Is Gambling Legal In Arkansas

James Lopez
August 8, 2023
Is Gambling Legal In Arkansas


Is Gambling Legal In Arkansas: Arkansas, with its rich history and evolving perspectives on various forms of wagering, presents a fascinating case study. From traditional casino games to modern online betting platforms, the landscape of gambling has been subject to changes over the years. 

We will delve into the current state of gambling in Arkansas. We’ll explore the various legal frameworks that govern different types of gambling activities, ranging from casinos and horse racing to daily fantasy sports and lottery games. By examining the regulations, restrictions, and permissible forms of gambling, you’ll gain a clearer picture of what is considered legal and what might be prohibited within the state.

Whether you’re a resident, a traveler, or simply intrigued by the topic, join us as we navigate through the labyrinth of gambling legality in the Natural State.

Is Gambling Legal In Arkansas

Is gambling allowed in Arkansas?

Arkansas has a very restrictive gambling policy, limited primarily to horse and dog racing. There are currently no Indian casinos in Arkansas, while gambling houses and devices are prohibited in the state.

Yes, gambling is allowed in Arkansas, but it is subject to certain regulations and restrictions. The state permits various forms of gambling, including casinos, horse racing, charitable gaming, a state lottery, and limited sports betting. In 2018, a constitutional amendment was passed to allow for the expansion of casino gambling in the state, leading to the opening of several casinos.

It’s important to note that the types of gambling activities allowed and the regulations surrounding them can vary. While certain forms of gambling are legal and regulated, others may be prohibited. Additionally, the legal age for participating in different gambling activities may also vary.

If you’re interested in engaging in gambling activities in Arkansas, it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with the specific laws and regulations that apply to the type of gambling you’re interested in. Always ensure that you are in compliance with the applicable rules and guidelines to have a safe and enjoyable gambling experience within the state.

When did Arkansas legalize gambling?

Arkansas voters opted in November 2018 to legalize retail sports betting at up to four locations in the state. The Arkansas Racing Commission regulates the activity.

Arkansas has a complex history when it comes to legalizing gambling, with different forms of gambling being legalized at various times. Here are some key milestones in the legalization of gambling in Arkansas:

1. 1973: The Arkansas General Assembly authorized the creation of a state lottery, making Arkansas one of the early adopters of a state-run lottery.

2. 2005: The state legalized pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, allowing for the operation of racetracks and off-track betting facilities.

3. 2018: A constitutional amendment was passed by Arkansas voters in November 2018, allowing for the expansion of gambling in the state. This amendment authorized the licensing of casinos in four specific counties: Crittenden, Garland, Jefferson, and Pope. This led to the opening of several casinos offering a range of casino games.

4. 2019: The Arkansas Racing Commission approved rules for sports betting in the state, allowing for limited sports betting to take place at licensed casinos.

It’s important to note that while these are some of the significant moments in the legalization of gambling in Arkansas, the specific regulations and details surrounding each form of gambling can vary. Additionally, certain forms of gambling, such as charitable gaming and certain types of betting, have been allowed in the state for some time.

Does Arkansas allow online gambling?

Many believe this means that online casinos and gambling are legalized in the state. However, under Title Five, Chapter 66 of the Arkansas Code, gambling online is strictly prohibited. Therefore, players are advised not to use online casinos, even if they allow registration from within the state.

Online gambling laws can be complex and vary from state to state. In the case of Arkansas, the lack of specific legislation addressing online gambling indicates that the state has not formally authorized or regulated online gambling activities, including online casinos, poker, or sports betting.

While online gambling may not have been expressly prohibited in Arkansas, it’s important to recognize that engaging in unregulated online gambling activities can carry risks. Residents interested in online gambling should be cautious and consider the following:

Legal Uncertainty: The absence of clear regulations means that the legality of online gambling in Arkansas remains uncertain. Engaging in unregulated online gambling could potentially lead to legal issues.

Consumer Protection: Regulated online gambling markets typically offer consumer protections, such as safeguards against fraud and responsible gambling measures. In the absence of regulations, players may have fewer protections.

