Oaklawn, Southland set gambling records

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 141 views 

What do you after your best month of electronic gambling revenue?

Bet the house that you’d beat it.

Arkansas’ two legal casinos posted their best months in history for electronic games of skill (EGS) wagering as both tracks benefited from heavy visitor traffic.

For the month of February, Oaklawn recorded $81.5 million — far exceeding January’s top month of $65.35 million. The February figure was also 64% above last year’s comparable total. Payouts topped $75.6 million for the month.

Oaklawn is in the middle of its live horse racing season. As a percentage of EGS wagers enhance horse racing purses, the track has increased its purse handles four times in 2012.

At West Memphis-based Southland, electronic games of skill pulled in $173.7 million, easily eclipsing the racino’s best month of $142 million in May of last year when flooding closed Tunica casinos to Southland’s benefit. Southland’s February EGS wagers nearly doubled year ago figures of $90.5 million. Payouts at Southland, which recently expanded, topped $162.2 million in February.

For all of 2011, electronic wagers at the two casinos totaled $1,967,757,846, just $32.2 million short of $2 billion.

Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs and Southland Park in West Memphis are the only two venues allowed to offer casino-style gambling in Arkansas, although certain aspects of the games are electronic. EGS wagers include video blackjack, poker, slot machines and other games.