- Arkansas’s mobile sports betting market can officially begin Friday.
- Only one sportsbook, BetSaracen at the Saracen Casino in Pine Bluff, is poised to launch.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas sports bettors are only one day away from seeing their local mobile market in effect.
Mobile sportsbooks can launch in the Arkansas sports betting market starting Friday, with one sportsbook already set to potentially go live.
Arkansas Meets Mobile Betting
No sportsbook has confirmed a launch for Friday but the BetSaracen Sportsbook powered by the Saracen Casino in Pine Bluff has already been granted its betting licenses.
“We’ve been working on BetSaracen for a year, so today’s vote is exciting for us and for Arkansas,” said Carlton Saffa, CMO of Saracen Casino. “We will launch BetSaracen, a first class, Arkansas born and bred mobile wagering app before March Madness.”
BetSaracen has not confirmed Friday, however. In fact, the official Twitter account responded to fans expressing that they were still dealing with other logistics before they can go live.
We're still waiting on payment processors and App Store compliance.
Trust us, we'll let you know 😎💪🏀 https://t.co/RE1iApqMJk
— BetSaracen (@BetSaracen) March 2, 2022
Outside of BetSaracen, no other major sportsbook has hinted at a potential launch.
51% Tax Revenue Concerns
One of the reasons why many sportsbooks are not associating with Arkansas is due to the controversial 51% tax requirement.
Many prominent sportsbooks spoke out against the tax rate when it was initially presented in the bill. Despite this, lawmakers saw little pushback against the bill during the session meeting that resulted in the bill passing.
Most sports betting markets see tax rates between 8% and 15% with New York being a rare exception, toting a 51% tax on revenue.
New York saw major success in its market early despite the tax requirement. This likely is why Arkansas was motivated to stick to their guns.
Unlike NY, however, Arkansas is not a major market, and regulated sportsbooks are less enticed to launch with such a steep cost.
Local bettors will not officially know if any sportsbooks will be going live until Friday when the market is officially regulated. For now, locals will have to wait and see.
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Coming from a background in narrative-based writing, Giovanni strives to write stories that will keep the reader engaged. Although he does pride himself in being accurate, how the story is told is also very important to him. When he’s not keeping readers up to date on sports betting laws and legislation, you can find him writing and recording music, playing videogames, or engaged in heated sports debates with his friends.