Arkansas joined the regulated US sports betting market last week following the launch of a new retail sportsbook at the Oaklawn Racetrack and Casino.
The property’s general manager, Wayne Smith, placed the state’s first legal bet during the launch, backing the Dallas Cowboys to win against the New York Giants in the opening game of the 2019 NFL season on Sept. 8.
The sportsbook at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is powered by SBTech, one of the first suppliers to enter the legal American sports betting market post-PASPA. Churchill Downs Interactive will handle the operations of the Race and Sports Book.
Speaking during the launch, SBTech CEO, Richard Carter, said that the company is delighted to partner with Oaklawn and Churchill Downs to bring the first wager to the state. Richard added that the supplier looks forward to extending its current agreement with the property to other products and channels in the future.
On his part, the President of Online Gaming at Churchill Downs, Ian Williams, said that the firm is happy to facilitate sports wagering at the property through its partnership with SBTech. The two companies have a long-standing working relationship in horseracing.
What’s in it for Arkansas bettors?
The newly opened Race and Sports Book at Oaklawn is situated in the north end of the property. The sportsbook is part of a $100 million expansion project in the racetrack and casino.
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The in-house wagering venue offers both teller wagering and self-service betting kiosks, which are located throughout the facility. The tellers are available every day between 10 am and 10 pm, while the kiosks operate from 8 am to the close of the gaming facility.
The sportsbook is open to bettors Monday through Sunday, and patrons can place a variety of wagers across several sports, including popular American options like football, baseball, and basketball. Other sports like soccer, rugby, golf, tennis, UFC, cricket, and hockey are also available.
With regard to bet types, players can place future wagers, numerous props, parlays, and in-play bets all year long.
Oaklawn mobile app in the works
The Arkansas sports betting legislation does not have a provision for off-premise mobile wagering.
However, the media relations manager at the property, Jennifer Hoyt, has confirmed that Oaklawn is working on a mobile application that will allow patrons to place bets online while they are located within the facility.
The casino is waiting for the Arkansas Racing Commission to approve the in-house wagering app.
Southland sportsbook to open later
Arkansas expanded its gambling laws to include sports betting through a constitutional amendment in November last year.
The state’s law allows regulated wagering at four casinos across the precinct, but Oaklawn has beaten the other properties to open the first sportsbook in the jurisdiction.
In March, Southland Gaming and Racing announced that it was getting ready to launch a retail sportsbook this year, but it had to delay its plans due to a disagreement with its sports betting operator.
The property has yet to find another technology provider, and it does not have a timeline for the opening of the sportsbook at the moment.