Arkansas Legislature.

  • Arkansas will not be getting mobile sportsbooks in 2021.
  • House Bill 1942 to regulate mobile sports betting was set to be heard on Wednesday but was skipped over, making it a no-go this year.
  • The Arkansas Legislature adjourns on April 30.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Legislature was given ten days from introductions to approvals for a mobile sports betting bill in the state. House Bill 1942 was formally filed and introduced on Monday. Wednesday it was supposed to receive its first hearing within the House Select Committee on Rules. Instead, the committee passed on hearing the bill.

Presently, the Arkansas sports betting market consists of three retail locations with no mobile state-sanctioned platforms. AR HB 1942 had hoped to change this aspect of the industry before the legislature adjourned for the year.

What House Bill 1942 Was Offering

House Bill 1942 would have allowed three skins per retail sportsbook in Arkansas. Current operators would’ve been given the ability to have three separate mobile applications for sports bettors statewide to utilize. No in-person registration was required under this proposal, allowing the entire process to be a remote one, from sign up to the wagering on sporting events.

In addition to regulating mobile sportsbooks in the state, collegiate sports betting would’ve been opened through all sports betting platforms in Arkansas. At the moment, fans of the Arkansas Razorbacks, of which there are many, can only bet on the games using sources that in no way benefit Arkansas because they are outlets from outside of the state.

This measure could have given Arkansas the opportunity to cash in on the daily college betting that takes place by expanding their regulated sports betting industry to include it. The past few months have shown a dip in sports gaming activities in the state that lawmakers believed could’ve been fixed with the passage of House Bill 1942.

Wednesday’s Hearing

The hearing on Wednesday with the House Select Committee on Rules to hear House Bill 1942 did not go as bill sponsor and State Representative Lee Johnson would have liked. Although the measure was set to be heard on the agenda, it went on record as being passed over.

This was the last hearing for the House Select Committee on Rules in 2021, which has ultimately killed any chance for getting House Bill 1942 approved by the legislature this year. Mobile sports betting regulation bills for Arkansas will have to be put on the 2022 agenda unless a special session is called in 2021.

To be fair, this was a Hail Mary attempt for the state, with just ten days left in the session at the time the proposal was filed. The Arkansas Legislature adjourns for 2021 on April 30.

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