The sports betting industry has been growing at a rapid rate in the US. Betting on sports has been legal in Arkansas since the state approved a constitutional amendment to sports betting in 2018. In 2022, online sportsbooks opened in AR, as the state officials wanted to expand wagering to all residents.
Arkansas joined the online betting market in early 2022.
Sports betting in Arkansas was legalized in 2018, granting three operating and one yet-to-be-built retail casinos the opportunity to offer sports betting. Now, Arkansas Racing Commission has approved regulations for online betting, which began in March 2022 after the Arkansas Legislative Council approved the new rules. AR will have up to eight online sportsbooks, with each casino approved to have two skins.
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs
Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis (formerly Southland Park)
Saracen Casino Resort in Jefferson County
Legends Resort & Casino in Pope County (construction delayed because of legal issues)
The legal age for sports betting in Arkansas is 21 years old, and the tax rate is 13%. The new regulations for online operations introduced two major rules: each casino is limited to two skins and the casinos are entitled to 51% of proceeds from online betting. Both rules irked the major national sportsbook operators, such as BetMGM and DraftKings, but were made to protect the local businesses. The limit of two skins means the market will be small, and the high revenue share percentage might deter some of the smaller national operators. The Arkansas Legislative Council approved the rule change and is unlikely to return to the issue later. Therefore, online betting in Arkansas currently has just two choices.
⭐ Arkansas Betting Apps
Legal Arkansas sports betting apps are not numerous in the state, and we don’t know which top online brands are planning to join the new market due to the stringent regulations. Southland Casino launched Betly Sportsbook as the first brand in AR, followed by the hotly anticipated BetSaracen. None of the casinos have announced partnerships with major national operators, so it remains to be seen which brands are the next to launch in the state.
⭐ Betting Bonuses
DraftKings is now unlikely to be one of the first players to enter Arkansas.
One of the main differences between retail and online sportsbooks are bonuses and promotions. When online sports betting launches, customers can expect to see welcome bonuses like risk free bets, bet matches and deposit bonuses. Some of the common promos are parlay insurance, refer-a-friend, and free bets. Remember that sometimes you need bonus codes for legal sportsbooks’ bonuses: for example, the BetMGM bonus code is BONUSMGM.
Risk Free Bets: Probably the most common welcome bonus; the sports betting site will refund your first bet up to a certain amount if it loses. E.g. first wager up to a $1,000 is risk free.
Deposit Matches: The Sportsbook will match your first deposit up to a certain cap. For example, DraftKings will match your first deposit with 20% up to a $1,000. This means you’ll have to deposit $5,000 to get the full bonus.
Bet Matches: A bet match means you get a free bet worth the amount of your first bet, regardless whether it wins or loses.
Free Bets: The best sportsbook promo: a free bet is given to you by the sportsbook, after you complete certain actions. Remember that you can only keep the winnings, not the stake.
Parlay Insurance: If you select a parlay and one of your selections doesn’t come through, you will be refunded your original stake.
Refer-A-Friend: You get your friend to sign up and deposit to a sportsbook, you (both) get a free bet for your troubles!
Online sportsbooks attach wagering requirements to their bonuses. This means that you can’t just grab your bonus cash and run, but instead you need to wager through your bonus a set number of times before you can withdraw money. For example, with a 5x wagering requirement and a $100 bonus, you’ll need to wager $500 (5 x $100) before you can cash out your winnings.
⭐ Sports Markets
The University of Arkansas Razorbacks are one of the biggest teams in the state.
Arkansas is not a home to any major sports team of its own. However, bettors in AR will have no problems betting on their out-of-state favorites or wagering with Super Bowl betting sites. The long list of betting options provided by the operating online sportsbooks includes several American sports as well as international favorites.
Although Arkansas is not home to any major sports team, the college sports in Arkansas are very dear to sports fans. The Natural State bettors can enjoy betting on college basketball, college football, and college basketball with the likes of University of Arkansas Razorbacks.
