Quite contrary to the present gambling situation in Arkansas, it used to rival Las Vegas back in the 1930s. It was during the Great Depression that casinos started blooming in the state of Arkansas. Unfortunately, as the war ended, it ended the betting industry of Arkansas which functioned in a gray area due to a conformist movement. It was not before the 2000s that casino gaming was revived in the state and around this time, a state lottery was also initiated. Horse racing and greyhound racing can be traced back to 1929 and 1957 respectively in Arkansas. The people of Arkansas can only enjoy pari-mutuel gambling to the fullest while it is specifically legalized in the area.
Charitable gambling was legalized in Arkansas in 2007 and it was in 2018 that live gaming tables were also authorized. Skillful electronic games like Craps, Roulette, Three Card Poker, Mississippi Stud, Blackjack and Ultimate Texas Hold’em were authorized. Slots remain banned to date. With the 4th Amendment, Oaklawn Park (horse racino) and Southland Park (dog track racino) in Hot Springs and West Memphis consecutively became home to complete casino gambling and with it rose two brand new brick and mortar casinos in the counties of Pope and Jefferson.
Arkansas Gambling Laws
When it comes to gambling, Arkansas is quite restrictive and conservative and hence allows limited gambling options. Apart from Greyhound and Horse racing, gamblers are allowed to engage in pari-mutuel gambling. Games of chance like craps and roulette are also available at Oaklawn and Southland. These casinos also host PokerPro machines distributed by PokerTrek. Scratch-offs which are quite similar to pull-tabs and interstate lotto tickets sales are also authorized in the state. Raffles and bingo are permitted as long as they are for funding operations. To play bingo, lotteries, and races, the minimum age required is 18 whereas the minimum age to play at Oaklawn and Southland is 21. Betting on card games can attract penalties and fines in the range of $10 to $25.
Sports Betting in Arkansas
Lately, towards the end of 2018, Arkansas legalized sports betting after conducting a statewide ballot measure on their opinion about authorizing sports betting in the state. And with that Oaklawn and Southland received the license to fire up sports betting. The tax rates were also fixed at a rate of 13% on the $150,000,000 received first on the net gaming receipts and 20% on receipts exceeding $150,000,001. The Race and Sportsbook at Oaklawn is the first Sportsbook to go live in Arkansas and it received its first wager in July 2019. This sportsbook accepts wagers on a wide range of both colleges and professional sports which include boxing, football, tennis, basketball, baseball, golf, hockey, MMA, soccer, Olympics, F1 and NASCAR. Although, it is not very clear if the state permits online sports betting.
No laws regarding the legality of fantasy sports have been dictated. Some of the top-notch daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings are available in the state. Fantasy sports betting is hardly any different from traditional sports betting and requires a thorough knowledge of the sport as well.
Online Gambling in Arkansas
What makes it difficult for Arkansas to engage in online gambling is the absence of any definitive regulation that makes it legal or illegal. It is totally unlawful to launch a casino operation without proper licenses. For those in Arkansas that wish to gamble online may have to seek sites under the jurisdiction of another country. If this is the case they should find casinos that are safe and regulated.
Charitable Gambling and Social Gambling in Arkansas
Bingo and raffles upholding charitable cause were sanctioned in 2007. This was an important step towards the rise and establishment of commercial betting in Arkansas. In 2009, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery was established and it became the foremost official lottery of the state. Since its inception, it has already distributed 133,000 scholarships to college-bound students in need.
As far as social gaming is considered, the residents have the luxury to enjoy social casinos. Social betting applications like Big Fish, Slotomania, Zynga and Double Down Casino are accessible by gamblers for play through mobile apps or Facebook. Furthermore, gamblers can play for free at Southland Park’s social casino app that goes by the name of Lucky North Casino. The social casino of MGM resort, MyVegas gives out points to gamers for using the app.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Arkansas?
The only form of online betting legal in Arkansas is off-track betting on horses and greyhounds. Players can use sites like TwinSpires and TVG.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Arkansas?
Sports betting in Arkansas is limited to its brick and mortar casinos. Here, sports bettors can place their bets in person as well as online via the casino’s online apps. Besides this, those in Arkansas are free to engage in fantasy daily sports.
What is the Minimum Gambling Age in Arkansas?
The legal age for lottery and racing in Arkansas is 18. However, gamblers have to be at least 21 years or above to play in casinos.
How Many Casinos are in Arkansas?
There are 2 main casinos is Arkansas and two more are under construction.
When Will Arkansas Legalize sports betting?
Of late, no further announcements have been made which would legalize sports betting completely in Arkansas.