Arkansas Gambling Sites - A Guide to Gambling In Arkansas
Arkansas was once nicknamed the Land of Opportunity and is now nicknamed the Natural State. It's the 29th largest state and the 33rd most populous with an estimated population of almost 3 million in 2016.
Several famous and successful people have come from Arkansas, including former President Bill Clinton, Walmart owner Sam Walton and singer Johnny Cash.
Although you won't find any casinos in Arkansas, you can find some casino games at race tracks. Because of this, online gambling is a popular alternative for many Arkansas residents.
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Online Gambling and Arkansas Law
Is Online Gambling Legal in Arkansas?
Yes, online gambling is legal in Arkansas. There are no laws written in Arkansas to keep residents from gambling online. This includes online casinos, sports betting and race betting.
Online gambling is a popular option for Arkansas residents because only pari-mutuel betting is allowed on race betting while no betting is allowed for sports.
Residents of Arkansas are free to gamble at both online U.S. gaming sites and off-shore gaming sites.
Can I Get Arrested For Gambling Online in Arkansas?
No, you can't get arrested for gambling online in Arkansas.
Now, if you start your own casino or bookie website, that's a different story, but if you're only going on to place your bets, you're in the clear.
Breaking down what exactly is or isn't legal in Arkansas. Gambling Venues in Arkansas
Where to gamble in the state of Arkansas. The History of Gaming Laws in Arkansas
A brief history of Arkansas laws regarding gambling. The Furture of Gambling in Arkansas
What does the future of gambling look like in Arkansas?
More Gambling Laws in Arkansas
Owning or running a casino or gambling house in Arkansas is illegal. Here's what section 5-66-103 of the Arkansas Code defines a gambling house as:
"(a) A person commits the offense of keeping a gambling house if the person: (1) Keeps, conducts, or operates, or who is interested directly or indirectly in keeping, conducting, or operating any gambling house or place where gambling is carried on; (2) Sets up, keeps, or exhibits or causes to be set up, kept, or exhibited or assists in setting up, keeping, or exhibiting any gambling device; or (3) Is interested directly or indirectly in running any gambling house or in setting up and exhibiting any gambling device, either by furnishing money or another article, for the purpose of carrying on any gambling house.
(b) Keeping a gambling house is a Class D felony."
Casino Games: Illegal With Some Exceptions
This is what section 5-66-106 of the Arkansas Code says about betting on gaming devices:
"(a) It is unlawful for any person to bet any money or other valuable thing or any representative of any thing that's esteemed of value on any game prohibited by ß 5-66-104.
(b) Upon conviction, a person who violates this section is guilty of a violation and shall be fined in any sum not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) nor less than fifty dollars ($50."
In 2005, Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 1151 which allowed race tracks to install games of skill such as blackjack, poker and video poker machines.
Some of the race tracks today include blackjack, poker, video poker, craps and roulette. Visiting one of these race tracks should fulfill your casino needs, but if not, Mississippi is right next door and has a wide variety of casinos to choose from.
Sports and Race Betting: Pari-Mutuel Betting Only
Here's what section 5-66-114 of the Arkansas Code says about sports or game betting:
"(a) (1) It is unlawful for any person, partnership, or corporation to receive or transmit information in the State of Arkansas relating to football, baseball, basketball, hockey, polo, tennis, horse racing, boxing, or any other sport or game for the purpose of gaming. (2) This section does not apply to a radio station or newspaper disseminating such information as news, entertainment, or advertising medium. (3) The provisions of this section do not apply to any commission conducting a legalized race meet within the State of Arkansas."
Here's what section 5-66-116 of the Arkansas Code says about horserace betting:
"(a) It is unlawful to directly or indirectly bet in this state, by selling or buying pools or otherwise, any money or other valuable thing, on any horse race of any kind whether had or run in this state or out of this state."
Each bet or wager on horse racing is considered a separate offense, and by your third offense, you can pay up to $500 in fines and spend 6 months in prison.
Pari-mutuel betting is allowed at permitted racetracks in Arkansas. Pari-mutuel is a betting system that takes everyone's bets, and then is paid out of a sharing pool to all the winning betters after taking out taxes and the house take.
Here's what section 5-66-110 of the Arkansas Code says about Keno:
"(a) If a person sets up or exhibits, causes to be set up or exhibited, or aids or assists in setting up or exhibiting in the state any gaming device commonly known and designated as "keno" or any similar device by any other name or without a name, upon conviction the person is guilty of a violation and shall be fined in any sum not less than two hundred dollars ($200) for benefit of the common school fund."
Arkansas has a state scholarship lottery which started in 2009. Since they have started the program, almost $700 million has been given to Arkansas students as scholarships for in-state colleges. There has also been $2 billion in prizes given out to players.
Bingo: Legal With Restrictions
Only charitable bingo and raffles are allowed in Arkansas.
Here's what section 23-114-103 of the Charitable Bingo and Raffles Enabling Act says about bingo:
"(a)The game of bingo or a raffle conducted by a licensed authorized organization shall not be a lottery prohibited by Arkansas Constitution, Article 19, Section 14, if all net receipts over and above the actual cost of conducting the game of bingo or raffle are used only for charitable, religious, or philanthropic purposes.
(b)(1)No net receipts from games of bingo or raffles shall be used to compensate in any manner any person who works for or is in any way affiliated with the licensed authorized organization.
