On Monday morning at the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Ark., general manager Wayne Smith placed the state’s first legal sports bet with a teller at the casino’s remodeled Race & Sports Book.
This makes Arkansas the ninth state to welcome full-fledged legal sports betting inside its borders, the eighth since May 2018 when the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting outside Nevada.
Smith’s ceremonial first wager? Risking $5, he’s laying a touchdown and the hook, 7.5 points, on the Dallas Cowboys to defeat the visiting division rival New York Giants on September 8.
In November 2018, Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment by a 54-46 margin, authorizing casinos to operate in four counties, also allowing them to offer sports betting. Then on June 14, the Arkansas Racing Commission approved Oaklawn to begin sports betting operations on July 1, according to the Sentinel-Record.