Arkansas Casino Launches Sports Betting Marketplace

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Arkansas Casino Launches Sports Betting Marketplace
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An Arkansas casino has launched the area's first online sports betting marketplace.

Saracen Casino Resort, partnering with the technology company BetSwap, offers an online hub where users can sell and buy previously placed sports bets. The marketplace is available on the Pine Bluff resort’s online site and mobile app, BetSaracen.

Carlton Saffa, Saracen’s chief market officer, said the marketplace was soft-launched on Jan. 2 and is being more fully unveiled in television ads beginning this week.

Seller, Buyer Decide Dollar Amount

Under the BetSwap marketplace concept, a person who previously bought a bet slip can sell it before the event ends.

The marketplace will suggest a price for the ticket, but the seller can set a different dollar amount. This is not a take-it-or-leave-it “cash out” price offered by a sportsbook operator. The transaction takes place between the seller and buyer on the BetSaracen site.

“They are free to price it as they see fit,” Saffa told

Under the marketplace concept, the seller can receive at least some money back on the ticket, rather than a possible complete loss, and the buyer picks up a ticket — which could still pay the full winning amount, depending on the event’s outcome — at a lower price than the original wager.

Saffa said sportsbooks that don’t provide a marketplace will be at a disadvantage as this new concept becomes more popular.

“In two years any sportsbook that doesn’t offer this platform will be seen as seriously deficient,” he said.

Hotel Tower Under Construction

In addition to adding the marketplace to its sports betting options, Saracen is undergoing an expansion that will add a 13-story hotel tower to the casino site. The hotel will have 326 rooms.

The resort’s expansion, expected to be completed in 2025, will include a 1,600-seat events center for conventions, concerts and other public functions.

The expansion will add about 300 workers to the current payroll of 800 now working at the resort, Saffa said.

Arkansas’ two other casinos, Southland Casino Hotel in West Memphis and Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, recently added hotel towers at those properties.

Both also offer online sports betting — Southland through its Betly app and Oaklawn with the Oaklawn Sports app. Oaklawn, site of an historic thoroughbred track, also offers Oaklawn Anywhere, an app for those wanting to participate in online horse race betting involving races at Oaklawn and other tracks.

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Larry Henry

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