FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On February 22, a joint budget committee meeting approved mobile sports betting across the state of Arkansas.
On March 4, it officially became legal. But three weeks later, the technical rollout for would-be Arkansas bettors has been slow. The state’s three casinos—Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, and Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis—can all offer mobile sports wagering.
So far, only Southland actually does so. They went live in partnership with the Betly online sportsbook immediately after the law went into effect. Right now, sports betting is available on a Mac or Windows computer, as well as through an Android app. Their site states that an iOS mobile app is coming soon.
Neal Atkinson, the director of Table Games and Sportsbook for Saracen Casino Resort, says its app is in “the final stage of this process,” and it is undergoing field testing by an independent gaming laboratory.
Our team has done everything on our end to be prepared to launch our new BetSaracen Sports Betting app. However, it is now in the hands of external vendors that are responsible for checking and testing all of the systems of BetSaracen before it is made available to our players. It is critical that every element is performing properly and in-compliance before going live.Neal Atkinson, Director of Table Games and Sportsbook, Saracen Casino Resort
Atkinson added that Saracen expects the certification letter to arrive no later than March 29. At that point, the final step is to provide that certification to payment partners, as well as Apple and Google, for approval. He said he is “cautiously optimistic” that the app will go live as soon as 48 hours after certification is received.
But after the Razorbacks’ thrilling run to the Elite 8, some Arkansas fans may want to jump into sports betting right now. How complicated is that process?
A would-be bettor can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Registering for a Betly account just takes a moment, and deposits to wagering accounts are made electronically with a debit or credit card through a third-party service.
In order to place bets, players need to verify that they are located in Arkansas through a downloadable plug-in on the Betly site. The site verifies the location on every login.
After that, new Arkansas bettors will be in business.
The Razorbacks are currently four-point underdogs in their Elite 8 matchup against Duke.
If you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, you can call the National Council on Problem Gambling at 1-800-522-4700.