forever altering the state’s gaming landscape.
The timing was perfect for the state’s two racing/game of skill “racinos,” Oaklawn and Southland, to make large bets on themselves. They announced multimillion-dollar expansions, such as live table games (to supplement existing digital counterparts) and sports books, as well as new restaurants, hotels, and event centres.
The Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma opened the Saracen Casino Annex in 2019, followed by the Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff in October 2020.
Yet it must be said, online sports betting has not fared well in its first month of existence!
Larry Henry of gambling.com examined the monthly Arkansas casino numbers and discovered that the first month of online sports betting in Arkansas was a loss for Southland in West Memphis, the only one of three Arkansas casinos currently offering off-premises sports betting.
Southland’s Betly Sportsbook debuted on March 5 in web browsers, followed by an Android app a few days later.
In March, bettors wagered $3.29 million on Southland’s mobile platforms, but the casino lost $32,154 in its first month of live online wagering.
Sports betting is a minor source of revenue for casinos.
In March, a total of $7.38 million was wagered on sports at the three casinos. Oaklawn in Hot Springs earned $390,000, Southland earned $271,000, and Saracen in Pine Bluff earned $162,000.
Oaklawn and Saracen are both expected to launch betting apps in the near future.
Betly Sportsbook launches their IOS app
The first mobile sportsbook in Arkansas is now available in the Apple App Store for iOS devices.
The Betly Arkansas sportsbook app, according to content partner KARK, allows Southland Casino patrons and others to bet anywhere in the natural state.
The mobile app became available after Arkansas’ mobile sports betting rules were approved in February.
The online version was released on March 5, and the app for Android users was released on March 8.
According to KARK, Arkansas received $583,000 in tax revenue from sports betting in 2020 and $1.2 million in 2021.
Luisa Woods, vice president for Delaware North’s gaming division, said Arkansans are now able to have fun with “pro basketball playoffs and other wagering opportunities.”
“It took a little time to work through the respective app store processes, but now the Betly.com app is readily available for download, so everyone in Arkansas who wants to can have fun with ongoing pro basketball playoffs and other wagering opportunities,” Woods said.
Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff’s manager told KARK that the casino is in the “final stages of this process” of developing its sports betting app. Meanwhile, the Hot Springs-based Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort has not announced any plans for a mobile sports betting app.