HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - There's a new way to place bets on horse racing at Oaklawn and you don't even have to go to the track.
Oaklawn Anywhere is a new website allowing Arkansans who are at least 18 years old to create an online account for wagering. The website offers wagering at any major racetrack in the world. "I'm gonna use my iPhone and my iPad which is very easy to use," said Ricky Martin. "It's going to help me a lot to be able to bet at will."
Racetrack officials said the new service will make up for lost simulcast revenues after years of Arkansans using out of state websites to place bets. "The tax will stay here in Arkansas and the purse money generated goes to help our horsemen," added spokesman Jennifer Hoyt. "I don't know if it's going to be a huge money maker for us but it will at least help us recapture some of the money that was lost."
Not everyone is a proponent of the website. Arkansas Family Council founder and president Jerry Cox expressed concern over the ability of an underage user to create an account. "Teenagers are extremely smart," he said. "They're usually smarter than most adults when it comes to using the internet and so I would think it would be quite easy for them to defeat any safeguards that are put in place."
The website requires users to submit a birth date, social security number, and an address. Hoyt told THV all of that information is run through a third party system which checks to ensure the information is accurate.