Arkansas, like most states in the country, have taken a plunge into legalized sports betting. As of July 1, 2019, it’s legal to gamble in Arkansas and the state is now offering sportsbooks (under construction) at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, the Southland Casino and the Saracen Casino Resort.
This is fantastic news for Arkansans who like to put money on sports. But even better news is they don’t have to wait for these books to be operational.
Despite the gambling laws in Arkansas stating that there is “no mobile gambling or online sports betting” allowed, several online sportsbooks operate legally outside the United States for any Arkansan to try. That’s right. While waiting for your Walmart pickup to be delivered, you can visit, sign up, and wager with these sportsbooks legally from the comfort of your car.
As these books are operating in places outside the state and even the country, the Arkansan government cannot shut these books down. Likewise, Arkansans who sign up and play on these books can do so with impunity.
This is hardly controversial as under-the-table Arkansas sports betting has been happening even before the Internet or mobile phones existed. Despite a history of strict gambling laws and a lack of major professional sports teams, Arkansas sports betting has been a mainstay in the Natural State for several decades. Hell, it was central part of the black market economy of Hot Springs back in the 1920s when gangsters flocked there every winter:
These online sportsbooks offer the latest betting lines on the Razorbacks for both college football and college basketball. There are numerous betting markets to try.
Arkansas sports betting: what to bet on the Razorbacks
Betting on sports in Arkansas revolves mainly around the Razorbacks. The Hogs have been the epicenter of the state’s sports scene since the 1950s when former athletic director John Barnhill pushed to expand the program’s radio network across the state. They are also a prominent presence in both football and basketball and have a national title in both.
Gambling in Arkansas usually revolves around betting on one of three types of bets: the money line, the point spread, and totals (over/unders). These are the staple bets offered for every Razorback game whether in football, basketball, or baseball.
The money line is the straight-up form of betting. This is where Arkansans can bet on the Razorbacks to win outright.
The point spread is like straight-up betting, but the Razorbacks need to “cover the spread”. A plus or minus number indicates how many points the Razorbacks need to cover. A spread of “-7.5” means the Razorbacks should win by more than 7.5 points while “+7.5” means the Razorbacks can lose by no more than 7.5 points.
And the totals or over/unders are when Arkansans bet on whether the combined score of both teams will go over or under the projected totals.
Outside of these three types of bets, there are also prop bets offered on the Razorbacks. These bets are side bets focused on players, additional outcomes outside winning or losing, or non-game events.
There are plenty of betting markets available for Arkansans and the Razorbacks regardless of what time of the season or what the teams are up to.
The future of Arkansas sports betting
The mainstream may see sports betting as a rapidly expanding industry, but the truth is that the veil is simply being lifted. Just like gambling in Arkansas has been around for a while, sports betting worldwide has been a multi-billion industry and governments are finally wise to this.
Many believe that Arkansas legalizing to physical sportsbooks is a step in the right direction as it will generate money for the state and make sports betting more accessible. Casual players or seasoned gamblers alike, the legalization of sports betting in Arkansas will make the Razorbacks even more popular.
For the meantime, Arkansans can look online for the various sportsbooks available. Gaining experience betting on these books will also help Hog fans develop a knack on how sports wagering works, what the different betting promotions are, and if their beloved Razorbacks are being underrated or overhyped.