Gambling in Arkansas
Sports Legal Since: Illegal
Daily Fantasy Legal Since: 2017
Casino Legal Since: Illegal
Poker Legal Since: Illegal
Lottery Will Be Legal: TBD

Guide to Online Gambling in Arkansas: The Best Arkansas Gambling Sites for 2019

Arkansas Daily Fantasy Sports

Gambling is illegal in the state of Arkansas. The only current exceptions are certain horse and greyhound racing tracks that allow pari-mutuel betting. Read on to find out what games you can play online legally and find out about the best betting sites Arkansas players have access to.

Commercial daily fantasy betting in Arkansas is legal, as it’s not defined as gambling under state law. The games were legalized in late 2017 and now are as popular as anywhere in the country.

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Gambling Laws in Arkansas

Gambling in general is prohibited in Arkansas. While there are changes happened at the moment with regards to land-based casinos, this page will focus on the situation for online gaming and fantasy sports.

All gambling on sports or games of chance online is illegal under state law. In November 2018, during the state elections, citizens voted to allow four land-based casinos to be granted licenses to operate with Arkansas. At the time of writing, this change is still being processed. However, there have been no rumors of changing the legal status of gambling online.

The reason that daily fantasy sports are permitted is that, according to Arkansas legislation, these games do not constitute gambling. This is because they require an entry fee, and a set, previously advertised prize. As such, they operate as skill-based tournaments.

Arkansas Sports Betting

Both online and land-based sports betting is completely illegal in the state of Arkansas. This includes all bets on any form of professional or college sports. The only exceptions pertain to certain land-based racetracks that are closely monitored and regulated by the state’s attorney general. These are only able to facilitate pari-mutuel betting and are not permitted to operate as bookmakers. For some in-depth information, you can take a look at our guide about Arkansas sports betting.

Arkansas Casinos

While the state election in November 2018 saw residents vote to allow four Arkansas casino facilities to open, these plans have not yet been carried out. No other premises are allowed to act as gambling houses, nor are any individuals allowed to accept or permit bets on games of chance in any circumstances. This holds true for online gambling as well, meaning that there are no legal online casinos in Arkansas.

Arkansas Poker

Like all other games of chance, playing poker for money, or gambling on the outcome of poker, is illegal in Arkansas. This is true for internet poker rooms as well as land-based establishments. No distinction is made in the law and the punishments for offences are the same whether for bricks-and-mortar houses or websites.

Arkansas Lottery

In 2009, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act was passed, setting up and allowing the Arkansas lottery. This offers a number of different games. The Powerball and Mega Millions with Megaplier are the biggest and most popular games. However, there are a number of smaller draws, meaning that there are lots of lotteries drawn every week. In addition, players can also purchase and play instant win games. All of the proceeds go to funding scholarship funds and educational grants. You can’t purchase tickets for any of the Arkansas lottery games online, but instead need to head to one of the official retailers, but there are loads of them around. For more information, head to the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery website. In addition, should you want to know more on the topic, do not hesitate to check our detailed Arkansas lottery page.

History of Gambling in Arkansas

The Arkansas gambling laws have a long and complicated history. With glory days of casino gambling, a complete crackdown on gambling, many years of completely restricted gambling and a move towards a revival all happening within 100 years, there’s much to look back on. The current legal situation is still complicated, with different moves under discussion.

Arkansas Gambling History
1929 Pari-mutuel betting on horse racing is legalized and regulated.
1930s During the decade, Hot Springs, AR, rivalled Las Vegas as the casino resort for the country. The Arlington Hotel was a favorite retreat of infamous mob boss Al Capone.
1957 Pari-mutuel betting on greyhound racing is legalized and regulated.
2009 The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act is passed, allowing for the state lottery to be set up, with proceeds funding scholarships for state residents.
2017 The Arkansas State Government passes an amendment stating that paid fantasy sports are legal in the state as they do not constitute gambling.
2018 During the November 2018 election, 54% of voters agree to allow the granting of four land-based casino licenses.

Arkansas State Facts

If you’re on this page, you are probably a resident of the Natural State. But just in case you’re not so familiar with Arkansas, then you will find some basic facts below. I have also included some links for you if you would like to read up on the law for yourself or check out the state’s official website.

Facts About Arkansas
Population 3,004,279
Min. Income $1,603.33
Biggest Offline Gambling Location N/A
Gambling Commissioner N/A
Spoken Languages English 93.8%, Spanish 4.5%
Biggest Local Sports Team
Arkansas Tax Authority
Link to the State Law Arkansas State Law
Gambling Winning Tax 3%
State Website Link https://portal.arkansas.gov/
Famous Local Gamblers Bill Boyd

Gambling Age in Arkansas

You have to be at least 18 years old to buy a lottery ticket in Arkansas. This is the regular age in most states, though lower than in neighboring Louisiana. At 18, you can also play paid fantasy sports. For pari-mutuel betting you must also be at least 18. However, other forms of gambling are currently illegal, so there is no legal minimum age.

  • Online Gambling Age:
    Online gambling is illegal but players who are 18 years old may play DFS.
  • Alcohol Age
    The minimum legal age for drinking alcohol in Arkansas is 21 years.
  • Weed Age
    Medical marijuana is approved in Arkansas for the treatment of certain conditions.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

Due to the restricted legal status of gambling in Arkansas, there are no state-sponsored or local charities devoted to helping problem gamblers. However, there are numerous respected national organizations that you can turn to if you feel that you have a problem. The largest and best known are the National Council of Problem Gambling and Gamblers Anonymous.

Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes

The biggest Arkansas gambling news was the passing of Issue 4. during the November 2018 election. 54 percent voted to allow four casinos to open their doors in Arkansas. This motion is still to be acted upon, though there seems to be no suggestion that this will be blocked. Two of the licenses to be given have already been decided on, with the remaining two to be given out on a merit basis. This means that soon Garland, Crittenden, Jefferson and Pope counties will have land-based casinos legally. State laws can change, so if you want to stay abreast of everything, check back here as we will make sure to update this page whenever anything changes.

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