• The Arkansas Racing Commission approved the sports betting request from Oaklawn Racing Casino & Resort.
  • The very first sportsbook in Arkansas will open on July 1.
  • The owners are hoping that they can also offer state-wide mobile wagering.

By Daniel Borjas

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – The Oaklawn Racing Casino & Resort gained approval to offer sports betting on Thursday. The approval came from the Arkansas Racing Commission.

What To Expect From Oaklawn

Oaklawn Casino officials said that the new sportsbook will open on July 1. Media relations manager for Oaklawn, Jennifer Hoyt, indicated there will be plenty of wagering options. She said that customers will be able to bet “on nearly all sports from football to basketball to boxing.”

The new sportsbook will be in the VIP area of the casino floor. It will be near the entrance of the horse racing area in the casino.

Due to state regulations, sports betting will only occur within casino grounds. Oaklawn general manager Wayne Smith wants to offer in mobile sports wagering. He said to Blood Horse that he is hoping to add mobile sports betting before the upcoming football season. But this mobile wagering will only occur on the casino grounds.

Smith said he plans to make a request so he can offer state-wide mobile wagering. In May, a bill that would have allowed this to occur died due to integrity fee issues. It is unlikely that Smith’s request will happen.

The Road To The First Sportsbook Opening

The Oaklawn Casino will have the first sportsbook in Arkansas. In November 2018, 54 percent of Arkansas voted to pass Issue 4. This allowed sportsbooks to open in four gambling facilities in Arkansas.

Concerns about sports betting in Arkansas were addressed back in February. The Arkansas Racing Commission approved the rules and regulations regarding sports gambling. Although mobile wagering is not available, the first Arkansas sportsbook will open on July 1.

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