- The Arkansas Racing Commission plans to vote on a rule change that would allow for users to wager on sports using a mobile device or computer on November 18.
- If passed, the rule change would be reviewed by the Joint Legislative Rules Committee – if approved and signed by the governor, mobile sports betting could launch in early 2022.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Online sports betting may be headed to Arkansas in the near future as the Arkansas Racing Commission is set to vote on a rule change on November 18 that would allow players to use their smartphones and computers to place wagers online.
If all goes according to plan, the legal mobile sports betting industry could launch in Arkansas by January or February of 2022.
Assuming the vote passes as expected, the next step would be for the rule change to be published online for 30 days and go through a public hearing process. After that, the rule would require approval from the Joint Legislative Rules Committee. Then a signature from Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, is required – something that has his support.
The Arkansas legislature is not currently in session, though the Joint Rules Committee meets regularly outside of the legislative session to address issues such as this one. The Committee is considered likely to accept the rule change from the Racing Commission.
The bill would be very timely for Arkansas sports betting, as several neighboring states have recently launched online sports betting industries.
Arkansas already legalized land-based sports betting in certain counties, though none of the three commercial casinos located in eligible counties have launched such a service. The rule change would allow these casinos to partner with online sportsbook operators to allow mobile and online sports betting within the state’s borders.
The closest thing to a regulated online sportsbook that is currently available in Arkansas is Oaklawn Casino Resort’s “Oaklawn Anywhere” app, which allows users to wager on horse races anywhere inside the state.
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Jerad has been a welcomed addition to the LegalSportsBetting.com writing team. Covering topics regarding the expansion of sports betting in the US, Jerad focuses on legislative efforts, bill signings and other methods for sports betting legalization. Finishing his education as a college baseball player, Jerad has first-hand knowledge of competitive sports, paired with years of personal sports betting as well. As a political science major at the University of Central Florida, Jerad covers the political, legal, and legislative aspects of sports gambling without any issues.