Minor League Betting
When there are no local major league teams around, sportsbooks often offer local betting options as well. The most heated sports rivalry in AR is between Arkansas Travelers and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in Minor League Baseball. Arkansas sportsbooks will surely offer such local betting options since two of the licensed casinos operate a local online sportsbook.
Arkansas is a big state for horse races. However, legalizing sports betting did not amend the status of legal horse betting. Bettors can still only bet on horse races at the race track. Now that sports betting is legalized online, betting on horses may become easier as well. The same situation applies to greyhound racing. Pari-mutuel betting for Kentucky Derby and other races is available through sites like DRF Bets Mobile App.
Arkansas gambling law does not restrict the types of wagers you can place. Furthermore, no sporting events are off limits for bettors. This means that you can wager for in-state college teams like the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. However, you can’t wager on things like the Academy Awards or elections, as they are not sporting events.
⭐ Bet Types
If you are new to sports betting, straight bets are the way to go. They are not the only types of bets you can make, though; you can place same game parlays, player and team prop bets, as well as futures and teasers. You can check the odds and alternative lines from each of the sportsbooks.
Moneyline Bet: You bet on the winner of the game.
Point Spread Bet: Wagering on the winner’s winning point margin, also known as covering the spread.
Total (Over/Under) Bet: Betting on the total number of goals, points, etc. in the entire game by both teams.
Parlay Bet: Parlays have multiple legs (bets) in one single sports wager, all legs must be correct for you to win the wager.
Prop Bet: Props are available for both players and teams. You can bet on the first player to score, the number of fields goals during the first quarter, or which team is leading at half time.
Future Bet: Bets on future events, like the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup Finals or World Series, are futures; big risk, but big potential payout too.
⭐ AR Sports Betting Timeline
Arkansas sports betting is now legal at retail sportsbooks and online, joining the ranks of online betting states during the first months of 2022. While the journey here was quite long, Arkansas residents can now place mobile sports bets from the comforts of their homes.
May 12, 2022 – BetSaracen finally goes live.
April 26, 2022 – Betly’s iOS app launches in AR.
April 6, 2022 – BetSaracen is still not live, irritating locals who are anxious to get betting.
March 5, 2022 – Betly Sportsbook website is now live, but betting apps are still missing.
January 28, 2022 – Arkansas Legislative Council meets; online regulations might be passed. After this, Arkansas residents can legally bet on gambling apps.
December 30, 2021 – Arkansas Racing Commission agrees on rules to start legalizing online sports betting.
July 1, 2019 – First retail bets are placed at Oaklawn Racing.
November 2018 – Arkansas legalizes retail sports betting at three local casinos.
April 2018 – The Supreme Court of the United States strikes down PASPA, allowing states to create their own online gambling and sports betting regulations.
Last updated: 07/27/2022
Arkansas Sports Betting FAQs
1️⃣ Can I bet on sports online in Arkansas?
Yes! The Legislative Council in Little Rock approved the proposed rules for online wagering in January 2022, and now two legal sportsbooks are open.
2️⃣ Is sports betting legal in Arkansas?
Yes, sports betting is legal in Arkansas and available at three established venues: Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Southland Casino & Racing in West Memphis, and Saracen Casino Resort in Jefferson County. A fourth casino, Legends, will be built in Pope County in the near future.
According to the new online regulations, each of the four Arkansas casinos will be able to partner up to two online sportsbooks, or create their own. Follow BonusFinder US for all sports betting news and an updated AR sports betting guide.
3️⃣ What is the sports betting age in Arkansas?
You must be 21 years of age or older to to participate in legal sports betting in the state of Arkansas.
4️⃣ Are daily fantasy sports legal in Arkansas?
Yes, Arkansas residents can take part in daily fantasy sports, and it's totally legal.
5️⃣ Are online casinos legal in Arkansas?
No, similar to sports betting, you can only play casino games at retail casinos.