The Arkansas Joint Budget Committee has approved the state’s mobile sports betting rules during a meeting on Tuesday, according to SportsHandle, meaning mobile sports wagering will begin in the Natural State in just a matter of days.
Following approval from the state’s Joint Budget Committee, Arkansas casinos are allowed to launch sports betting apps after a 10-day waiting period, setting up a potential launch for March 4.
If the Natural State’s casinos are able to meet that launch date, they could have operational mobile sports wagering in time for the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.
Last year, the state’s legal gaming regulator, the Arkansas Racing Commission, unanimously approved a rule change to allow mobile sports betting away from casino property.
Online sportsbooks must partner with a casino should they wish to operate in Arkansas. The local casinos must also receive 51% of profits when partnering with online sportsbooks, who usually share around 5-15%.
Representatives from national online sportsbooks, including DraftKings and FanDuel, have spoken out against the rule requiring them to give casinos 51% of profits when partnering on a mobile app, called ‘skins’.
Each casino is allowed two skins, which they can use under their brand and partner with an out-of-state bookmaker. Casinos don’t have to put both skins in use either.
The Natural State is home to three casinos – Southland Casino and Racing in West Memphis, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, and Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff – with a fourth casino approved to be built in Pope County.