On Tuesday the Arkansas Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee approved a state rule change that permits sports betting online via mobile devices.
The new rule is slated to take effect in a few days.
Under this new rule, gamblers will be able to bet on sporting events online via a computer, smart phone, or other mobile device from anywhere in Arkansas.
As we have said for weeks, when voters passed Amendment 100 in 2018, they authorized casino gambling at certain locations in Arkansas — not from anywhere in the state over the Internet.
This rule change permits sports betting anywhere in Arkansas. That isn’t what voters had in mind back in 2018.
It’s impossible to monitor Internet gambling to be sure state and federal laws are enforced.
No matter how many safeguards and security features are in place, there’s no way to guarantee that children won’t gamble via these smart phone apps.
People who gamble online face a serious risk of developing a gambling addiction, and some research indicates that people who engage in sports betting are twice as likely to suffer from gambling problems.
Arkansas already has enough problems from gambling. These new rules only make those problems worse.
Bottom line: Online sports betting is a bad bet for Arkansas.