Online Sports Betting in Arkansas

Are you an Arkansas resident looking to start your betting journey? Or a savvy bettor aiming to win big on teams in the Natural State? You are on the right page.

In this article, we will walk you through all the essential aspects of online sports betting in Arkansas, including its laws, popular sportsbooks, and vital tips for maximizing your sports betting experience in the state.

So, let’s dive into this guide, starting with the million-dollar question: when did sports betting become legal in Arkansas?

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • Choose among the three mentioned sportsbooks available in Arkansas.
  • Find out about all the Arkansas sports betting popular college teams.
  • You’ll know all about the legalization and the latest SB news of Arkansas state.

The Legalization Journey of Sports Betting in Arkansas

Arkansas’ path to legal sports betting began on November 6, 2018, when state voters approved Issue 4, a ballot measure that sought to legalize casino gambling and sports betting in the state.

This development happened six months after the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), allowing each state to legalize sports betting on its own terms.

Issue 4 was introduced by a coalition called “Driving Arkansas Forward” and advocated for establishing four casinos in Arkansas and the legalization of sports betting.

After the passage of Issue 4, the Arkansas Racing Commission was assigned the responsibility of creating rules and overseeing the state’s sports betting market.

  • On July 1, 2019: Arkansas launched its retail sports betting market, allowing residents to wager on in-state teams at licensed physical casinos and racetracks.
    • Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort was the first venue to accept legal sports bets in Arkansas. It was soon followed by Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis.
  • On December 30, 2021: the Arkansas Racing Commission amended the state’s casino gaming rules to include mobile sports betting.
  • On February 22, 2022: Following delays and approval from lawmakers, the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee officially ratified the state’s proposed mobile sports betting rules.
  • On March 4, 2022: Arkansas’ online legal sports betting market went live. Betly was the first online sportsbook to take bets from mobile bettors in the state. It was later followed by Saracen Casino Resort’s BetSaracen mobile app and Oaklawn Sports mobile sportsbook.

10 Quick Facts About Arkansas’s Sports Betting Laws

  1. Arkansas Law: Arkansas legalized sports betting in November 2018 and launched its mobile or internet sports wagering market in March 2022.
  2. Legal Age: You must be 21 years old to play at any legal sportsbook in Arkansas. This aligns with the federal legal age for gambling in the United States.
  3. State Borders: You must be within the state boundaries to place a bet in the Natural State. Sportsbook apps use geolocation software to enforce this rule.
  4. Retail Bookmakers. The state has three retail sportsbooks: Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort at Hot Springs, Southland Casino Racing (Betly) at West Memphis, and Saracen Casino Resort at Pine Bluff.
  5. Taxes: Arkansas has a tax rate of 51% for sports betting revenues
  6. Available Sports: You can wager on a wide range of sports in Arkansas, including football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, floorball, bowling, and even bare-knuckle fighting.
  7. In-state Teams: Arkansas is home to several professional sporting teams that you can wager on, including USL Arkansas, the Naturals, the Pine Bluff Golden Lions, and my favorite, the Razorbacks.
  8. Regulator: The Arkansas Racing Commission establishes regulations, awards licenses, and oversees the activities of operators in the state’s sports betting market.
  9. Sportsbook Handle Record: In November 2023, the state posted a sports betting handle of $54.7 million, its highest monthly total since it legalized sports betting. Handle refers to the total amount of money players wager.
  10. Revenue Allocation: If you are a fan of the equestrian sport, you will be happy to know that Arkansas allocates 17.5% of its sports betting tax revenue to supporting its horse racing sector.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Arkansas?

Yes, online sports betting has been legal in Arkansas since March 2022, allowing residents to wager on the Razorbacks and their other favorite teams.

Although Arkansas mobile sports betting rules permit up to eight licenses, only three online sportsbooks currently operate:

  1. Betly
  2. Oaklawn Sport
  3. Bet Saracen

These three online sportsbooks also have retail locations in the state where you can place bets in person. In the future, we could see popular US sports betting sites like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and BetMGM enter the market.

How to Engage in Online Sports Betting in Arkansas

As an established bettor in Arkansas, I am glad to inform you that it is easy to start betting on sports in the state. With the step-by-step guide below, you can start placing wagers on your favorite sports like a pro.

Step 1 — Choose a licensed operator: As I have stated earlier, there are only three licensed sportsbooks operating in Arkansas for now: Oaklawn Sports, Southland Casino Racing (Betly), and Saracen Casino Resort.

→ Compare their offers. Good news, I have done the hard work for you in the next section, and go for whichever meets your preference.

Step 2 — Sign up: Download the mobile app of your chosen operator and sign up. Their apps are available on Android, iOS, and even desktops.

