Home to over 3 million people, Arkansas is known for its natural beauty, encompassing mountain ranges, lowlands and dense timberlands. It’s also the birthplace of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, who served as the state’s 40th and 42nd Governor, as well as country legend, Johnny Cash. Another interesting fact about the Deep South’s state is that it has a strong sports culture, with football, baseball and fishing enjoying a loyal following. But can residents of Arkansas place bets on their favourite teams? We look into the gambling legalities surrounding online casinos, sportsbooks, fun play casinos, mobile social casinos, Facebook casinos and free play online casinos in this state, to paint a clearer picture.
Is Gambling Legal in Arkansas?
As you’ll know by now, gambling laws vary from state to state in North America. And Arkansas, like many others, is a state with restrictive gambling policies. While many states allow for casinos based in Native American reservations, this is not the case in Arkansas. Here, gambling is mostly limited to dog and horse racing practices. So while you might not find actual casinos, you can enjoy some gambling action at the state’s two land-based ‘racinos’, where some electronic casino-styled gaming machines can also be enjoyed – permitted under the Local Option Horse Racing & Greyhound Racing Electronic Games of Skill Act of 2005. Gambling houses and devices are otherwise banned in Arkansas and transgressors will be issued a small fine if found guilty of illegal gambling. But what does the law say about online gambling activities? As it turns out, not much. There are no written laws prohibiting or regulating online gambling in Arkansas, so there is no risk of prosecution if you are found doing so. Free play online casinos, social casino apps and other fun play casinos where no real money is being wagered would, of course, also be acceptable. Residents should however keep the following legal ages in mind: 18 for bingo and lottery games, and 21 for casino, poker or sportsbook bets.
Gambling Options in Arkansas
The state of Arkansas offers keen gamblers a choice of two land-based gambling establishments: Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Park Gaming & Racing in West Memphis. Both establishments offer a variety of electronic table games, reel games and poker machine options, while Oaklawn is home to horse racing events and Southland hosts greyhound racing. Unfortunately, the location of these casinos isn’t within travel distance for many keen players. The alternative? Playing and betting online. Let’s take a closer look at the gambling options available to Arkansas’ locals.
With no actual law stating anything about gambling at online casinos, it is safe to assume that residents from Arkansas can place their bets online, without any legal repercussions. There are a number of online destinations to choose from, where players, living in Arkansas, can make safe and secure deposits and withdrawals.
Sports Betting Options
The state of Arkansas allows for sports bets to be placed, granted the bets are Pari-Mutuel on horse racing and dog racing events – at the tracks of their Southland and Oaklawn venues.
The Arkansas ban on games of chance where money is concerned certainly applies to the live game of poker. However, the law doesn’t specify online poker as such, leaving many players to check out and try out sites like SportsBetting.ag and BetOnline.ag.
As mentioned, the game of poker is not allowed in Arkansas unless it’s played at the Southland racetrack. Here you’ll find a total of 6 poker tables where cash games and tournaments are available to enjoy. You can’t, however, host a poker game at your home and play for real money. If you are found guilty of this, you could face a fine of up to $25 – not much, when compared to the penalties in some of the other states.
Arkansas actually runs a scholarship lottery, which makes this practice legal – as it is in many other states. This charitable gambling activity comprises of scratch cards and draws, with profits going towards college scholarship funds. These scholarships make it possible for students, who would otherwise not be able to afford it, to attend college.
You’ll find bingo halls in Arkansas as bingo games are regulated under charitable gambling legislation. So you can feel free to get your dabbing done in any of these destinations.
Tips for US Players in Arkansas
Residents of Arkansas who want to take part in various forms of gambling, should keep the following in mind:
- If you want to gamble at a land-based gambling destination, you can choose to visit Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs or Southland Park Gaming & Racing in West Memphis. Alternatively, you can play bingo at an established bingo hall.
- If you want to play online casino games or online poker, choose one of the suggested and reputable destinations from our list above.
- Make sure you are of legal age before registering an online casino account.
- Be responsible with your bankroll – only gamble what you can afford to lose and set yourself a limit per session/day/week/month.
- If you want to experience the thrill of gambling without the risk of losing any money, sign up at free play online casinos, fun play casinos, mobile social casinos or Facebook casinos. There are endless options to choose from online and you can play for hours on end without spending a thing. Also, you can rest assured that there will be no legal implications for placing fun-credit-bets.
With two land-based venues, numerous online betting sites as well as endless free play and social online gaming options available to residents from Arkansas, there is no reason why they shouldn’t enjoy gambling first-hand. While there are various gambling restrictions in place, it’s not a complete taboo. Just follow the simple guideline set out above and you can enjoy a gambling activity that suits your style and preference.