Arkansas mobile sports betting launch delayed

Mobile sports betting has been delayed in Arkansas.
Mobile sports betting has been delayed in Arkansas.

The state’s three casinos look unlikely to be able to take wagers for the February 13 Super Bowl.

US.- The Arkansas Legislative Council was expected to discuss a mobile sports betting rule yesterday (Wednesday), but the matter was withdrawn from the agenda, meaning it looks unlikely that the state will see online wagering in time for the Super Bowl on February 13.

Arkansas Racing Commission attorney Byron Freeland pulled proposed rules for mobile gambling from the legislative panel’s agenda after the commission approved changing one word during a brief meeting late Tuesday morning, finance department spokesman Scott Hardin said.

The changed word was “revenue,” which has been replaced with “receipts.” The decision to pull the proposed rules will allow additional time to address questions raised by state legislators and other interested parties. “By holding the rules until February or March, we ensure continued full transparency,” Hardin said.

The delay might also gain time for the Commission to tackle disagreement among stakeholders about a revenue-sharing rule approved late last month, which requires sportsbook operators to partner with existing retail casinos to gain mobile betting access in the state. This rule sets casinos to receive at least 51 per cent of revenue from the partnership.

Unanimously signed off on December 30, the 51 per cent split would set Arkansas apart from other states offering sports gaming: the national average share is between 5 per cent to 15 per cent with local casinos. Most states allow operators and casinos to negotiate their revenue-sharing agreements.

The rule led to controversy among national operators, including heavyweights DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM, which voiced their displeasure with the policy. John Burris, a lobbyist with the Capitol Advisors Group, who represents the operators plus Fanatics and Bally’s asked the commission to amend the proposed rules on December 30.

See also: Arkansas Racing Commission approves mobile sports betting

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Arkansas arkansas racing commission mobile sports betting