Arkansas Casino Pursues Innovative Option to Try Launch an Online Casino

  • The Saracen Casino Resort wants to launch an online casino in Arkansas
  • It believes that a simple rule change would allow online casino games
  • The casino estimates that its app could generate $12m in tax revenue
Laptop with ONLINE CASINO on Enter key
A casino in Arkansas has thought of a unique way in which the state’s gambling regulator could allow online casinos without any legislative action. [Image:]

Taking an unconventional route

With lawmakers in many states hesitant to allow iGaming sites due to concerns about them eating into land-based casino revenue and contributing to rising addiction rates, a casino in Arkansas is now trying a novel approach to secure legalization without passing any laws.

looking to launch an online platform to offer slots and table games

The Saracen Casino Resort, the state’s first gambling property of its kind, opened its doors in 2019 after voters approved the legalization of up to four casinos, online poker, and sports betting. Owned by the Quapaw Nation, the casino is looking to go live with an online platform to offer slots and table games to people across Arkansas.

Seemingly straightforward

Saracen Casino’s Chief Marketing Officer Carlton Saffa wrote a letter last month to Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC) Chairman Alex Lieblong requesting the regulator to approve a simple rule change that would allow online casinos to launch.

No states have passed legislation in 2024 to legalize internet gambling. Online casinos are currently only up and running in seven states.

He believes that this approach would bypass the need for any legislative action, a constitutional amendment, or approval from the governor as casino games are already authorized games. Saffa told that he intends to appear at the regulator’s next meeting on May 6 to discuss the matter.

Expanding the current framework

Online poker is already legal in Arkansas through ARC Rule 5, although no platforms have launched as of yet. Saffa believes that the ARC can amend this rule to allow for online casino games, a move which he believes would generate significant tax revenue and allow the state to properly regulate online gambling platforms.

Saffa cited the long-running issues with daily fantasy sports platforms operating in Arkansas without the necessary permission and ignoring cease and desist demands, as well as the large number of people already using black market online casinos.

a Saracen Casino-run platform could generate about $12m in tax money after just one full year

He estimates that a Saracen Casino-run platform could generate about $12m in tax money after just one full year and highlighted research showing that iGaming platforms don’t eat into the profits of land-based casinos and actually can give them a boost.

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