→ I used an iPhone to test the three apps, and the process was seamless and user-friendly. I simply clicked the “Sign Up” button, entered my information, verified my account, and set up a username and password. Within minutes, I was able to start wagering. I am sure it would be a breeze on other devices, too.

Step 3 — Deposit: The next step is to fund your account. You can select from the various payment methods available at your preferred betting site. You will find options like Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Venmo across all sportsbooks.

→ I was happy to see Apple Pay available for depositing at Betly, which sped up the process. While all banking options have a $10 minimum deposit requirement, they have different maximum limits. At Betly, my favorite, Apple Pay, has the highest at $20,000.

Step 4 — Claim your welcome offer: You can benefit from a welcome bonus at Arkansas sportsbooks as a new member. These offers often include a free bet or deposit match.

→ For instance, Betly will match your first deposit with 200% up to $200, while Oaklawn currently offers up to $1000 in bets. Check the terms and conditions of your chosen bookie’s welcome offer on its promotions page, and follow the instructions to claim.

Step 5 — Start wagering: Right from the sportsbook’s homepage or main screen, you will be able to see the sports you can wager on. Click on your favorite sport to see the available markets and odds. From there, make your selections, enter your stake, and place your first wager in Arkansas!

→ If you want to maximize your winnings, try out some betting strategies to find out your favorite! 

My Top 3 Online Sports Betting Apps in Arkansas

Arkansas offers three excellent legal sportsbooks, each providing a unique online betting experience. Here’s a quick overview to help you choose the best one for your style.

Oaklawn Sports

Bookie NameOaklawn Sports
Recommended bet marketsFootball, basketball, baseball, golf
Welcome offer$1000 bonus bets

Oaklawn Sports stands out with a large sportsbook covering 18 sports and competitive odds. Their generous welcome bonus offers up to $1,000 in bonus bets. The Oaklawn Rewards system is another highlight, providing additional bonuses and exclusive perks as you advance.

Southland Casino Racing (Betly)

Bookie NameSouthland Casino Racing
Recommended bet marketsFootball, basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, boxing
Welcome offer100% up to $250 match bonus

Betly’s app, offered by Southland Casino Racing, has a clean and intuitive interface, making mobile betting enjoyable. New users get a 100% match bonus up to $250 upon registration and deposit. Betly also offers a wide variety of payment options, including Venmo and PayPal.


Bookie NameBetSaracen
Recommended bet marketsSoccer, basketball, boxing, cricket, darts, football, hockey
Welcome offer100% up to $250 match bonus

BetSaracen excels with features like live data feeds and live betting, allowing wagers during games. It covers popular sports and offers various exotic bets. New users benefit from a 10% Parlay Boost on winning parlays with three or more legs, adding extra excitement to your bets.

Popular Sports and Teams in Arkansas Betting Scene

Sports is one of the most followed activities in Arkansas. It’s no wonder the Natural State hosts a long list of professional teams across various sports, including football, basketball, baseball, racing, and more.

Here is a breakdown of the most popular sports and teams you can wager on in Arkansas:

Arkansas Razorbacks (University of Arkansas)The Razorbacks games in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) are a regular feature on Arkansans betting slips
Arkansas State Red Wolves (Arkansas State University)The Red Wolves compete in the Sun Belt Conference, and are highly followed by sports lovers and bettors in Arkansas
BaseballArkansas Travelers (Little Rock)Although they play in a minor league, the travelers still attract betting interest from local fans in Arkansas
Horse RacingOaklawn Park RacetrackThis park hosts thoroughbred racing events, with wagering options available on-site and online.

The Impact of Local Teams on Sports Betting

While Arkansas has no team in the top-tier professional leagues in the US, the state’s residents show unwavering support and loyalty to their local sports clubs. This dedication impacts the state’s sports betting scene, especially when the teams play on home turf.

Football and basketball are the most highly wagered sports in Arkansas, with the Razorbacks and Red Wolves being the most popular teams. During their important matchups, the state’s betting handle often sees a surge as fans eagerly wager on their hometown favorites.

Expected or unforeseen events in these clubs, such as injuries or signings, also influence the betting trend in the state.

For instance: Injuries to Rashod Dubinion and Raheim Sanders for the rest of the season led to a decrease in the Arkansas Razorbacks’ odds of winning March Madness.

Thanks to the legalization of online sports betting in Arkansas, which has paved the way for bettors like me to wager from anywhere in the state, even on the go. This has led to more bets on local teams and an increase in revenue for operators and the state.

Upcoming Events

There are exciting matchups ahead for Arkansas teams. Follow the action as the Razorbacks face off against opponents in the SEC and the Red Wolves take on rivalries in the Sun Belt Conference. Check below for details on these upcoming events as you prepare your wagers.

