Arkansas has emerged as the latest state to give the green light for legalized sports betting after a vote on Tuesday this week that saw the passing of Issue 4, a constitutional amendment that allows the state to issue casino gaming licenses to established casinos in four counties. The outcome saw 453,275 voters (54.1%) in favor of the amendment versus 384,526 who voted against.

The introduction of sports betting will be allowed in Arkansas thanks to a section of text contained in Issue 4 which defines casino gaming as including wagering on sporting events. The passing of the amendment, however, marks the beginning of what will likely be a lengthy process to get the first sportsbook up and running in the Natural State.

The primary focus will be on the Arkansas Racing Commission to establish a framework of rules and regulations governing all forms of casino gaming. The amendment stipulates that net casino gaming receipts will attract a 13 per cent tax rate on the first $150m. Gaming receipts that stray $1 or above that line will be levied with a 20 per cent tax.

Alex Gray, counsel for the Driving Arkansas Forward committee that sponsored the ballot, was reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette as saying that Arkansans approved the constitutional amendment because they wanted to keep tax dollars in the state, create jobs and foster economic development.