The sports betting industry in the United States is starting to recover in a big way, which was the case in the state of Arkansas. In September, Arkansas posted the biggest sports betting numbers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September, the total sports betting handle totaled more than $3.9 million, which was an increase of more than 292% from August. In August, the state had just a little over $1 million in sports betting handle.
All three sportsbooks in the state were back open in September, and the industry was boosted by a large number of sporting events taking place. The net win in September was $397,094, which was a 470 percent increase from August.
Arkansas launched sports betting on July 1st, 2019, and the industry has shown tremendous growth since that time. A fourth sportsbook is scheduled to open at some point in the future, but there is currently an ongoing legal battle taking place.
Oaklawn Now Has Competition
The Oaklawn Park Sportsbook was the only property open during July and August, but that has now changed. Southland Casino and Saracen Casino sportsbooks re-opened during September, and there is now plenty of competition in the industry.
Southland Casino bounced back in a big way, leading the entire state with more than $2.3 million in total betting handle. Oaklawn Park posted a sports betting handle of more than $1.1 million in September.
Saracen Casino was still operating out of an annex building during September, and that location brought in $487,000 in bets. All three of the sportsbooks were boosted by the return of college and professional football, which are the two most popular betting options in the country.
Skill Games See Decrease
Electronic Games of Skill have also been legalized in Arkansas, and that industry was posting some impressive numbers as well. Unlike the sports betting numbers in September, that portion of the gaming industry actually saw a decline last month.
Total handle on these skill games totaled $405,836,765, which was a decrease of almost 2%. The total handle in this industry for August was a little over $411 million.
Southland in West Memphis continues to bring in the most handle and revenue in the electronic games of skill industry, more than doubling the numbers from Oaklawn.
Restrictions Starting to Be Lifted
When casinos were allowed to re-open in May, there were a number of restrictions in place. One of these restrictions was on the number of visitors allowed inside at one time.
From May 18th until June 15th, casinos were forced to operate at just one-third capacity. That number has since been raised to two-thirds capacity, but it is unclear if that restriction will be lifted anytime soon.
Customers are also forced to wear masks and have their temperatures checked before entering each facility. COVID-19 infections have been on the decline in Arkansas, but most of the country is starting to see a new spike.