PINE BLUFF, Ark. — March Madness is here but there's one thing Arkansans aren't seeing just yet – the launch of Saracen's mobile sports betting app.
"We are this close to making this happen. Web, Android and of course, Apple. When all three are ready is when we're going to release." Neal Atkinson, Director of Table Games and Sportsbook at Saracen, said.
Saracen officials have said multiple times that their app would be ready before the madness began. So, what's the hold up?
"The good news is it's passed most of the tests already, and the last thing we've got left is the actual geolocation," Atkinson said. "That's being done on Monday and then we're on the clock, just waiting on the certification to flip the switch."
It's something that people like Byron Miller are ready for.
He's at the casino to place bets on the big dance, but now he's also asking the same question.
"I was all over the highway trying to find this app," Miller said. "I got to it. I registered and it said it wasn't ready yet, which kind of disappointed me because I was gonna turn back around if I could bet from home."
Miller makes the drive to Pine Bluff almost daily from Little Rock to be at Saracen.
Having the app would of course help him save money on gas, but he's thinking bigger picture here – keeping Arkansas money in Arkansas.
"A lot of different things that money could be used for. Putting some of our kids into college, that money could be used for that, instead of taking it out of state," he said.
Saracen said that they're still waiting on that final piece, but their app is ready once approved.
"They're begging us to turn it on and believe me, as soon as we're available to do it, we will do that for you," Atkinson said.
So when could we actually see this happen? There's no official answer, but Atkinson said it should be soon.
"It's 50/50. If I was a betting man and was putting odds on it, it'd be 50/50 for next week, realistically," he said.
Atkinson said that over 5,000 people have already signed up to be notified when Bet Saracen goes live.