The Arkansas brick-and-mortar gambling laws make it illegal to wager on any game of chance unless the game is licensed by the state. However, the regulations simply don’t mention online gambling and the authorities refuse to go after individual online gamblers. This leads many people to believe that online play is perfectly legal within the borders of the state, but this theory hasn’t really been put to the test yet, as the chance of being caught in the act are pretty slim and the penalty for taking part in an unlicensed game is just a small fine.
Legal land-based gambling in Arkansas is centered around the local racinos – Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis. The available casino options include slots, craps, blackjack, video poker, and roulette. If the new regulations are passed in November, Arkansas will get six additional casinos. However, this won’t change the legal status of online casino games, which are currently prohibited. As explained in the introduction, illegal gambling in Arkansas is defined in a way that makes it impossible for local iGaming enthusiasts to play on offshore casino sites.
Competitive poker can be played at the Southland Park in West Memphis. The Oaklawn Racing and Gaming racino offers a game called Ultimate Texas Hold’em, which is played against the dealer. Arkansas doesn’t allow house-games, and poker enthusiasts who participate in them may be fined between $10 and $25. Regulated online poker isn’t available at all, and playing on offshore poker sites is illegal.
Arkansas Sports Betting
Betting on traditional sports is currently illegal in Arkansas, but this might change depending on the results of the November 6 vote. If these new regulations are introduced, the local racinos might eventually be allowed to offer sports betting over the internet.
As of now, state-sanctioned sports betting is limited to horse and dog races in West Memphis and Hot Springs. The local facilities have been allowed to offer online betting in 2013. The Oaklawn Racing and Gaming racino’s online platform is called Oakland Anywhere, while Southland Park Gaming and Racing hasn’t launched its own service so far.
Arkansas Daily Fantasy Sports
Arkansas was the 11th state to legalize paid-entry DFS contests. The relevant bill, H 2250, was signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in April 2017. DFS operators are required to pay an 8% tax on the revenue generated by users located within Arkansas state lines. However, the new regulations don’t contain any special consumer protections.
Arkansas residents are free to access all major US-friendly DFS platforms, including FanDuel, DraftKings, Fantasy Draft, and Yahoo DFS.
Arkansas voters approved the sale of lottery tickets in their state in 2008.
In 2009, Arkansas joined the Multi-State Lottery Association, allowing local retailers to begin selling Powerball and Mega Millions tickets. Video-lottery games are illegal, and online tickets sales are still prohibited. The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery website currently serves for informational purposes only, which is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Bingo is available exclusively as a charity game. There are no state-sanctioned bingo sites operating in Arkansas, and playing on offshore sites is illegal. Even if passed, the new casino expansion bill will not change the legal status of bingo games.
Arkansas Online Gambling FAQ
What types of gambling are available in AR?
Despite the fact that Arkansas used to be a gambling hot sport about two hundred years ago, wagering real money on games of chance simply isn’t exactly a popular pass-time in The Land of Opportunity these days. Legal land-based gambling is basically limited to horse and greyhound pari-mutuel betting, the state lottery and some additional games at the tracks. The local law is rather weird and requires all of those games to be skill-based and electronic in form and nature, which means that some of the tracks tend to look like video poker and electronic blackjack hotspots from time to time.
What laws cover online gambling in AR?
Most of the issues pertaining to playing games of chance for money are covered by Arkansas Code, Section 5. None of the Arkansas statutes deal with online play, but you should keep in mind that Arkansas officials are free to claim that the general regulations do indeed extend to online gambling-related actions.
Is real money online gambling legal in AR?
Real money online gaming isn’t explicitly banned within the borders of Arkansas. The legal situation is somewhat ambiguous, but we firmly believe that playing online is perfectly safe for Arkansas -based iGaming enthusiasts.
Which offshore gambling sites accept AR residents?
US-facing sites generally tend to accept Arkansas-based customers, which shouldn’t be all that surprising since the local authorities aren’t trying to prevent them from playing on offshore sites.
What are the most popular banking options supported by Arkansas-facing sites?
The best way to fund your poker, casino or sportsbook account is to use a credit or debit card. However, you have to keep in mind that this method isn’t 100% reliable. However, both Visa and MasterCard enjoy a rather high success rate.
Does AR offer any intrastate online gambling?
No. Contrary to what some people may believe, Arkansas has never established a real money online gaming market. Arkansas entrepreneurs can’t offer real money online gaming services due to the current Arkansas regulations.
Is it likely for AR to regulate online gambling?
The idea of regulating online poker and launching a local intrastate market doesn’t seem to be on the agenda of any local lawmaker or lobby group. Consequently, Arkansas isn’t likely to draft an iGaming bill in the foreseeable future.