Want To Bet On Super Bowl LVI In Arkansas? You’ll Still Need To Head To A Casino For Now

Written By Derek Helling on January 26, 2022 - Last Updated on June 2, 2022
Potential Change In Super Bowl LVI Betting In Arkansas

After weeks of speculation about the possible start of legal Arkansas online sports betting looked like it would come to an end, that speculation will have to continue. Nothing is likely to change before Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, Feb. 13.

Mere hours before an AR legislative committee was set to vote on a potential rules change to allow the state’s casinos to take bets on sporting events online, that item was culled from the committee’s agenda. It may turn out to be only a delay, however.

Rug pulled out from Arkansas online sports betting

For the better part of a month, things were moving along swimmingly. The AR Racing Commission approved the new set of rules on Dec. 30. Then, on Tuesday, the Commission approved a change of one word to the proposed regulations.

All that remained at that point was for the AR legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee to also approve the new rules. That committee met on Wednesday morning, but it never got the chance to take up the matter.

Late Tuesday, AR Racing Commission attorney Byron Freeland withdrew the Commission’s submission. As a result, the committee struck that item from its agenda. That effectively puts the Commission back in the driver’s seat in regards to if and when mobile betting will start in the state.

It’s unclear exactly when the Commission will address the matter. What is clear is exactly what led to the withdrawal of the rules proposal and what it might take to get to the point of a final vote again.

So what happens now?

The main issue was the revenue breakdown for online sports betting. In the proposed rules, the Commission gave the casinos a 51% share of the revenue. There’s only one other US jurisdiction where gambling companies pay such a high rate on revenue from mobile sports betting; New York.

In most other places, that rate sits between 10% and 20%. Representatives from parties looking to run online sportsbooks in the state, like Bally’s and DraftKings, had requested the Commission instead let them negotiate that rate directly with the casino license holders.

The Commission didn’t go for that last month. Now, with the Commission pulling the rules back, it seems that proposal is back on the table, in theory. AR Gov. Asa Hutchinson suggested a new batch of rules could be ready for the legislative committee’s next meeting in late February.

If that happens, mobile wagering could be live in AR in time for March Madness this year and well ahead of Super Bowl LVII. All the action on Super Bowl LVI, though, will happen at the state’s three brick-and-mortar casinos.

Photo by Jessica Denham / Shutterstock.com
Derek Helling Avatar
Written by
Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

View all posts by Derek Helling
Privacy Policy