The Arkansas Racing Commission has released a report revealing losses in the sports betting revenue in the month of July. In fact, the betting revenue for the last month was almost non-existent.
There are various factors at play to contribute to this state of affair, but the fact that only one sportsbook was operating in Arkansas during July says it all. In addition, sports betting became available to players only during the second part of that month.
Arkansas Lacks Mobile or Online Options
In addition to the fact that there was a sole betting operator in Arkansas during July, players also didn’t have the option of a mobile sports betting app. Nor was there any online betting available to them.
These luxuries have proven to be central in states that are enjoying revenue, particularly during July, when a majority of sports betting venues were shuttered.
Enabling the players to place wagers online opens up plenty of more possibilities. Industry analysts have evaluated that tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of revenue were lost in the month of July due to the lack of an online option.
Understandably, people are not going to drive all the way to the Hot Springs area of the state just to place a bet. Besides thinking about the distance, they also have to consider their safety amid the coronavirus.
What the Numbers Reflect
The only casino establishment in the state, Oaklawn Park, had a total betting handle of around $179,315, according to the gaming report. During the same period, it was to pay $198,948 to the winning players. Inevitably, it resulted in a loss of around $20,000 for July. Indeed, these are the numbers not desirable by an operator or the state.
For now, the Southland Casino sportsbook and Saracen Casino remain shuttered, with no updates regarding their reopening.
Meanwhile, there was an integrated gambling revenue of $4.6 million in terms of casino games and sports betting, according to the report issued by the Department of Finance and Administration. It clearly suggests the casino games formed the lion’s share of that revenue.
Furthermore, the state lottery also reflected an increase of revenue by $8.4 million. Fortunately, these two aspects made the sports betting losses somewhat manageable.
Could This Be a Turning Point for Arkansas?
It is easier to put the blame regarding the revenue losses on the Covid-19, and the subsequent measures taken by the states to respond to it.
Still, many states (like New Jersey, West Virginia, and Colorado) have witnessed unprecedented growth in betting revenues during the pandemic months. Indeed, online sports betting managed not only to keep the industry afloat but also enabled the states to benefit from its revenues amid the economic downturn.
Some experts are now hinting that the dismal numbers will inevitably push lawmakers to move ahead into legalizing online betting in Arkansas. It will open up a new market for bettors and a potential source of revenue for the state.