Arkansas to vote on legalising mobile sports betting

The Arkansas Racing Commission is scheduled to vote on 18 November 2021 on a rule change that would allow bettors to wager online in the state.

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If the Commission that regulates gaming in Arkansas approves the rule change, mobile sports betting could begin in the state by January or early February, according to Scott Hardin, Commission Spokesman.

After being approved, the rule change would have to be published online for 30 days and go through a public hearing process; after that the revised rule would require further approval from the joint legislative Rules Committee and a sign-off from Governor Asa Hutchinson.

The Governor says he would support mobile sports betting if the Racing Commission implements safeguards, such as geofencing to restrict wagering to approved statewide boundaries.

He added that statewide mobile sports betting would keep Arkansas competitive with bordering states like Tennessee and Louisiana, which have already legalised mobile betting.

The current rule restricts sports betting to on-site wagering at Arkansas’ three casinos – Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Oaklawn Casino Resort in Hot Springs and Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis.

The Racing Commission rule change would allow all of the three casinos to partner with a national brand-name sports betting operator to provide off-site mobile wagering.

The tax rate is expected to remain the same as the rate on other casino games. In Arkansas, casinos pay 13% on all revenue under $150m and 20% on revenue over $150m.

In sports betting, the rate tax applies to the sportsbook win – the amount sportsbooks retain after winning bettors are paid.

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