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Online Gambling in Arkansas: an Expert Guide

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Gambling in Arkansas

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Our Guide to Online Gambling in Arkansas

Arkansas gambling laws are becoming some of the most permissive in the south. MississippiLouisiana, and Oklahoma allow more forms of gambling and more land-based gaming sites than Arkansas, but the Natural State has passed several important gambling laws in the past decade or two. That is a far sight better than most other states in the American south.

Live gaming tables were banned until 2018. Until last November’s election, Arkansas only allowed electronic gaming machines — not slots, but electronic games of skill involving Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Mississippi Stud, and Three Card Poker. Then Issue 4 (often called Amendment 4) allowed full casino gambling at Oaklawn Park and Southland Park, as well as the development of two new land-based casinos in Jefferson and Pope counties.

2020's Best Online Gambling Sites for Arkansas Players

We’ve listed our favorite casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites accepting players from Arkansas below. Pick a site and start playing!

Arkansas Online Gambling Law FAQ

Arkansas Online Gambling Law

A breakdown of Arkansas online gambling laws and landscape.

LATEST GAMBLING NEWS

Arkansas voters passed legal sports betting in a statewide vote in November 2018. Implementation began at one of the state’s racetracks in 2019. Unlike most states, Arkansas does not allow its land-based sportsbooks to offer online or mobile sports betting.

DOES ARKANSAS HAVE LAND-BASED CASINOS?

Yes. Arkansas has one horse track racino (Oaklawn Park) and one dog track racino (Southland Park).

Amendment 4 approved the expansion of Oaklawn Park and Southland Park from mere slots parlors into full-scale casinos. Both plan major expansion of their gaming facilities in the next few years.

Also, Amendment 4 approved two new casinos: one to be located in Pope County within 2 miles of Russellville and one to be located in Jefferson County within 2 miles of Pine Bluff. The licensing process for the Russellville casino and Pine Bluff casino should begin in the second half of 2019. Decisions on which gaming groups receive the licenses are expected late in 2019 or in the first half of 2020.

Readers might notice references in Issue 4 to casinos in Crittenden County and Garland County. Those are references to Southland Park and Oaklawn Park, respectively.

DOES ARKANSAS HAVE ANY LEGAL BETTING TRACKS / SHOPS?

Yes. Arkansas has two legal betting tracks: Oaklawn Park and Southland Park.

I placed them in the casino section above because they were approved in November 2018 to convert from race track-casinos to full casinos, but they are still operational as race tracks with pari-mutuel betting.

Oaklawn Park is a horse track ran by the Oaklawn Jockey Club, while Southland Park is a greyhound track operated by the Southland Racing Corporation. Both have an active racing schedule. Both also allow off-track betting and simulcasting.

The state’s race tracks have been a part of the culture for generations. Oaklawn Park was established in 1904. Southland Park was built in 1956. Otherwise, most other forms of gambling were banned until quite recently. Arkansas allowed charitable gambling in 2007, which was an important half-step towards expanded commercial gambling.

Amendment 4 was designed to give the two race tracks a new breath of life. Each receives boosted revenues from the expanded casino operations they’ll run. The Arkansas Racing Commission also will use tax revenues from the new land-based casinos to increase the prize pool for greyhound and thoroughbred owners, which should increase the prestige and participation at those races.

DOES ARKANSAS ALLOW OFF-TRACK BETTING?

No. Arkansas does not allow off-track betting facilities.

Southland Park and Oaklawn Park each have simulcasting and the ability to make pari-mutuel wagers on races from around the country, but no specific off-site OTBs exist.

DOES ARKANSAS ALLOW CHARITABLE GAMBLING?

Arkansas legalized charitable bingo and raffles in 2007.

While the Ozark State does not have as many bingo halls as states that legalized charitable bingo decades ago, the Charitable Bingo and Raffles Enabling Act of 2007 shows that the state legislature is becoming more permissive when it comes to gambling.

In many ways, the Charitable Bingo & Raffles Enabling Act was a necessary precursor to the expansion of land-based gambling through Amendment 4. As the 2018 casino gambling vote showed, the opponents of gambling remain energetic in Arkansas, so a law which allowed charitable gambling 12 years ago was an important stepping stone to commercial gambling expansion last year.

IS SOCIAL GAMING ALLOWED IN ARKANSAS?

Arkansas provides players with access to more social casinos than most states.

Big name social gaming apps like Slotomania, Double Down Casino, Zynga, and Big Fish Games are available for play on Facebook or in a downloadable Android or iOS app.

So is the free-play app for Southland Park’s social casino: Lucky North Casino. Southland Park is a greyhound race track and casino in West Memphis, Arkansas. Lucky North Casino is the venue’s social casino, which can be played on the official website or through a mobile app.

Finally, MyVegas is available to Arkansas social casino gamers. MyVegas is MGM Resorts’ social casino, which has the added bonus of giving players rewards points for play on the app. Players then can cash in those rewards at one of MGM Resorts’ many casinos around the country, including Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi.

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