The state of Arkansas was one of the quickest adopters of legal sports betting following the overturning of the federal ban. Despite that, it wasn’t until this past Monday that residents actually had the ability to place a sports wager. While lawmakers did approve legislature in November of last year, it took a full 7 months for a physical venue to appear.
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort reopened their doors this week following a remodel, with the purpose of now accepting legal sports bets. Now that Oaklawn is accepting wagers, Arkansas has officially become the 9th state to actually offer a way for bettors to place a sports wager. Not only is the state offering legal sports betting, but lawmakers have also approved legislature to allow licensed commercial casinos to operate in the state.
The introduction of both casino gambling and sports betting make for monumental progress towards gambling expansion in Arkansas. Media Relations Director for the American Gaming Association, Caroline Ponseti, references the fact that more than a quarter of the nation’s population has placed a bet sometime during the last 12 months or plans to do so soon. Furthermore, nearly 90% of polled adults do in fact view gambling as entertainment without viewing the activity in a negative light.
These statistics indicate that there is definitely a good deal of support for gambling in society, making it a perfect time to discuss and propose legislation to expand and amend current laws. Oaklawn is also placing a priority on creating an excellent experience for bettors. Not only will they offer a wide variety of dynamic bets that pop up throughout the duration of a game, but bettors will the ability to place bets with an actual teller or by using a kiosk.
The combination of both tellers and kiosks are what Ponseti believes will make Oaklawn sports betting a success. There are roughly a dozen kiosks scattered across the establishment, offering bettors to take advantage of real-time proposition bets that pop up no matter where they are located in the resort.
To provide the state of Arkansas with a fantastic way of placing sports wagers, Oaklawn partnered up with esteemed sports-technology giant, SBTech. SBTech directly advised Oaklawn on how to handle the deployment of their sports betting services. The 12 kiosks found around the resort are powered with SBTech solutions, meaning they’ve got their hands on a top-of-the-line betting platform.
While residents of Arkansas can officially place sports wagers now, the month of July will serve as a soft-launch for the resort. This will give staff time to understand the betting system and how the process will work. Their goal is to be at full capacity by the time the NFL season begins in September.
Another thing Oaklawn is working on is the release of an app for convenient mobile sports betting. Bettors can place a wager currently on dog or horse races, but are prohibited when it comes to other sports. Oaklawn plans to launch the app with functionality for all sports in August, which would also line up with the beginning of football season. Even if Oaklawn isn’t at full capacity yet, it certainly is a great sign of progress for the legal Arkansas gambling scene.