PlayUSA Rewind: Arkansas Thinking About Mobile Sports Betting

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on November 17, 2021

“Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo.”

There is perhaps no better line to define the end of the PlayUSA Rewind. 

What began as a recap of weekly gambling hot takes evolved into something special. But as Agent Smith told Neo, it’s time to bid farewell.

Although this may be the last installment of the Rewind, the staff here at PlayUSA will continue informing readers about the most meaningful stories happening in the gambling industry.

For our final week, Arkansas sees the writing on the wall and discusses mobile betting, Indiana handle reaches $5 billion, and retail sportsbooks open in Connecticut. 

For continued coverage, be sure and follow @VisitPlayUSA | @reporternickg | @brantjames for all the latest insights.

On the Rewind:

Arkansas to consider mobile sports betting

The Arkansas Racing Commission will consider a rule change as early as next week to legalize mobile sports betting in Arkansas.

The proposed rule change is only a draft; however, a formal vote could happen as soon as January if it proceeds through the commission. In addition to a formal vote from the commission, the rule change would also need to clear a 30-day public comment period and get full support from state lawmakers.

The takeaway: In 2018, Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow for retail sports betting at state casinos. Now that other southern states like Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, and even Florida are getting on the mobile sports betting train, Arkansas should do the same.

Indiana tops $5 billion in handle

After a big October, the Hoosier State is now the 5th jurisdiction to record over $5 billion in sports betting handle. 

Indiana now joins New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Illinois as the only states to accomplish this feat in the post-PASPA era.

Additionally, the $461.1 million wagered in October eclipsed the $355.4 million reported in September. According to numbers from the Indiana Gaming Commission, the big generator for the month was football, which topped in at $175.8 million.

Other totals include:

  • Basketball – $53.5 million
  • Baseball – $34.8 million
  • Other – $67.1 million (hockey, golf, tennis, soccer)

The takeaway: Indiana has solidified itself as a top sports betting market. Lawmakers are also happy that the state has collected over $22.1 million in tax revenue for the year.

DraftKings sportsbook opens at Foxwoods

Saturday will feature a soft opening of the new DraftKings Sportsbook at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. The official ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Dec. 8.

Earlier this year, the state launched CT mobile sports betting through Foxwoods (DraftKings), Mohegan Sun (FanDuel), and the CT Lottery (Rush Street).

Retail sports betting will take place at both casinos in addition to 15 locations operated by the state lottery. So far, the lottery has opened six locations.

The takeaway: Although it may not seem like much, this is a monumental feat in Connecticut. Lawmakers, regulators, and tribal officials have worked since 2018 to get a sports betting deal done. Connecticut also establishes the East Coast as a top gaming market in the US.

Nebraska unveils casino plans

At long last, Nebraska regulators have released details on how casinos will operate in the state.

A new 67-page document, courtesy of the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission, details everything from casino licensing fees ($1 million) to problem gambling initiatives.

Additionally, all casinos in the state will be smoke-free.

Each casino license will last for 20-years, and individual vendors and other key operators will have to apply for licenses separately.

The takeaway: According to Racing and Gaming Executive Director Tom Sage, best practices from other neighboring states were used to create Nebraska’s casino rules. There will be six casinos created at the state’s existing racetracks, and there are plans to jump-start the Nebraska sports betting industry.

From the archives

Remember to follow @VisitPlayUSA | @reporternickg | @brantjames for even more insights.

Photo by Real Window Creative / Shutterstock
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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