Arkansas has yet to offer mobile sports betting to bettors across the state. However, the push for legal mobile sports betting passed another hurdle as the joint budget committee’s administrative rule review subcommittee approved the new proposed betting rules.
Mobile Sports Betting Could Be Available by the SEC Basketball Tournament
The rule is expected to be reviewed sometime in the future or as soon as next Tuesday. The SEC Tournament is scheduled to take place from March 9th to the 13th Amalie Arena in Tampa. The Arkansas Razorbacks is ranked 23rd in the AP Top 25 poll.
The program is expected to be a huge attraction for fans and bettors across the state as the Tournament will take place at a neutral site. This is an important set of days for any team as the final days fall on Selection Sunday.
Most likely, a few teams will be selected from this conference to participate in March Madness. The Razorbacks currently have a record of 20-6 and are 9-4 in conference play. They are expected to make the Tournament that will start on March 15th.
New Orleans will host the Final Four for a chance to win the national title. Caesars Superdome will host the semifinal games that are scheduled to take place on April 2nd. The national title game is scheduled for April 4th.
Arkansas has a 51 percent Casino Profit-Sharing Rule
Arkansas’ mobile sports betting laws require that third-party operators partner with one of the three e brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. The retail casinos are required to receive 51 percent of the profits generated by the sportsbook operators.
There was no question as to why BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel are strongly opposed to the rule. In other states in the sports betting industry, these sportsbooks share around 5-15 percent, which is far less when compared to Arkansas.
“In addition to the unprecedented nature of the proposed regulation, imposing such an artificial cap on vendors’ revenue share, in this case, not more than 50%, is not based on any market considerations and would only serve to impede competition.”
BetMGM wrote in a letter to the Arkansas Racing Commission some time ago that;
“In short, the cap would make it impossible for sports betting platform providers to enter the Arkansas market and serve the state’s residents.”
If the rule is approved, there is no doubt that these reputable sportsbooks will not want to conduct business in Arkansas. For now, the state looks to build from a strong January as revenue skyrocketed.
Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Oaklawn Casino Resort in Hot Springs, and Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis all offer retail sports betting. The casinos brought in a combined total of $8.77 million which was an increase from December’s figures that hit $7.79 million.
The three casinos combined to net a total of $1.18 million in revenue compared to just $47,599 in December. As of right now, Oaklawn isn’t expected to offer mobile sports betting until the third quarter of this year.
It remains unclear as to when Southland could launch a mobile platform. This gives Saracen an opportunity to gain market share and customer loyalty in the state. Out of the three locations that offer retail sports betting, Saracen will most likely be the first location to offer mobile sports betting in Arkansas.