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Arkansas is currently the second-smallest market in America in terms of sports betting revenue. While Arkansas is unlikely ever to be a leading market based on its small population, the sports betting industry in the Natural State has room to grow.

Sports Betting Dime provides up-to-date data and analysis of monthly Arkansas sports betting revenue reports. Below you can also scroll back in time to see the growth of sports betting in “The Land of Opportunity” since legalization in July 2019.

Read on for an in-depth look at the business of sports betting in Arkansas.

Arkansas Sports Betting Revenue: Month-By-Month Data

Sports Betting Dime monitors the growth of legal sports wagering in America by analyzing monthly financial reports provided by each state.

Here’s what each number represents:

  • Handle is the total amount wagered on sports.
  • Revenue reflects the gross gaming revenue kept by sportsbooks after paying out winning bets.
  • Hold percentage shows how much revenue sportsbooks kept as a function of the betting handle.
  • State tax revenue displays taxes collected by the state and local jurisdictions.

The table below shows key figures from Arkansas’ launch in July 2019 to date.

Month/Year Total Handle Revenue Hold Percentage State Tax Revenue
July 2019 $416,160 $76,885 18.47% $9,995
August 2019 $778,249 $58,858 7.56% $7,652
September 2019 $2,252,196 $183,044 8.13% $23,796
October 2019 $2,216,369 $380,006 17.15% $49,401
November 2019 $2,978,235 $181,497 6.09% $23,595
December 2019 $2,633,806 $455,368 17.29% $59,198
January 2020 $2,587,732 $254,811 9.85% $33,263
February 2020 $4,294,366 $411,589 9.58% $67,494
March 2020 $1,588,403 $222,373 14.00% $38,310
April 2020 $0 $0 0.00% $0
May 2020 $509 -$115,000 -22593.32% -$15
June 2020 $1,189 $10 0.84% $1
July 2020 $179,315 -$19,633 -10.95% -$2,552
August 2020 $1,008,992 $69,625 6.90% $9,051
September 2020 $3,958,748 $397,095 10.03% $51,622
October 2020 $6,559,859 $940,514 14.34% $122,267
November 2020 $6,288,249 $975,984 15.52% $126,878
December 2020 $6,415,446 $1,054,272 16.43% $137,055
January 2021 $7,187,194 $1,388,258 19.32% $180,474
February 2021 $4,469,442 $655,356 14.66% $92,922
March 2021 $5,947,427 $807,091 13.57% $130,877
April 2021 $4,065,703 $761,536 18.73% $131,137
May 2021 $3,687,207 $498,325 13.51% $81,710
June 2021 $3,895,683 $359,000 9.22% $59,088
July 2021 $2,908,833 $449,040 15.44% $58,375
August 2021 $2,892,285 $310,481 10.7% $40,363
September 2021 $7,007,774 $809,404 11.6% $105,223
October 2021 $9,506,183 $803,557 8.5% $104,464
November 2021 $8,380,191 $1,623,435 19.4% $211,047
December 2021 $7,794,292 $47,599 0.6% $6,188
January 2022 $8,415,932 $1,181,335 14.0% $153,574
February 2022 $5,876,444 $331,001 5.6% $61,390
March 2022 $10,686,501 $791,848 7.4% $119,671
April 2022 $8,598,226 $749,811 8.7% $120,297
Total (since launch) $145,477,139 $17,209,261 11.8% $2,413,808

Sports Betting Dime will fill in this table monthly with the latest Arkansas sports betting revenue figures provided by the Arkansas Racing Commission.

AR Sports Betting Revenue: Annual Figures

The table below shows the annual financial figures for Arkansas’ sports betting industry.

Year Total Handle Revenue Hold Percentage State Tax Revenue
2019 $11,275,015 $1,335,658 11.85% $173,637
2020 $32,882,808 $4,191,640 12.75% $583,374
2021 $67,742,214 $8,513,082 12.5% $1,201,868

Arkansas’ sports betting handle grew significantly in 2020 despite challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it still only accounted for 0.15 percent of all US sports betting handle for the year, just to put market size in perspective.

Latest AR Revenue News

Here’s a quick recap of the latest updates from Arkansas’ monthly sports betting revenue reports.

April 2022 – With Arkansas sports betting apps slow to launch, the handle dipped in April 2022. Despite the dip, figures remained strong, with $8,598,226 in total handle collected and $120,297 in state tax revenue.

March 2022 – With the launch of online Arkansas sports betting on March 4, the state set a new record for monthly sports betting handle at over $10.5 million. These figures are expected to increase as more Arkansas sports betting apps go online.

February 2022 – Despite major sporting events like the NFL Super Bowl, Arkansas sports betting handle dipped to $5,876,444 in February 2022. With a 5.6% hold rate, Arkansas sports betting revenue totaled just $331,001.

January 2022 – Arkansas sports betting revenue recovered in the first month of 2022, as sportsbooks collected $1,181,335 from over $8 million in total wagers.

December 2021 – While the monthly betting handle held strong at over $7 million through December, Arkansas sports betting revenue was dramatically low in the final month of the year. A 0.6% hold rate resulted in just $6,188 in total state revenue.

