On Thursday, December 30, 2021, the Arkansas Racing Commission (the Commission) voted to amend the state’s casino gaming rules to allow online sports betting throughout the state. Under the current rules, sports betting is permitted only on the premises of state-licensed casinos. The amended rules would take effect immediately upon approval by the Arkansas Legislative Council, which will consider the changes at its meeting on January 28, 2022.
The amended rules permit each of the state’s three licensed casinos to offer up to two individually-branded online sports betting platforms. The rules allow the casinos to operate their own online betting platforms or contract with third-party online betting platform operators, who may conduct online betting through their platforms on the casinos’ behalf. The rules provide that, to the extent a casino contracts with a third-party platform operator, the name of the casino must be displayed conspicuously on the operator’s online betting site and mobile application. The rules provide further that a third-party platform operator shall not receive more than 50% of the net gaming revenue generated from online sports betting.
The amended rules do not impose any specific license requirements upon third-party platform operators. That said, as an entity providing operational and management services to a licensed casino, a third-party platform operator would most likely be required to obtain a Service Industry License from the Commission.
We will continue to monitor developments in Arkansas and provide further updates when appropriate.