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Arkansas reports increased gross gambling revenue for Q1 2023

Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort

Arkansas casinos reported a 23% increase in their gross gambling revenue for the first three months of 2023, in a report released on Monday.

Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort which is located in Hot Springs, West Memphis’ Southland Casino Hotel, and Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, are currently the only gaming venues in the state.

Amendment 100 was approved by residents of Arkansas during the November 2018 election and permitted the issuance of only four gaming licenses.

Two would go to Arkansas’ established racetracks while the casinos in Jefferson and Pope counties were given the rest. Amendment 100 also legalized sports betting in Arkansas.

For the first quarter of 2023, the three established casinos generated $177 million from table games, terminal games, and both online and in-person sports betting.

Southland Casino Hotel was responsible for the highest share of the total winnings at $84.4 million, which is 25% higher than the $66.7 million the gaming venue recorded for the same period last year. Saracen Casino Resort came in second with $46.6 million, up from $39.2 million last year.

Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort generated the least at $46 million, which surpassed the $41.5 million recorded in 2022. The gaming venue’s revenue from wagers on horse racing was not calculated in its casino totals.

Southland Casino’s president and general manager, Osi Imomoh stated that the company was gratified by its revenue growth and looked forward to better results in the spring and summer.

“We’re pleased that Southland Casino Hotel has continued to see revenue growth in our casino offerings and Betly retail and mobile sports betting a year after our new gaming floor and restaurants opened,” Imomoh said.

“We are also continuing to market the new hotel to help promote the casino as a super-regional destination and attract more visitors from a broader geography. We look forward to a strong spring and summer for the casino.”

Saracen Casino’s chief market officer also responded to requests for a comment on the casino’s considerable revenue growth. According to Saffa, the casino business was seasonal and the first quarter of a year was not proof of how the rest of the year will go.

Winnings from terminal wagers in Arkansas amounted to $149.8 million and contributed the most for all three gaming venues in the state. The figure, which includes bets on video poker and slot machines is 14% higher than the $131.3 million recorded last year. Southland snagged the most wins at $71.6 million, while Oaklawn generated $41 million, and Saracen won $37.2 million.

Arkansas won $18.3 million from table games for the first quarter of 2023, which is 33% higher than the $13.7 million recorded for the same period last year. Southland contributed to the largest piece at $10.4 million, while Saracen and Oaklawn profited $4.6 million and $3.7 million, respectively.

Mobile betting in the three Arkansas casinos totaled $6.9 million which included major sports events like the Super Bowl and March Madness. Saracen generated the most on mobile bets at $4.8 million, while Southland posted a total win of $1.57 million and Oaklawn $576,000.

The three casinos paid $29 million in taxes to Arkansas for the first quarter. The figure is up 30% from the $22.3 million recorded for the same period in 2022. The state taxes revenue from casino gambling below $150 million at 13%, while income over $150 million is taxed at 20%.

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