- The Arkansas Racing Commission approved rules to legalize online sports betting.
- The online sports betting rules now must be approved by a legislative committee.
- If approved by the committee, Arkansas online sports betting may be live by the Super Bowl.
Arkansas online sports betting may be live in time for Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022.
The Arkansas Racing Commission unanimously approved an amendment of state sports betting rules to include online sports betting. Currently, Arkansas residents can place in-person sports bet at one of three brick-and-mortar casinos in the state.
Arkansas Online Sports Betting To Be Determined By Legislative Committee
The amended sports betting rules now go to a legislative committee for a vote. The committee next meets in late January. An agenda for the meeting has yet to be published, but if approved the new sports betting rules would immediately go into effect.
In the nearly two hour meeting held last week, the racing commission members approved the change in rules that would allow casino license holders no more than two online sports betting applications. The new rules only allow casinos to partner with third-party sportsbook operators if the casinos keep 51% or more of the net gaming revenue in the partnership.
Retail sports betting is currently live in the following Arkansas casinos:
- Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs.
- Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff.
- Southland Casino in West Memphis.
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“These proposed amendments prohibit a casino licensee from contracting with a third-party vendor which receives the majority or more of the net gaming revenue received in conducting sports wagering. Under the proposed amendments, sports gaming vendors can receive no more than fifty percent of the net gaming revenue. Also, these proposed amendments limit a casino licensee to no more than two individually branded online sports platforms and mobile applications,” according to a summary of the amended rules.
In many states, the third-party sportsbook operators keep far more of the profits coming in through their apps than the casinos they’re partnered with.
Arkansas has collected more than $1.7 million in sports betting taxes in 2021. Arkansas currently implements a 13% sports betting tax rate on the first $150 million reported by casinos, and increases the rate to 20% after the initial $150 million.