story from Talk Business & Politics, a TCW content partner
Electronic games of skill (EGS) wagers at the state’s two racinos continued to climb with Oaklawn topping more than $100 million in wagers monthly every month during the first half of 2014.
EGS wagers include gambling spent on video blackjack, poker, slot machines and other casino-style games.
The latest statistics released by the Arkansas Racing Commission showed gamblers at Hot Springs-based Oaklawn wagered $690,820,196 on electronic games of skill from January through June 2014 — a 21.4% increase versus the previous year.
Oaklawn has undergone a large expansion of its casino-style gaming area and is in the process of further expansion.
At West Memphis-based Southland, EGS wagers cooled off compared to the previous year. From January through June 2014, Southland EGS wagers totaled $1,111,086,390 — a 3.3% increase over the previous year.
Southland is also in the process of a major expansion.
In 2013, combined EGS wagers between the two racetracks was $3.228 billion for the full year.
In the current year, the two tracks have seen $1.802 billion spent on EGS wagers.
Southland posted $2.074 billion in EGS wagers in 2013, a 16% uptick from the previous year. The figure is the highest EGS total since casino-style gambling was introduced at Southland in 2006.
Oaklawn posted 2013 EGS wagers of $1.154 billion, a 10% increase from 2012. That figure was also the highest EGS revenue total since Oaklawn opened its casino in 2006.