DraftKings and BetMGM Pushing for Arkansas Sports Betting Access

Sports betting is exploding throughout the United States, and it’s starting to move to the southern portion of the country. This is a monumental change as the country’s southern portion was slower to adopt legal sports wagering.

Arkansas is one of the states in the south that has legalized sports betting. It’s currently available in a retail format and has been since July 2019.

However, the state is still far from launching legal online betting options for people within borders. DraftKings and BetMGM were major players in the lobbying process for legal sports betting. DraftKings and BetMGM are not happy with Arkansas’s current sports betting market because of the limited number of books.

Leaders in these companies are attempting to get the Arkansas Racing Commission on board with their new demands. Although, only time will tell if DraftKings and BetMGM can make things happen and grow the mobile presence in the state.

Online Sportsbook Demands

DraftKings and BetMGM have submitted formal letters to the Arkansas Racing Commission. Each sportsbook requested that at least four mobile skins are allowed for each casino compared to the two books that are currently slotted.

The Racing Commission in Arkansas was assigned to oversee sports betting in the state. It will vote on Thursday if a rule change will be allowed. The commission meeting is scheduled to begin at 11 AM ET, so pay attention to the news in the state for updates around this time.

The current rule gives each casino two skins, which is still a significant number of books compared to some states. The resorts are allowed to open their own mobile sports betting platforms. This will require a lot more money upfront, but it will lead to extra funds in the future.

The casinos could also partner with outside sportsbooks like DraftKings and BetMGM. This will likely be the preferred option because the sportsbooks have the technology for a swift implementation.

More Competition

DraftKings and BetMGM are hoping for more sportsbooks in the state because it will increase competition. Competition will lead to better sports betting experiences for people in the state. It will also help increase revenue for Arkansas, which is one of the main selling points DraftKings and BetMGM included in their written letters.

DraftKings wrote, “Competition among operators benefits Arkansans as it results in innovate products, better promotions and incentives, and more favorable pricing.”

The casinos in the state do not seem to be on board for the additional skins. It will be hard to attract more than two books per property in a state like Arkansas, so the properties are content with the current rule.

Most of the casinos just want to begin offering sports betting as soon as possible. This is a huge moneymaker for the state, so the quicker, the better.

The Arkansas Racing Commission will decide if casinos will receive a 51% profit share with national sports betting operators. This would be a non-negotiable deal, and it would be unprecedented throughout the nation.

The typical profit share is between 5 and 15%, decreasing the number of sportsbooks interested in the Arkansas market. BetMGM and DraftKings made the argument that the profit shares should be between the casino and operator.

However, it does not appear this rule will change because the Arkansas Racing Commission has been said to value this idea. The casinos want the majority of the profits to stay in the state.

The bookmakers are attempting to end this before it starts, and DraftKings/BetMGM have started a coalition including FanDuel, BallyBet, and Fanatics Sportsbook to lobby against this rule.

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