November 2021 – The monthly sports betting handle might have dipped in Arkansas through November, but revenue figures nearly doubled thanks to a 19.4% hold.

October 2021 – Arkansas broke their monthly handle record in October 2021 with a $9.5 million total.

September 2021 – The Arkansas sports betting market saw a huge rebound in monthly handle, coming in at just over $7 million for the month of September 2021.

August 2021 – The monthly sports betting handle in Arkansas continued to dip, as the state recorded $2,892,285 in wagering volume. With the NFL season kicking off a month after these figures, the handle should start to increase.

July 2021 – Arkansas sees its sports betting handle drop to $2,908,833, the lowest figure since August 2020. Football season cannot come soon enough for Arkansas’ retail sportsbooks.

June 2021 – Arkansas reports $3,895,683 in wagers in June, reflecting a sustained dip in sports betting volume this spring. However, it was one of the bettor months for AR sports bettors as the hold percentage dropped below 10 percent for the first time since August 2020. Through two full years of legal sports wagering, Arkansas sportsbooks have taken in $73,410,479 in bets and generated just shy of $10 million in gross gaming revenue.

May 2021 – Arkansas retail sportsbooks had another slow month in May. Betting handle dropped again to  $3,687,207, roughly half of its January 2021 peak.

April 2021 – Arkansas betting handle drops to $4,065,703 in April, the lowest figure since September 2020.

March 2021 – Arkansas surpasses $5 million in sports betting handle for the fifth time, reporting $5,947,427 wagered in March.

February 2021 – Arkansas’ betting volume takes a dip in February with just under $4.5 million wagered on sports.

January 2021 – Arkansas kicks off 2021 by setting new state records in monthly sports betting revenue and handle. Sports bettors wagered $7,187,194, resulting in $1,388,258 in gross revenue after sportsbooks paid out winning bets. The hold rate was quite high, finishing at over 19 percent for the month.

Arkansas Market Overview

Context is crucial to interpreting the data provided in sports betting revenue reports. Here’s some key information to keep in mind when evaluating the Arkansas market.

State Population (2020 Census): 3,011,524

In-state Pro Teams: None

Launch Date: July 1, 2019

Biggest Monthly Handle:  $10,686,501 (March 2022)

Regulator: Arkansas Racing Commission

Platforms: Retail only

Tax Rate: 12.5 percent

Arkansas Sports Betting Revenue Insights

Arkansas is a relatively small state with no professional sports teams. The reality is it will never be a top sports betting market due to its size. Still, there’s plenty of room for the industry to grow in the Natural State, especially if it were to allow online sports betting in the future.

Let’s explore a couple of themes that stand out when analyzing Arkansas’ sports betting financial reports.

COVID-19 Pandemic Challenges Retail-Only Markets

As a retail-only market with just three brick-and-mortar betting sportsbooks, Arkansas’ sports betting industry was slowed to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic in spring 2020.

From April through July 2020, just $181,013 was wagered on sports in Arkansas. Granted, there were few sports happening in the US during most of that time, but states that had online sports betting were able to generate betting volume on European and other international events. It’s hard to do that when the betting public is being asked to stay home and casinos are closed.

The ability for sports bettors to wager from anywhere at any time is the foundation of a healthy and thriving sports betting industry. Arkansans can look no further than their Southern neighbors, Tennessee, to see how popular and profitable online sportsbooks are.

One has to wonder how much of Arkansas’ revenue is being lost by sports bettors driving to Memphis to wager online or visiting a popular riverboat casino in Mississippi. Perhaps one day in the not-too-distant future, AR lawmakers will consider opening virtual doors. If and when that day comes, expect to see Arkansas sports betting revenue increase significantly. For example, Iowa, which has a very similar population and no in-state pro teams, regularly posts monthly betting handles of over $100 million thanks to its robust online sports betting market.

High Hold

Arkansas finished 2020 with the fifth-highest annual hold rate (12.75 percent). This is considerably higher than the nationwide average of 7.18 percent.

A high hold percentage essentially means sportsbooks are retaining more money out of every dollar put down by bettors. Hold rates fluctuate and are not entirely within the scope of control for sportsbooks or state governments. Factors such as bet balance or bettors wagering in futures markets can also drive up the amount that sportsbooks profit.

Ultimately, a high hold percentage is bad for sports bettors. More often than not, Arkansas’ hold rate is in the double digits. If the Natural State were to open up online sports betting, the increased competition in the market could help bring the hold rate down under 10 percent.

Learn More About Betting on Sports in the Natural State

Sports Betting Dime will keep you up to date with the latest Arkansas sports betting news and can help you find sportsbooks in AR near you.

You can also look at how AR compares to other states in terms of betting volume by visiting our tracker on state-by-state sports betting revenue.

Have fun and enjoy the action out there!

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A lifelong athlete and sports fan who’s worked in sports for over ten years, Natalie brings a firsthand perspective and keen interest in sports business to her work. She’s excited to observe and analyze the future of the sports betting industry as it heats up.