Arkansas Sports Betting Takes Leap Toward Legalization

Joe Kata, Last Updated: February 27th, 2019 Arkansas Sports Betting
Arkansas Sports Betting Takes Leap Toward Legalization

Those who want to place legal sports bets in Arkansas received a piece of good news, as the racing commission approved a set of rules to govern Arkansas casinos that includes the ability for AR sports betting to occur at these casinos. For those that had been patiently waiting since Arkansas voters approved a state constitutional amendment to allow gambling and sports betting in Arkansas on Nov. 2018, this brings them a lot closer to legal sports betting as the regulations are moving to a legislative review committee for a hopeful final approval.

March 14 will be the date to look toward for the next step, which is the deadline for these Arkansas sports betting regulations to be approved. And while many groups are still attempting to thwart legalization of casinos and sports betting in Arkansas, it seems like an inevitability at this point.

Arkansas Moving Quickly With New Drafted Gaming Regulations

Arkansas has been moving forward with legalized gambling and sports betting ever since the state voted on a constitutional amendment to strike down the gambling prohibition in the state. Not too many neighboring states are making as grand of a push toward legalized gambling besides Mississippi looking to legalize MS sports betting, although neighboring states like Missouri, and Louisiana have sports betting bills introduced and at varying stages of approval. The legalization of Tennessee sports betting is also a possibility. In fact, Missouri has two bills in the Senate, S 44 and S 327, on the docket in various committees this week.

After the amendment was approved by voters in Nov. 2018, a draft of regulations for gambling and sports betting in Arkansas was introduced in January by the Arkansas Gaming Commission. This included the expansion to four gaming facilities that have the chance to operate as casinos that would take sports betting in Arkansas. They are:

  • Pine Bluff in Jefferson County
  • Russellville in Pope County
  • Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs
  • Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis

What Other States Have Legalized Sports Betting News To Share?

North Dakota sports betting seemed dead with a vote on House Bill 1254 failing with a 46-44 vote, but after Rep. Keith Kempenich motioned to reconsider since he was absent for the original vote, that motion passed and then House Bill 1254 passed with a 52-38 vote. Now the bill that would allow charitable gaming entities to have sports betting in North Dakota travels to the Senate.

Iowa hammered the legislature with 10 bills devoted to IA sports betting, but the two strongest, one each in the House and the Senate, are the clear-cut leaders to legalize sports betting in Iowa. Senate Bill 1168, which would legalize sports betting as well as daily fantasy sports in Iowa, made it through the Senate State Government Committee.

Kentucky continues its push for legalized KY sports betting with H 175, which encompasses daily fantasy sports, as well as online poker. It's finally out of committee thanks to the Licensing and Occupations Committee and now moves to the House floor. One of many Kentucky sports betting bills out there, Kentuckians keep hoping for a hard push toward sports betting and daily fantasy sports in 2019.

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About Joe Kata

Joe Kata is currently a Senior Site Manager for MLB Advanced Media, and has done extensive writing for sports, betting, real estate and dating sites over the last 15 years. He's dabbled in equity trading, professional wrestling, corporate law, MMA fighting and online cooking shows, but his two greatest passions are loving his family and informative writing. 

MLB.com, MiLB.com, NHL.com, PWTorch.com

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