Arkansas Sports Betting Gets New Mobile App

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Arkansas Sports Betting Gets New Mobile App
© USA Today

Arkansas sports betting has a new option. Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs has launched its sports betting mobile app.

Without fanfare, the Oaklawn Sports mobile app and online platform quietly went live Friday.

The launch occurred one day before the University of Arkansas began its regular season at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville against the Cincinnati Bearcats. The No. 16-ranked Razorbacks won, 31-24.

The Razorbacks next face an SEC foe, the South Carolina Gamecocks, Saturday in Fayetteville. Oaklawn sports has Arkansas as a -9 point favorite.

Arkansas Sports Betting has Three Mobile Apps

With the launch, Oaklawn becomes the final of Arkansas’ three casinos to go live with their own branded mobile apps for sports wagering.

When mobile sports betting was legalized in March in Arkansas, Southland Casino Hotel in West Memphis made its Betly Sportsbook platforms available for online and smartphone users. 

In May, Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff went live with its BetSaracen mobile app and online platform.

National online bookmakers such as FanDuel and DraftKings do not operate daily sports betting apps in Arkansas yet. A coalition of these operators objected to a state rule requiring national bookmakers to share 51% of profits with local casinos when partnering on a mobile app. These national operators typically share 5-15%.

Arkansas is the only state with a government rule mandating profit-sharing percentages.


Arkansas Casinos Have Mob History

Hot Springs, located about an hour southwest of Little Rock, once was an organized crime hotbed with full casinos operating illegally but openly. 

Before authorities shut down the illegal casinos in the 1960s, Al Capone, Benjamin “Bugsy" Siegel and Charles “Lucky” Luciano were among the gangsters who vacationed there.

Currently, Oaklawn is the only place in Hot Springs with legal casino gaming. The Oaklawn casino has a sportsbook and self-service sports betting kiosks.

A hotel and historic horse track also are located at Oaklawn.

Oaklawn already operates a horse racing app, Oaklawn Anywhere, but sports betting is not permitted on apps designated for horse racing.

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