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In the letter sent to the commission, Saffa reportedly explained that estimates indicate internet casino gambling from Saracen alone would generate an additional $12 million in taxes annually for the state.” The commission, reportedly governing all gambling in the state, has expanded its coverage from horse racing and casino games to retail sports betting since July 2016 and mobile sports betting since April 2022. Launching an iGaming app sought by the Saracen Casino Resort would extend the regulator’s coverage and expand gambling offerings in Arkansas.

Potential Approval Would Mark Gambling Milestone:

The state would also become the first in the region to legalize online casino gambling, according to THV11. Some online card games like poker are currently legal, but Saffa reportedly claims that these are not available to consumers. Therefore he is asking the Racing Commission to amend the rules referring to legal internet games by including iGaming in the current legal frame.

Saffa reportedly said: “A solution exists by amending ARC Rule 5, which already authorizes online poker, to include other types of table games and slots. Doing so would provide significant tax revenue to government, and, just as important, ensure that operators be held accountable by the government. Given that we have seen online operators in the fantasy sports space ignore cease and desist demands from the state, merely attempting to police the matter is not a workable solution,” according to Gambling.com as cited by THV11.

Saffa is reportedly looking to appear before the commission by 6 May 2024 to hear the regulator’s decision.

Arkansas Looking to Reach $500m Record in 2024:

The state’s retail and online sports betting facilities handled $404 million in 2023 to reportedly continue growing in the first quarter of 2024. According to CDC, if the current trend continues, Scott Hardin, director of communications at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, anticipates that Arkansas may exceed the 2023 figure and reach a record $500 million in betting handle by the end of 2024. The same source reports that the market handled $141.6 million in the first quarter of 2024 to support the prediction.

These figures are surely considered by Saracen Casino Resort and the Arkansas Racing Commission when considering the regulatory amendment.

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