Mobile sports betting in Arkansas could be ready for March Madness
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Arkansas Mobile Sports Betting Could Launch by SEC Basketball Tournament
If it receives the final approval next week, Arkansas mobile sports wagering could be up and running in time for the Southeastern Conference men’s basketball tournament.
Arkansas Razorbacks will be well Backed
The 2022 version of the SEC tournament is due to take place March 9-13 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. The Arkansas Razorbacks are ranked No. 23 nationally, will likely attract heavy betting interest in the Natural State.
The tournament’s final day occurs on Selection Sunday; the date teams are selected to take part in the NCAA Tournament, also referred to as March Madness. The Razorbacks are projected to be in the NCAA Tournament, which kicks off on March 15.
The final four teams will progress to New Orleans for a chance to win the national title. The semi-final games are slated for April 2 at the Caesars Superdome, with the final scheduled for April 4.
Sports Betting Rules
The start of mobile sports wagering in Arkansas depends on a legislative committee scheduled for this week. The Joint Budget Committee will vote Tuesday on a rule permitting statewide mobile betting off casino property. There are three casinos in Arkansas.
On Thursday, the Joint Budget Administrative Rule Review Committee passed a critical rule legalizing mobile sports betting anywhere in the state. The rule also allows local casinos 51% of profits in partnering with national online gaming operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings. These operators typically share 5-15%. Rules approved in the subcommittee require a final sign-off from the full Joint Budget Committee.
On Thursday, the Joint Budget Committee adopted four sports betting framework rules that the subcommittee previously approved. The fifth rule, which is necessary for mobile betting to begin, is awaiting action next week.
If the committee approves the proposed rule, it will be filed at the secretary of state’s office for ten business days. Using that timeframe, sports wagering could launch before the first games are played at the SEC tournament.
The launch of mobile sports betting then would depend upon whether Arkansas casinos can launch mobile apps in time for the tournament in Tampa. The casinos also can partner with national online gambling operators.
Arkansas Sportsbook Revenue Rises in January
Although off-site mobile sports wagering is not yet available in Arkansas, players can wager in-person at sportsbooks and kiosks inside the state’s three casinos.
According to Arkansas Racing Commission figures released Friday, these casinos took in a combined $8.77 million in sports wagers in January. This was an increase from the $7.79 million handle in December.
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