Arkansas Casinos See Mixed Results in Net Gaming Wins

Posted on: December 21, 2020, 01:50h. 

Last updated on: December 21, 2020, 04:44h.

Two of Arkansas’ three casinos saw more money wagered on sports in November than the previous month. But winnings were down at two casinos overall, with table games and “terminals” such as slots included in the totals.

Oaklawn casino and horse track in Hot Springs, Arkansas, saw an increase in the amount bet on sports at the resort in November. The sportsbook took in more than $1 million in bets for the fourth straight month. (Image: KUAR)

The one casino that saw a decline in sports wagering, Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, took in $3.5 million in bets during November, according to the Arkansas Racing Commission. This figure is down from October’s total of almost $4.1 million.

Even with gamblers wagering less money on sports in November, the greyhound track and casino in West Memphis won more after payouts than in the previous month. After paying sports bettors with winning tickets, the resort netted $560,782 in November. This total is about $14,000 more than October’s win.

West Memphis is across the Mississippi River from the larger metropolitan area of Memphis, Tennessee. Beginning in November, sports betting on electronic devices such as cellphones became legal in Tennessee, perhaps accounting for a falloff in sports wagering at Southland.

Sports betting in Arkansas is only legal in person at casinos.

Overall, Southland was down nearly $2 million in net win from October to November. This figure includes table games and terminals. The amount wagered was also down. This is the lowest net win total at the casino since June.

Following a COVID-19 shutdown in March, Arkansas casinos have been operating since May 18 at two-thirds capacity.

Million-Dollar Month at Oaklawn

Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort took in more than $1 million in its sportsbook for the fourth month in a row. In November, the sportsbook handle was more than $1.8 million. This exceeds the $1.73 million bet in October. After the payout, the casino netted $315,601 in November, almost $31,000 more than in October.

With terminals and table games added to the totals, Oaklawn saw a decline in its overall amount wagered and won in November. Oaklawn’s month-to-month winnings were down about $2 million from October to November. This is its lowest win total since May.

Oaklawn is in Hot Springs, about an hour southwest of the capital city, Little Rock. Both cities are in the central part of the state.

For decades, casinos operated openly but illegally in Hot Springs, until authorities shut them down in the 1960s. Now, Oaklawn is the only place in Hot Springs with legal gambling. Its historic horse track is home to the Arkansas Derby, considered an important prelude to the Triple Crown races.

Pine Bluff Casino Scores Wins

At Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, the sportsbook took in $945,279 from bettors in November. After payouts, the net win was nearly $100,000.

In October, gamblers bet nearly $220,000 less than in November. However, the sportsbook netted about $10,000 more after payouts in October than in November.

Unlike the other two Arkansas casinos, Saracen had a higher net win overall in November than in October. The casino’s win, including terminals and table games, was about $750,000 higher in November than the previous month.

November was Saracen’s first full month of operation as a built-out casino. The casino had been operating in an annex that was a truck stop at one time.

A fourth Arkansas casino has been licensed for operation in Russellville, but is not open pending a legal challenge to its license.