Online Gambling in Arkansas


When examining the Gambling Laws in Arkansas, you wonder how different things may have been for Arkansas. The Post-Civil-War betting-complexes-and-casinos in Hot Springs provided the infrastructure to set up a gambling industry that could potentially rival Nevada and Las Vegas as a national gambling center. However, gambling in Hot Springs was closed in 1967. Forty years would pass before any gambling options became available in Arkansas again.

Now, with the state’s residents voting for change in November 2018 and wanting legal sports betting sooner rather than later, the state is entering another transitional phase in its lengthy gambling history.

Once the details are ironed out and land-based sports betting is introduced to the state’s casinos and racetracks, we expected that online sports betting will follow shortly thereafter.

Arkansas Casino Gambling

Arkansas currently has three fully operating casinos, with a fourth one still pending. Two are considered ‘racinos’ which were build around an existing race track (one horse racing, the other dog racing) while the state’s third and most recent casino is a stand-alone operation. 

All three offer the full amenities found at any Vegas-style casino, including blackjack, roulette, craps, slots, and even live poker. 

Apart from casino table games, you’ll find more than 2600 slots and gaming machines with minimum bets set at $0.01 up to a rather lean maximum bet of $25.

Online Casinos in Arkansas

While there are no specific online casino laws relating specifically to the legal status of casinos online in Arkansas, online casinos are considered illegal under current general guidelines in the state.

Poker in Arkansas

Home poker games are not allowed in Arkansas as social gaming is considered to be against the state’s gambling laws. Running afoul of the state’s home poker laws though, will only cost you a maximum of fine of only $25.

A poker room is open and available at Saracen Casino in Arkansas with the possibility of more to come as gambling expands within the state.

Poker Rooms

At one of Arkansas’ casinos, there are legal tables for Live Poker at which cash prizes are available and a number of professional tournaments are held from time-to-time. Other than that, Poker rooms cannot be found in the state of Arkansas.

Online Poker Laws

Online poker in Arkansas and video poker online are both implicitly deemed illegal in the state. There is no regulation or moves towards legalizing online poker in Arkansas at the moment. For full details, please refer to the above section on ‘Online Casinos in Arkansas’.

Benefits of Gambling to Arkansas

  • Gambling is an excellent and viable source of additional state income and provides the state of Arkansas revenue streams to pay for positive education outcomes, improvements in the state’s health system, and better security law and order services for the state’s residents.
  • Much needed job creation in the Arkansas economy. Arkansas has defied nationwide drops in the unemployment rate to increase from 3.6% (April 2017) to 3.8% (February 2018).
  • Gambling provides cheaper tuition fees at state universities and colleges.
  • Keeps Arkansas money in the state and not in the mega-casinos of neighboring Mississippi.

Now passed, the November 2018 State ballotte ballot opening up the Arkansas commercial and tribal casino industry should have a positive impact on the creation of jobs and increase economic prosperity to Native American people living on Tribal lands.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in Arkansas

1880 – Racetracks first open for business in Arkansas.

1880’s – 1967 The height of the gambling scene in Arkansas’ Hot Springs Casinos.

1936 – First running of the Arkansas Derby, the major lead-up race to the Kentucky Derby.

1955 – First Greyhound track opened in Arkansas.

1967 – State Legislature closes down the thriving Hot Springs Casino industry.

2005 – ‘Games-of-Skill’ legislation passed in Arkansas allowing expanded casino machine and table games operation at the state’s racinos.

2007 – Carve outs made in State Law for Charitable Gaming.

2009 – Arkansas’ State Lottery (‘Scholarship Lottery’) begins with funds going to subsidize University education.

2017 – DFS legalized into law by Arkansas’ State Governor Asa Hutchinson.

2018 - A State ballot allowing for the expansion of gambling in Arkansas (sports betting and commercial casinos) was successful..

for information om Arkansas’s online sports betting laws click here