Arkansas Legalizes Sports Betting Via Ballot Referendum, First Casino Licenses Issued
Arkansas voters on Tuesday legalized sports betting on the only mid-term election ballot initiative in the country dealing with sports betting. Issue 4, a ballot measure that amends the state constitution to allow sports betting, has passed.
As of 7 a.m. Wednesday, with 99 percent of votes counted, 54.1 percent of over 860,000 voters had checked “yes” and 45.9 percent “no” to authorizing casinos in four counties that may include sports wagering among their offerings to patrons.
Arkansas became the second state in its region to legalize sports betting after Mississippi did so last summer. None of its other border states offer legal sports betting, though Oklahoma, Missouri and Louisiana all have commercial or tribal casinos. Arkansas is the seventh state outside of Nevada to legalize sports betting behind Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.