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iGaming approval requested by Arkansas casino

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Staff member
Jan 17, 2008
Source - GamingAmerica'

New rule change would be a breakthrough for the region in the gambling industry
Carlton Saffa is seeking to bring internet casino gambling to Arkansas, writing directly to Arkansas Racing
Commission Chair Alex Lieblong. Saffa is the Chief Marketing Officer at Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, AR
and envisions over $12 million in annual tax revenue for Arkansas from the rule change. Arkansas would also be
the first state in its region to open iGaming to consumers.

The commission currently controls all gambling matters in the state of Arkansas which include horse racing and any
casino games. A rule already exists within the commission to allow for online poker, though this has yet to be made
available to any potential players. The rule change would not only allow for that to finally happen, but for Arkansas to
open other types of table games and slots as well.

Saffa also has said that he believes people in Arkansas are already finding ways to gamble in online casinos that
are not regulated or taxed by the commission currently. Operators would be forced to function under government
supervision and could be taxed by the state to provide the revenue Saffa estimates.

Internet casino gambling has been found to be a more lucrative business for states that even provide Sports Betting
in association but this can also lead to a negative effect for physical casinos. Casino operators where iGambling has not
yet been authorized believe that allowing such easy access to gambling would hurt hotel businesses. Having consumers
never stray from their phones could see restaurants, in-person casinos and other amenities be left obsolete by gamblers.

Saffa plans to counter this point with hopes to appear before the commission on May 4, looking to provide research
that shows how iGambling can actually boost physical casino gameplay and profit.

The battle for iGaming authorization will ultimately come down to how Lieblong and other commission members
believe online casinos can affect an already functioning industry. Saffa’s Saracen Casino Resort has already partnered
with an iGaming online wallet company Paysafe, combining with the BetSaracen sportsbook app to assist in deposits and withdrawals.