West Memphis’ Southland Casino Racing became the first online Arkansas sportsbook to launch operations Saturday, paving a way for a new era for sports betting in the state.
The operator teamed up with Betly.com, launching a desktop site at www.southland.betly.com. The sportsbook is owned and operated by hospitality firm, Delaware North, which also owns Southland Casino Racing.
“The Betly online sportsbook will make it even easier for our patrons, all Arkansas residents and visitors to the state to wager on their favorite teams,” David Wolf, president and GM of Southland Casino Racing, said in a company press release. “Many patrons are already using our Betly sportsbook kiosks at Southland, so the online sportsbook will be a familiar and convenient extension of our sports betting experience.”
What to Know About Southland’s Launch
Southland’s launch was the result of exhaustive testing and a desire to launch as soon as possible, according to Glen White, who serves as Delaware North’s director of corporate communications.
The goal for Southland is to have the company’s mobile application up “soon,” White said, though he did not give BetArkansas.com an exact timeframe.
For now, the team at Southland is ready to offer online sports betting to residents of the Natural State, White said, beginning a new era for the company.
“Southland is thrilled that our patrons, many of whom are familiar with the onsite Betly experience at the casino, and others in Arkansas can now use the sportsbook at home and anywhere in the state,” White said.
White said in an email to BetArkansas.com the operator is excited to launch online sports betting in time for the Razorbacks’ SEC and NCAA Tournament openers. The Razorbacks open the SEC Tournament at 1 p.m. Thursday against the winner of Wednesday’s Ole Miss-Missouri game.
“That certainly was a goal of ours after the state finalized the launch timeline,” White said. “After the Super Bowl, the NCAA basketball tournament is the most popular sports event for wagering in the United States.”
The operator’s opening week should be a busy one, thanks to Eric Musselman’s team and a host of other sporting events. White said the company’s opening weekend was a success, thanks to the final weekend of the SEC men’s basketball regular season and the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
He and the team at Southland will now wait to see what type of demand the rest of the month has in store, especially if the Razorbacks can make it to the second weekend of the Big Dance for a second consecutive season.
“We anticipate increased registrations and wagering as we head to the conference tournaments this weekend and the NCAA tournament after that,” White said.
Southland Offering Users Exclusive Deals
Southland and Betly are offering new users in Arkansas the ability to score a $250 risk-free bet.
“We strived to make Betly very fun, user friendly and unintimidating as an ideal first experience for people wanting to get into sports betting,” Luisa Woods, vice president of marketing for Delaware North’s gaming division, said in the press release. “Its innovative features are specifically designed to engage and entertain sports fans, but we use familiar terminology and aren’t pushing high-dollar offers that can scare casual sports fans away. And, most importantly, this is coming from Southland, a trusted brand with local roots.”
The Betly Arkansas system allows users to place bets on anything from auto racing to mixed martial arts.
Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff expects to launch its online operation in time for the NCAA Tournament, while Oaklawn Racing Casino Resorts expects to launch in the second quarter of the year.