(2)(A)Charitable bingo or raffles shall only be conducted by a licensed authorized organization through its bona fide officers and members who volunteer their time and receive no compensation for their services.
(B)A licensed authorized organization shall not conduct games of bingo or raffles through any agent or third party.
(c)The provisions of this chapter are not intended and shall not be construed to allow the play of games of bingo or raffles through any electronic device or machine."
The first violation of these bingo related laws can costs you up to $5,000 dollars and any subsequent offenses can cost up to $10,000.
You also cannot hold more than 4 bingo games on the same premises within a week.
Social gambling: Illegal
Social gambling is illegal. Here's what section 5-66-113 of the Arkansas Code says about betting on games of hazard or skill:
"(a) If a person bets any money or any valuable thing on any game of hazard or skill, upon conviction he or she is guilty of a violation and shall be fined in any sum not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00)."
Since the fine is a max of $25, it's fairly common to find an illegal game happening out of someone's house.
It's also illegal to have gaming devices in your home. Here's what section 5-66-107 of the Arkansas Case says about owning gaming devices:
"(a) It is unlawful for any owner or occupant of any house, outbuilding, or other building or any steamboat, or other vessel to knowingly permit or suffer any games, tables, or banks mentioned in ß 5-66-104 or permit or suffer any kind of gaming under any name, to be carried on or exhibited in his or her house, outbuilding, or other building, or on board of any steamboat, flatboat, keelboat, or other vessel on any of the waters within this state.
(b) Upon conviction, a person who violates this section is guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor and shall be fined in any sum not less than one hundred dollars ($100) and may be imprisoned any length of time not less than thirty (30) days nor more than one (1) year."
Gambling Venues in Arkansas
The closest to a casino you're going to get in Arkansas is a racetrack. You can find many different casino games at the race tracks today including poker, blackjack, craps and more.
There are currently only two race tracks that offer large gaming rooms in Arkansas, including Southland Park and Outlawn Racing & Gaming.
1. Southland Park
1550 Ingram Blvd
West Memphis, AR 72301
2. Oaklawn Racing & Gaming
2705 Central Ave
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Southland Park has a 55,000 sq ft gaming area with over 1,900 gaming machines and a poker room. Their games include:
- Video poker machines (Three Card Poker, Progressive ultimate Texas holdem and Progressive Mississippi Stud)
- Blackjack with live dealers available 24/7
Southland's poker room offers Texas holdem and Omaha poker games. Poker room hours are Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 a.m. Monthly tournament sheets can be found on their website.
Southland's high limit room offers machines with denominations from $1-$25. Some popular games include Wheel of Fortune, Top Dollar, Double Diamond games and Blazing 7's.
Southland also offers 5 different dining choices and holds over 400 greyhound races a year.
1550 Ingram Blvd
West Memphis, AR 72301
Phone Number: (800) 467-6182
Here are a few of the games that Oaklawn's gaming area had to offer:
- Three Card Poker
- Ultimate Texas holdem
Popular reel games include:
- Betty White reel game
- The Walking Dead 2
- Lightning Link
- Buffalo Stampede
- Zeus: Son of Kronos
- Kronos: Father of Zeus
- Quick Hit Volcano
- Quick Hit Jungle
- Crazy Monkey Delux
- Wonder 4 Tower
- Whales of Cash
- Mustang Fortune
- Twice the Gems
- Twice the Diamonds
- Action Dragons
- Willy Wonka Pure Imagination
- Dragon's Temple 3D
Oaklawn also offers 7 dining options and has a thoroughbred race track.
2705 Central Ave
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Phone Number: (800) 625-5296
History of Gambling in Arkansas
The majority of today's gambling laws in Arkansas were put into place in 1967. This included the law that made Arkansas one of the few states where that at-home poker games are illegal. Although the home poker games are illegal, the fine is a max of $25, which is still true today.
Strict licensing rules were clarified under the Charitable Bingo and Raffles Enabling Act which that allowed charitable bingo games to take place.
Legislation passed that allowed game of skill to be placed into race tracks. This legislation allowed electronic games, so the race tracks created a live dealer and electronic screen hybrid. This hybrid system allowed them to stay in the line with of the legislation while and also having live dealers on site.
After being approved in 2008. The state regulated lottery begins that was approved in 2008. This lottery uses its funds to grant scholarships to in-state Arizona students
Arkansas Gambling Future
Arkansas has strict gambling laws this include the prohibition of casinos and all social gambling. Even running a poker game out of your home can get you into trouble with Arkansas law enforcement.
The closest thing Arkansas has to a casino are the two race tracks that have large gaming rooms. These race tracks do offer craps, blackjack, poker and more, but most of the game machines are electronic.
Keno is another game that's prohibited by Arkansas law, but the state does have a state regulated lottery that residents can participate in.
Bingo and raffle ticket events are only allowed under the Charitable Bingo and Raffles Enabling Act, which allows only limited amounts of prizes to be given out and a max of four bingo games a week at a single location.
Online gambling is one type of gaming that's completely legal in Arkansas, and is a popular option for the residents. Casino games, sports betting, race betting and every other type of online gambling are legal in Arkansas.
I don't see much change coming to the Arkansas gambling laws in the near future. The racetrack gaming rooms provide an adequate casino experience, and the bordering state of Mississippi offers a variety of casinos for people looking for a more "out-there" gambling experience.