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DraftKings and BetMGM Looking to Get into Arkansas Sports Betting Market

DraftKings and BetMGM Looking to Get into Arkansas Sports Betting Market

The Arkansas Racing Commission will be meeting at 11 am CT on Thursday to adopt a law regarding the rules and regulations for mobile sports betting in the state. Reputable sportsbook giants like DraftKings and BetMGM want an increase of sports betting platforms or skins in the state.

What Are Sportsbooks Exactly Seeking in Arkansas 

Despite having heavy opposition from lobbyists against gambling of any form, mobile sports betting is on track to take place in the state. 

Lobbyists will be able to voice their concerns when Thursday arrives. 

Casinos throughout the state offer in-person or some retail sports betting options for those who reside in the state. However, these two sportsbook operators have sent out letters to the Arkansas Racing Commission stating that each casino should be allowed to have four skins for each casino rather than just two.

Under the current law, casinos may choose to develop their own mobile sports betting platform or extend their partnership with just one sportsbook operator like DraftKings or BetMGM.

The letters received by the Commission include references of endorsement by Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Oaklawn Casino Resort in Hot Springs, and Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis label the pros and cons on the profit-sharing aspect of the law.

BetMGM requested a minimum of three to four skins for each licensed casino in the state. BetMGM Sportsbook believes that increases competition in the state’s regulated sports wagering industry, which in turn leads to better products, the best customer experience, and, as a result, increased Arkansas tax revenues.”

Competitor DraftKings Sportsbook believes in the same concept as the company requested to implement at least four skins in each licensed casino or remove the proposed limit. 

It went on to say, “Competition among operators benefits Arkansans as it results in innovate products, better promotions and incentives and more favorable pricing.” 

The Casinos Response to the Number of Skins Limit 

The chief market officer at Saracen, Carlton Saffa, is adamant about his preference to allow one skin for each licensed casino. This gives casinos more power and more revenue for the casinos. Permitting two skins was a way to appease sportsbook giants that want to conduct business in the state.

Saffa believes that the law is perfect and that no change is necessary. Online sportsbook operators are in the process of challenging the rule that would give gaming facilities in Arkansas 51 percent of the profits in any partnerships with a reputable sportsbook.

Typically DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM Sportsbook, or any other sportsbook giant limit casino profits to 5 to 15 percent. The reason behind that notion is these reputable sportsbooks will use their established brand name and marketing strategies to promote sports betting in any state they operate for the big difference in profit margins.

A segment in BetMGM’s letter states that “No other state that has legalized sports wagering dictates how revenues are shared between a licensee and its vendors.” 

It is believed that the casinos and the sportsbooks should work out a deal amongst themselves and shouldn’t be in the government’s hands to decide. 

Saffa believes that the profits remain in the state to help the people working and living in Arkansas. The casinos in the state employ up to 3,000 workers, and having a lack of profit may hurt the casino industry moving forward. 

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