Are There More Gambling Options in Arkansas?

Yes, you are in luck. Apart from sports betting, you can enjoy other gambling activities in the state. Let’s look at them below:

  • Casino gambling: You can play games for real money in person at the three land-based casinos in the state, including Oaklawn, Saracen, and Southland. Their titles range from slots to table games and poker. Keep in mind that online casinos are not yet legal in the state!
  • Horse Racing: You can bet on thoroughbred horse races at Oaklawn Park. The venue hosts popular meetings like the Arkansas Derby, the Oaklawn Handicap, and the Apple Blossom Handicap.
  • Daily Fantasy Sports: Top DFS operators, including FanDuel and DraftKings, offer contests across various sports like NFL, NBA, and MLB in Arkansas. These sites have the “free rolls” version of these contests, which you can play without risking your cash.

Maximizing Your Sports Betting Experience in Arkansas

It’s one thing to know how to wager on games; it’s another to master the right betting skills that separate successful sports bettors from average ones. To truly have a rewarding sports betting experience in Arkansas, you must go beyond the basics and adopt proven wagering strategies and behavior.

Below, I shared some expert tips that you can use to maximize your sports bets in Arkansas.

Familiarize Yourself with the Three Arkansas Sportsbooks

While you may have a preference, I suggest you create an account with the three legal betting platforms in the state. This will enable you to take advantage of their sign-up offers and other sports betting bonuses.

You can also compare odds and lines and go for the best ones. For instance, I shop for the most favorable lines across the three bookies before wagering on important Razorbacks’ games.

Research your Selections

Since you are wagering real money with the hope of getting high returns, you shouldn’t let emotions influence your bets. Ensure you thoroughly investigate and analyze the teams, players, and other factors that can affect the outcome of a game before adding it to your selection.

Manage your Bankroll

The secret to proper bankroll management at a sportsbook is to have a budget. Before you place your first wager, decide the amount and time you are willing to spend. An additional measure I take is that I divide my funds into units and allocate them across various bets based on their probability of winning. Stick to your budget and don’t chase losses.

Consider Different Betting Types

You may miss out on potential returns if you only focus on straight bets. There are loads of other betting types that can give you more flexibility and bigger payouts. Look into futures and multiple options like parlays, if bets, Yankees, etc.

Don’t Stop Learning

New sites, bets, rules, and strategies are constantly being introduced in the sports betting world. To develop expertise in this field, you need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, especially in the Arkansas wagering scene.

Responsible Betting in Arkansas

It is vital to bet responsibly to have a safe and enjoyable sports betting experience in Arkansas. As I mentioned earlier, set a budget and stick to it whether you win or lose.

Emotions and betting do not mix, so avoid betting when stressed or under the influence.

The licensed sportsbooks in the state also have resources in place to help you control your betting behavior. These include deposit limits, reality checks, self-exclusion options, and links to problem gambling support services.

If you need help, you can access the Arkansas Problem Gambling Program resources via 1-800-522-4700.

So, Will You Bet from Arkansas Tonight?

Online sports betting is legal and available in Arkansas through 3 licensed sportsbooks. They offer a wide range of markets and betting options, enough to satisfy your betting thirst.

Take advantage of their welcome packages and start placing wagers on the Razorbacks, Red Wolves and other teams that catch your fancy in the state. However, remember to bet responsibly.

Curious about other American jurisdictions that regulate sports betting? Check out this detailed list of legal sports betting states in the US.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top legal online Arkansas sportsbooks?

Arkansas offers several top legal online sportsbooks, including Oaklawn Sports, Southland Casino Racing (Betly), and BetSaracen. These sportsbooks provide a range of features, from generous welcome bonuses to user-friendly interfaces, catering to the needs of Arkansas bettors.

Can I bet on college sports through Arkansas online sportsbooks?

Yes, Arkansas online sportsbooks allow you to bet on college sports. You can place legal sports wagers on various college sports events, adding excitement to your favorite college games.

When did online sports betting launch in Arkansas?

Online sports betting officially launched in Arkansas in 2022. Arkansas voters approved the measure, leading to the establishment of the first legal sports betting location and the introduction of various mobile sportsbooks in the state.

What options are available for Arkansas bettors looking to place a legal sports wager?

Arkansas bettors can place legal sports wagers through several platforms that offer extensive betting markets, including live betting and a variety of sports such as football, basketball, and more.

How has the online sports betting market evolved in Arkansas?

Since its launch, the online sports betting market in Arkansas has seen significant growth. Legal online Arkansas sportsbooks have become increasingly popular, providing residents with convenient and secure options to bet on sports in Arkansas.

The introduction of mobile sportsbooks has further expanded accessibility, allowing bettors to place wagers from anywhere within the state.