Arkansas Casino Requests iGaming Approval

Carlton Saffa, chief market officer at Saracens Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, wrote to Alex Rivlon, president of the Arkansas Racing Board, asking him to change the rules allowing internet casino gambling.

In addition to Saracens, the state also has two other brick-and-mortar casinos – the Southland Casino Hotel in West Memphis and the Okron Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs.

Each property has a full Las Vegas-style casino with table games, slots and sportsbooks, as well as a mobile sports betting app that users can download across the state.

On Monday, Sapa told Gambling.com he hoped to appear before the state’s racing commission to seek approval to provide iGaming on May 6. It is the commission that regulates all gambling issues in the state, including racing and casino games.

Saffa said iGaming products on the Saracens app will include live dealers.

EyeGames Do Not Hurt Offline Casinos: Sapa 안전놀이터 추천

Nationally, only six states, from Michigan to Connecticut, offer internet casino gambling. Arkansas will be the first state to have iGaming, which allows users who want to access a computer or download an app to play traditional casino games for money. Other states in the region already offer sports betting.

In a March 13 letter to state regulators, Sapa said internet casino gambling in Saracens was estimated to incur an additional $12 million in taxes annually for the state.

Internet casino gambling, or iGaming, typically earns more tax revenue than sports betting in states that have both.

But some states without iGaming are fighting legalization, arguing that if casino operators can log in to their phones or computers and gamble anywhere, customers will visit offline casinos and not spend money on restaurants and other amenities, including entertainment and accommodation.

In a letter to state regulators, Sapa pointed to research that iGaming provides “rides” rather than encroaching on offline casinos

Status rule change required
Arkansas already allows online poker, but consumers cannot take advantage of it, Saffa said. He said allowing iGaming requires the Racing Commission to revise rules that include internet casino games in addition to current legal online card games, such as poker.

“The solution exists by amending ARC Rule 5, which already permits online poker, to include different types of table games and slots,” Saffa told Gambling.com on Monday. “Doing so would provide significant tax revenue for the government, and equally importantly, ensure that operators are held accountable by the government. Given that we have seen online operators in fantasy sports ignore state interruption and rejection demands, simply attempting to address this issue is not a viable solution.”

Saffa recently made a similar point on the topic of unregulated gambling, telling Gambling.com on “The Edge” that “sunlight is the best disinfectant” and opposing the ban on betting on college players’ props

“Akanso people are already gambling in online casinos, and those companies are not regulated or taxed by the Arkansas Racing Board,” Sapa said Monday. “Those companies do not adhere to the standards that Arkansas people have set out to their businesses to include that their customers have to be 21 years old.”

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