Arkansas, located in the US’s south, is known for its wildlife and mountains. Its economy is supported by three main pillars: mining, agriculture, and tourism. Arkansas is a state that shares the same political and religious views as neighboring states. Arkansas has strong conservative and Christian values. This translates into gambling laws that are more restrictive than those in neighboring states, but not as extensive.
This GambleDex guide discusses restrictive laws in Arkansas that adhere to Las Atlantis casino, horse and dog racing, sports betting, and bingo. We also discuss small fines for illegal gambling.
Jump to the bottom of this page if you’re interested in learning more about gaming options offered by neighboring states.
Arkansas Online Gambling
Although online gambling is technically illegal in Arkansas, it is possible to argue otherwise due to the state’s complex and ambiguous laws.
If (which is highly unlikely), the law enforcement finds that you are violating online gambling laws and they want to impose a $50 fine, the fee will be $50. The chances of this happening are so slim that there has never been an incident or breach.
Law enforcement priorities are very high. If it becomes more common, fines would be first applied to casino operators, online and land-based. NOT the player(s).
You can therefore conclude that online gambling is relatively safe.
We saw in 2020 a move by an action group from Little Rock to expand Arkansas’ legalization of gambling. This is being financially supported and funded by the Quapaw tribes of Oklahoma. There has been opposition to changes to gambling laws in the past. However, there is now a strong chance that they will succeed. In the past, state laws were more confusing than those in other states. Uncertainty about which forms are legal has resulted in inconsistent law-application. However, casinos offer a variety of gambling options, which seems to be contrary to the state’s gambling laws.
Arkansas currently has 2 casinos that offer over 2,651 slots and gaming machines, as well as a variety of table games. Blackjack, craps and baccarat are just a few of the table games available. Poker comes in many forms, including Limit Holdem and No Limit Holdem. Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better and Omaha Hi. A huge variety of electronic games are available, including video poker and video blackjack.
Additional points to be noted:
- Arkansas does not have any Indian casinos.
- Arkansas has two casinos that are pari-mutuel racing tracks.
- Minimum payout ratio of 83%
- Arkansas casinos have a minimum age of 21 for gambling, and 18 for pari-mutuel wagering.
The state gaming laws in Arkansas clearly indicate that horse and greyhound racing are the only permitted games. However, there are some exceptions such as “electronic gaming of skill”, which is not clear what constitutes a game. Electronic games can be defined as those that are allowed to be played without the involvement of a dealer or any physical exertion. It’s difficult to believe, but it is true. These two racinos offer a wide range of gaming options. Online casinos are prohibited, it is clear.
Why is Arkansas home to only two racinos?
Arkansas has had strict gambling laws in the past. After the civil war, illegal casino operations flourished in Arkansas. In contravention of state law, corrupt officials were bribed into allowing gambling to occur. Despite the fact that gambling was banned, gambling continued to take place. The law wasn’t enforced until the 1960’s. All illegal casinos were closed, with the exception of Oaklawn, Southland, greyhound racing, respectively, which was arguably legal and allowed to continue in operation.
Although sports betting is still illegal in Arizona, a Bill was introduced to the House to legalize it. Like many other states, it is important to change the laws regarding sports betting. This state may need a lot more time.
Mega Millions and Powerball are two of the major national lotteries. The state lotteries are also available.