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Sports Betting Soars in 2023Lock Icon

1 min read

Sports betting — just in its infancy in Arkansas a few years ago — has taken off in the state.

For the first 10 months of 2023, $297 million has been wagered on sports through the state’s three casinos, Southland Casino Hotel in West Memphis, Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff and Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, state spokesman Scott Hardin said via email.

That amount wagered is more than double that of the same period in 2022: $124 million. The total for the year was $186 million.

And October was the largest month for sports betting since Arkansas voters approved casino gaming in November 2018. About $45 million was bet on sports that month, and more than $23 million of that amount was wagered through Saracen’s app, Bet Saracen.

“While 2022 was a record year with $186 million wagered on sports, we surpassed that total within the first seven months of 2023,” Hardin said. “Sports betting was never a significant source of casino revenue. That is beginning to change with the mobile betting option.”

A winner of all that betting includes the state of Arkansas. Tax revenue from sports betting totaled $4.16 million through the first 10 months of the year. That’s up from $1.6 million through the same period last year.

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