Arkansas’ sports betting numbers rose in December from November’s financial figures. Arkansas experienced a small rise in the total betting handle from November to December.
Unfortunately for the state, betting handles are still moving down overall, which is not a positive sign heading into 2021.
December’s Overall Sports Betting Figures
Arkansas’ total sports betting handle increased roughly $100,000 from November to December of 2020. The December handle came out to $6.4 million.
This figure turned into $1.075 million in revenue for the three casinos that operate sportsbooks in the state.
The state received $136,984 in tax revenue in December. Any extra income during the pandemic is beneficial, but Arkansas could be making a lot more money if it implemented mobile sports betting.
Out of the last three months of 2020, October’s handle was the highest at $6.56 million.
Even though there was a December handle increase, numbers still trended downward in the final two months of 2020.
Individual Casino Figures
Arkansas has no mobile sportsbooks operating in the state. Sports betting is currently restricted to three casinos in the state. In December, all three landlocked books’ handles went over $1 million.
This is the first time ever that this outcome has occurred in the state.
Southland Casino in West Memphis won the award for the highest handle in December. The total handle at Southland Casino shrunk from November to December.
The December handle was $3.4 million, which was a decline of $100,000. However, the gross adjusted revenue increased $30,000 in December up to $590,679.
Oaklawn Casino in Hot Springs was the first sportsbook to open in the state in 2019. Oaklawn’s handle increased $200,000 from November to December.
The December number came in at $2 million, though revenue almost decreased by just under $80,000. The gross adjusted revenue dropped $315,600 to $239,033 over the month.
Like Oaklawn, Saracen Casino in Pine Bluff showed a handle increase from November to December. The December handle was $1.03 million.
The biggest spike was in the revenue category. Saracen Casino’s sportsbook had revenue of $244,559 in December. This was a massive increase from November’s revenue of $99,599.
Competition Over the Border
Arkansas’ lack of mobile books hasn’t helped the state when it comes to handle and revenue. During the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, retail sportsbooks were forced to shut down.
Currently, all three landlocked books are still operating at a reduced capacity.
There are some people in the state who may be in a high-risk category that don’t want to take the chance to gamble at a retail book. A COVID-19 world doesn’t support Arkansas’ sports betting structure.
The downward trend in sports betting handle and profit in Arkansas was potentially caused by Tennessee launching its all-mobile sports betting market in November of 2020. Tennessee’s all-mobile market makes it easy for bettors in Arkansas to place bets from their mobile devices.
Tennessee’s sports betting handle in the first month was $131.4 million. The difference in handles between the two states demonstrates the financial significance of widespread mobile wagering.