Since May of 2018, sports betting has blossomed in the United States. After the Supreme Court decided to rule that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was deemed unconstitutional, individual states were able to launch services after passing legislation legalizing sports betting. Already, eight states have launched services and one more just started today. The Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort was recently approved by the Arkansas Racing Commission to begin accepting wagers as of July 1st and has launched services as of today.
Today marks the first day that Arkansas began offering sports betting after it was approved last year. Voters marked yes on ballots last November to see casino gaming expand in the state. Bets can now be placed on teams as well as games involving several sports such as the NFL and NCAA.
Bets players can place include proposition bets, in-game wagering, future wagering and parlays. The option is a new level of entertainment for guests to the casino and is only the start of sports betting in the state.
With the approval of casino gaming expansion in the state, four casino licenses were authorized. Oaklawn and Southland Gaming & Racing were allowed to expand their offerings to become fully-functioning casino properties.
For sports betting, properties needed to submit an application for the new activity by this summer. Oaklawn is the first and it is expected that other properties will follow suit.
The Oaklawn property is working with SBTech and will continue to make improvements in the coming weeks to offer players more. Three video walls are going up in the next few weeks along with self-service kiosks on the gaming floor.
Across the US
With the launch in Arkansas, a total of nine states have sports betting services on offer. Some provide only land-based options while others, like New Jersey, provide online betting services as well. The states offering sports betting currently are:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Also set to start soon is New York. The state may be offering sports betting over the next few weeks.
It is really amazing to see how far the US has come when considering sports betting services. The state went from limited offerings, basically Nevada, and players could only place wagers when in the state. Now, there are a host of states offering sports betting and more looking to get started in the industry.
Over the next few years, it is expected that the majority of the US will be offering sports betting in some form or fashion. There are millions to be earned and the money can easily be used to provide assistance to state programs such as funding for roads and education needs.
It will be interesting to see how Arkansas fares once sports betting is fully underway and which states will be next in offering services. The industry continues to grow and expand, showing just how players want access to gaming in their region.