Arkansas October Sports Betting Handle Increases 65.7%
Arkansas posted its biggest sports betting handle since the coronavirus shutdown, increasing its handle by $2.6 million from September, according to state numbers released Wednesday.
The state’s total handle for October, with all three sportsbooks operating, was $6.56 million, a 65.7% increase over September’s $3.96 million. October’s net win was $940,514, up 136.8% from September’s $397,095.
In its second month back from the coronavirus pandemic closure, Southland Casino in West Memphis had the highest handle and revenue among the three sportsbooks in October. The handle at Southland was $4,099,141, a 76% increase over $2,327,026 in September. Revenue in October at Southland was $546,627, up 295% over September’s $138,542.
Oaklawn in Hot Springs, which had opened earlier than the other two sportsbooks during the pandemic, had a handle of $1,734,406 in October, an increase of 51.6% over September’s $1,144,246. Revenue in October was $284,757, up 37.8% from September’s $206,545.
Saracen in Pine Bluff, which opened its permanent casino on Oct. 20, had a handle of $726,311 in October, a 49% increase over September’s $487,476. Revenue was $109,129, up 109.8% over September’s $52,007.
EGS Handle Rebounds in October
After the casinos’ Electronic Games of Skill (EGS) saw a slight decrease in total EGS handle and revenue in September, October marked a bit of an uptick.
Total handle on EGS for October was $435.7 million, up 7.4% from September’s $405.8 million. The October EGS net win was $32 million, up 3.3% from the September total win of $31 million.
Casinos have been operating at two-thirds capacity since mid-June.
Nearby States Have Sports Betting
Arkansas took its first legal sports bet on July 1, 2019 at Oaklawn. The other two sportsbooks opened in 2020.
Tennessee, which launched an online-only sports betting market on Nov. 1, saw $27 million in handle in its first week of operation. It borders Arkansas to the east with the Mississippi River serving as the border.
Mississippi, which borders Arkansas, on Wednesday reported a record handle of $61.2 million for October. Arkansas does not allow mobile sports betting, while you can only bet on a mobile device inside a casino in Mississippi.
Louisiana hasn’t launched sports betting yet, but 55 parishes out of 64 approved legalizing it in November. The state legislature will need to set a tax rate and approve regulations in 2021.
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