With sports betting sweeping the nation, more states are jumping on board to get it legalized as quickly as possible. Arkansas has just passed a bill to legalize sports betting, and it is one of the many states putting together an infrastructure to support this new endeavor. Once finalized, you will be able to go to any brick and mortar casino and place bets on your favorite teams in Arkansas!
With time, Arkansas looks to provide a great environment for everyone to enjoy the great benefits in legal sports betting. No longer will you be required to use offshore websites or sketchy sportsbooks. While there are no professional teams in the great state of Arkansas, there will be no shortage of bets to be placed.
Arkansas Sports Betting At a Glance
- Status of Betting Arkansas – As of 2018, sports betting is now alive and well in the great state of Arkansas. Four land-based casinos have been authorized for sportsbooks, and the state is currently putting together the infrastructure necessary for real money wagering. Once these sportsbooks are completed, the state will have their first legal sports betting permitted for residents of Arkansas.
- Where to Bet Arkansas – With sports betting now legal in the state of Arkansas, operations are now in progress to build an infrastructure that will ensure a healthy and prosperous sports betting system. Once finalized, you will be able to go to some of the brick and mortar casinos located in the state and bet on your favorite teams.
- Teams Arkansas – While there are no professional sports team currently located in the state of Arkansas, there are other options for betting on sports. Some of the college and minor league teams are great options for placing bets. In fact, Arkansas college baseball team is one of the favorites to win the College World Series.
Status of Arkansas Sports Betting
As of 2018, state-regulated sports betting has now been legalized in the state of Arkansas. At the moment, there are no sportsbooks available to AR residents. However, four brick and mortar casinos have been approved and are in the process of putting together sportsbooks that will allow real money wagering for the first time in Arkansas!
During the 2018 midterm elections, the Arkansas state legislature passed a bill that the governor signed into law. Upon this signing, voters in the state signed a ballot known as “Issue 4” that authorized sports betting at the four casinos. Prior to these recent changes, residents in Arkansas were able to use offshore sports betting websites to get there betting fix.
Where to Bet Sports in Arkansas
Arkansas has only recently legalized sports betting and have yet to open any state licensed sportsbooks. However, they are currently in the process of putting together the infrastructure and tools to make this happen.
In the coming months, Arkansas will figure out the best system to put in place and allow sports wagering at some of their brick and mortar casinos. This includes Southland Casino Racing, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. While offshore sites are legal in Arkansas for online sports betting, the opening of these sportsbook will likely provide opportunities for in-house sports betting websites.
1. Southland Casino Racing Southland Casino was opened in 1956 and was formerly known as Southland Park Gaming and Racing. It is located in West Memphis and hosts over 400 greyhound races per year. After some years of decline, a 38 million dollar renovation project brought Southland back to life and it is now one of the top attractions for anyone in the West Memphis area. Up until 2019, you could not play live table games at Southland, and the slot machines were considered “Electronic Games of Skill.” But as of 2019, Southland offers a wide range of slot machines, video poker, and live table games such as:
2. Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort Home to the “Racing Festival of the South,” the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, formerly known as Oaklawn Park Race Track, is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Known for its thoroughbred races, Oaklawn has a long history dating back to its opening in 1905. More recently, triple crown winner American Pharoah began his campaign on this track by winning the Rebel Stakes and the Arkansas Derby. Like Southland, it wasn’t until recently that the Oaklawn Casino offered live table games. In 2008, the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort underwent a 3 million dollar addition making it the biggest casino in the state.
Latest Arkansas Sports Betting News
- Oaklawn Approved for Sports Betting – On July 1st, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort will have the first Arkansas Sportsbook. The sportsbook will be located in the VIP section of the casino floor and close to the horse racing entrances. The Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort also hope to add an online wagering platform to their offering, however, this has not been approved just yet.
- First Arkansas Sportsbook to open July 1st – With the previously mentioned Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort approved for sports, the will become Arkansas very first sports betting locations. They have recently began construction on a 100 million dollar renovation and addition project to prepare the casino for the new offering. Southland Casino Racing will also be submitting the required paperwork to offer sports betting services in Arkansas as well.
- Jerry Jones Launches Plans to Build Casino in Arkansas – Jerry Jones, a University of Arkansas Alumni, has announced plans to build a casino in Russelville, Arkansas. The owner of the Dallas Cowboys has always had an affection for Arkansas after spending most of his childhood and college years there. With how profitable the industry has and continues to become, it is no surprise a savvy businessman like Jerry Jones wants to be involved.
Arkansas Sports Teams That Drive Betting
In every state, there are a few teams that seem to drive the most out of sports bettors. This could be college sports or professional. In the case of Arkansas, the answer is clear. The Arkansas Razorbacks are the team that seems to drive most of the bets for Arkansas teams. However, there are a few others. Let’s take a look:
- Arkansas Razorbacks – The Arkansas Razorbacks represent the sports teams for the University of Arkansas. There is a long list of teams and sports available for betting on including: Football, Basketball, Track and Field, and Golf. Women’s sports include, Cross Country, Gymnastics, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Volleyball, and Tennis.
- Little Rock Trojans – The Little Rock Trojans represent the basketball team at the University of Arkansas Little Rock and competes in the Sun Belt Conference. They are located in Little Rock, Arkansas.
- Arkansas Travellers – Competing in the Texas League, the Arkansas Travellers are minor league baseball club located in Little Rock Arkansas and are a popular team among locals. They play at Dickney-Stephens park located at the northern end of town.
- Northwest Arkansas Naturals – The Arkansas Naturals are also a minor league baseball club that are the double-A affiliate for the Kansas City Royals. They play the Texas league and are located in Springdale, Arkansas.
- Little Rock Rangers – The Little Rock Rangers are an American Soccer team located in Little Rock, Arkansas. They play in a semi-pro league known as the National Premier Soccer League, which is the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid.
As you can see, Arkansas has a good group of popular teams to place your bets on. Even with the shortage of a professional sports team, Arkansas sports betting community is alive and well and gets behind the squads they do have.
Legal Status of Arkansas Sports Betting
- Casino Legal Status – Casinos are authorized in Arkansas and casino licenses have been permitted to four land-based casinos. This includes Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort as well as Southland Casino and Racing. The other two licenses have not been issued yet.
- Sports Betting Legal Status – As of 2018, sports betting is legal in Arkansas. Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort will hold the first sportsbook and plans to roll it out July 1st, 2019.
- Horse Racing Legal Status – While Arkansas has had a restrictive gambling community in the past, Horse and Greyhound racing has been permitted in Arkansas for a very long time now.
- Poker Legal Status – Similar to the casino states, poker is now authorized at the mentioned above casinos. Prior to 2018, you were restricted to only video table games.
- DFS Legal Status – Daily Fantasy Sports are legal in Arkansas and permit the like of Fanduel as well as Draftkings.
- Lottery Legal Status – The Arkansas lottery has been around since 2008. It is permitted and features games such as: Powerball, Megamillions, Cash4, Cash3, Midday Cash4, Midday Cash3.
Arkansas Sports Betting Timeline
- October, 1992: Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is signed into law by George H.W. Bush.
- October, 2006: The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is put into place with a fantasy sports exclusion.
- January, 2012: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signs legislation that permits sports betting at the New Jersey casinos and racetracks.
- November, 2015: American Gaming Association works to repeal the PASPA
- May, 2018: Supreme Court gets rid of PASPA and allows states to decide whether sports betting should be permitted or not.
- November, 2018: Arkansas legalizes sports betting with plans to open sportsbooks at four land-based casinos in the state.