Arkansas Exploring Online Casino Sites

The state of Arkansas is not one of the six states that have legalized online casino sites, but there is a chance that the laws could soon be changing. There are currently three land based casinos located in Arkansas, and a leader of one of those casinos is looking to get an online casino up and running. 

The Saracen Casino Resort is located in Pine Bluff, and Carlton Saffa is the chief market officer for that property. Saffa recently penned a letter to the Arkansas Racing Commission in hopes that a rule change will be passed. 

If Saracen is able to convince the Arkansas Racing Commission to change the current laws, it could actually open up new opportunities to other casino properties. Online poker is currently legal in Arkansas, but there aren’t any sites offering these games. 

There is still plenty of work to be done before anything becomes official, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. 

No iGaming in the South

There are currently six states in the United States that allow online casino sites, but none of those states are in the southern part of the United States. Arkansas could open up opportunities for neighboring states as well, and Arkansas isn’t afraid to make the first move. 

Saffa is expected to meet with the commission in early May, and his request is not one that will create any major changes. He simply hopes that the ARC will add other online casinos games to the current rule that is only in place for online poker sites at this time. 

This could allow the state to make a change with little work, as it would not require a change to the state constitution. Saffa hasn’t received explicit support from the other casinos in the state, but those properties would likely join in as well. 

The other two properties in Arkansas are the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs and the Southland Casino Hotel in West Memphis. There is the ability to launch another casino in Arkansas, but it hasn’t been easy to select a location. 

Arkansas has not become a massive casino industry, but adding online casinos to the state could create a huge revenue boost, especially since neighboring states don’t have that as an option. 

Fighting Offshore Casinos

Creating a new source of revenue is a big reason that the Saracen Casino wants to legalize online casinos, but that’s not the argument they are using. Instead, Saffa and his casino are arguing that legalizing online casinos will help end one major issue. 

There are people in Arkansas that are playing at offshore casinos, and those sites are not giving any money back to the state. Saffa argues that the state could see close to $20 million per year in online casino revenue, and that money could be used in a variety of ways. 

The ARC has maintained that it has not considered making changes to the current rules, but lawmakers could eventually get involved. Since this is a change that would increase revenue, lawmakers might want to join in on the fight as well.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.