Arkansas is one of the states that jumped onto the sports betting bandwagon and so far, the sector has been performing very well. Since the launch of the sector in 2019, bettors in the state have been able to place wagers on their favorite sports at the state’s retail casinos. Now, the state is looking to expand its gambling industry even further.
Recently, the Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC) voted in favor of adopting a new set of rules and regulations. These new rules will bring sports betting to the online space. If approved, bettors in the state could finally be able to bet online and on mobile by the time the Super Bowl rolls around.
While the unanimous approval of the new rules by the ARC is certainly a great way to start the year, it is not the last step. The proposed mobile and online sports betting rules will still have to receive state legislative approval. They will also need to be filed with the Arkansas Secretary of state.
Taking up the next steps will be a state legislative rules committee that will be responsible for reviewing all the proposed regulations. This committee is not likely to embark on this until at least mid-February which means that sports bettors in the state will have to wait a little longer.
When the committee finally finishes its review, the next stage will be overseen by the Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC) who will need to approve the rules. With all that covered, they could finally be filed with the Secretary of State. Usually, there is a 10-day waiting period for the approval of new rules after this stage. Keeping all that in mind, the earliest possible time for the arrival of online and mobile sports betting in Arkansas is in March.
A Few Concerns
Given the success of retail sports betting in the state, there are some high hopes for iGaming in Arkansas. However, one thing that is still raising eyebrows is the net gaming revenue sharing clause. The proposed rules laid out a framework on how net gaming revenue from online sports betting would be shared between the casino operators and the third-party operators they’d partner with.
The rules state that sportsbooks that will be contracted to operate online sports betting in Arkansas will not be allowed to receive more than half of the net gaming revenue from the vertical. This does not sit well with many sportsbooks but it will have to do for now as changing this revenue-sharing model would be a constitutional challenge.