April 24, 2024 3 min read


Saracen Casino in Arkansas Supports Online Gambling Expansion

A newly released report suggests that the leading casino and sports betting operator seeks to receive approval to offer iGaming services to customers in the state

After the statewide expansion of sports betting, online gambling is also gaining speed across the country. Although the two are difficult to compare, at least for the moment, considering that iGaming is available in several states while legal betting is legal in nearly 40 US states, there’s plenty of interest in legal online gambling.

Currently, Arkansas permits betting on sports via retail sportsbooks and mobile betting apps. While the state has already legalized online poker, the activity hasn’t been launched yet. Now, a newly released report suggests that one Arkansas casino is pushing for the expansion of gambling with the addition of iGaming activities such as live dealer casinos, online craps, slots and blackjack, among other games.

In a recent interview for Gambling.com, Saracen Casino Resort’s chief market officer, Carlton Saffa, revealed that Arkansas residents are already participating in online gambling activities. However, he said that the consumers use websites that are not regulated, which leads to taxes flowing out of the state. “Those companies are not held to the standards the people of Arkansas set forth for operators, to include that a customer must be 21,” he added.

People in Arkansas are already gambling in online casinos, and those companies are not regulated or taxed by the Arkansas Racing Commission.

Carlton Saffa, chief market officer at Saracen Casino Resort

The Addition of iGaming Would Generate More Tax Revenue

Saffa confirmed that he anticipates appearing before the state’s gambling regulator, the Arkansas Racing Commission, on May 6 and seek approval for Saracen Casino Resort to start offering iGaming. According to the executive, a legislative change that would bring online gambling activities isn’t complicated. “A solution exists by amending ARC Rule 5, which already authorizes online poker, to include other types of table games and slots,” explained Saffa.

He predicted that the legalization of iGaming activities would help bring additional tax revenue for Arkansas. At the same time, Saffa said that a legal iGaming market will ensure licensed operators adhere to an established set of rules.

Supporting the casino efforts toward iGaming, Saffa sent a letter to the gambling regulator in early March. In his letter to the Commission’s chairman, Alex Lieblong, the executive asked for legislative changes that would enable Saracen Casino Resort to start offering online gambling activities.

Saffa’s letter addressed one of the major concerns for land-based operators, which is the impact of iGaming on the brick-and-mortar sector. Citing research, he predicted that online gambling isn’t going to have a detrimental impact on the land-based sector but rather give the casino operators “a lift.” The executive wrote that some $12 million in additional taxes would be generated from iGaming if the operator is permitted to offer such activities.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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