Arkansas iGaming Bill Pushed Aside

The Arkansas Racing Commission has released the agenda for their May meeting, and there was one thing missing. Many in the state were hoping to see the ARC discuss a potential online casino bill, but that was nowhere to be found on the agenda. 

This meeting was scheduled to take place on Monday, May 6th, but it’s not going to be as exciting as many people thought it might be. It never felt like a certainty that online casino gaming was coming to this state, but there was always a chance. 

Instead, officials are going to be focusing on the Pope County casino license and the group is looking for potential applicants. The ARC will be issuing a license at some point in 2024, and that will allow the state to see some growth in the gaming industry. 

That’s not the type of growth that many in the state in mind, as there is an opportunity to legalize online gaming as well. Arkansas would become the first state in the southern part of the country to offer an online casino, but it doesn’t appear that anything is imminent. 

A Simple Process

There are many states that are working hard to potentially legalize online casino gaming in 2024, and most of those attempts have gotten complicated at times. It doesn’t appear as if that would be the case in Arkansas as the laws actually allow for more gaming growth. 

An executive at Saracen Casino made a request to the ARC back in March to create a rule change that would lead to online casino gambling. There are three casinos currently in the state of Arkansas, and all properties also offer an online sportsbook. 

Current state law doesn’t necessarily prohibit any forms of iGaming from being offered and that is how the state was able to launch online sports betting so easily. Saracen Casino is the group that is currently taking this issue up with the state gaming commission, but it has support from the other two properties. 

If the ARC does decided to allow these casinos to offer an online option, it is not something that will need to be approved by voters in the state. Arkansas would not become one of the top iGaming markets in the United States, but it would allow the state to bring in more revenue that could then be used for specific things. 

No Timetable

The Arkansas Racing Commission will have to make a ruling on this request at some point, but there is no specific timetable for this to get done. The Pope County Casino license has been a major concern for this group, but it just hasn’t been able to make a ton of process towards a resolution. 

It does seem likely that Arkansas is going to legalize online casino gaming at some point in the future, but it doesn’t look likely for 2024. There is a chance that the new Pope County Casino license will come with a chance to offer iGaming also.


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.