Financial Security: Online gambling sites may require personal and financial information for transactions. Using unregulated sites could expose individuals to potential security and privacy risks.

Federal Laws: Federal laws, such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), can impact online gambling transactions, even if state laws are unclear.

Is mobile gambling legal in Arkansas?

Arkansas mobile sports betting is live! The state received final state legislative approval on February 22, 2022 and was able to launch shortly after. The first operator to offer live sports betting was Southland Casino Racing and not many others have followed since.

There was no specific information available about the legality of mobile gambling in Arkansas. The state’s gambling laws primarily focused on traditional forms of gambling, such as casinos, horse racing, and a state lottery.

However, the legality of mobile gambling can vary from state to state and can change over time. Some states have explicitly legalized mobile gambling, while others have not addressed it directly in their laws.

To get the most accurate and up-to-date information about the legality of mobile gambling in Arkansas.

Is Gambling Legal In Arkansas

What gambling sites are legal in Arkansas?

No. Online casinos are not legal in Arkansas. Arkansas gambling law is such that any gambling the state does not specifically allow is illegal.

Arkansas had legalized certain forms of gambling, including casinos, horse racing, and a state lottery. However, there was no specific information available about the legality of online gambling sites in the state.

While Arkansas has shown a willingness to expand its gambling offerings, particularly with the legalization of casinos in 2018, it is important to note that the explicit authorization of online gambling sites, including online casinos and sports betting platforms, may not have been clearly addressed in state law.

The lack of clear regulations pertaining to online gambling in Arkansas means that individuals seeking to engage in online gambling activities should exercise caution and thoroughly research any platforms they intend to use. Before participating in online gambling, it is advisable to:

Consult State Authorities: Reach out to the Arkansas Racing Commission or other relevant state agencies to inquire about the current status of online gambling regulations and the legality of specific sites.

Research Legitimate Sites: Look for online gambling sites that are licensed and regulated in other jurisdictions with established online gambling laws. Ensure that the site has a reputation for fairness, security, and responsible gambling practices.

Understand Federal Laws: Consider federal laws, such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which can impact online gambling transactions.

Legal Advice: Seek legal counsel from professionals who are well-versed in gambling laws and regulations, both at the state and federal levels.

Is there gambling casinos in Arkansas?

Arkansas has two existing racinos: Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Gaming and Racing in West Memphis. Both Oaklawn and Southland have announced major expansion plans to build larger casinos and to add hotels.

Yes, there are gambling casinos in Arkansas. In 2018, a constitutional amendment was passed that allowed for the expansion of casino gambling in the state. This led to the licensing and opening of several casinos in specific counties. The constitutional amendment permitted casino gambling in the following four counties: Crittenden, Garland, Jefferson, and Pope.

These casinos offer a variety of traditional casino games, including slot machines, table games like blackjack and poker, and other forms of gambling entertainment. It’s important to note that the availability of casinos and their offerings may vary, so if you’re interested in visiting a casino in Arkansas, it’s a good idea to check the specific locations and amenities offered by each establishment.

As always, if you’re planning to visit a casino in Arkansas, make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules, regulations, and any COVID-19-related guidelines that may be in place at the time of your visit.

Does Arkansas tax gambling winnings?

Gambling winnings are fully taxable and must be reported on your tax return as Gambling winnings on the form AR-OI on line 4 (Gambling Winnings) or line 5 (Lottery/Contest winnings).

Yes, Arkansas does tax gambling winnings. Gambling winnings are considered taxable income by both the federal government and the state of Arkansas. Any income, including gambling winnings, is subject to federal income tax. Additionally, Arkansas imposes state income tax on gambling winnings.

If you have significant gambling winnings, you may be required to report them as income on your federal and state income tax returns. It’s important to keep accurate records of your gambling activities, including wins and losses, to ensure that you accurately report your income.

The specific tax rates and reporting requirements for gambling winnings in Arkansas can vary based on factors such as the type of gambling and the amount of winnings. To get accurate and up-to-date information about how gambling winnings are taxed in Arkansas, it’s advisable to consult with a tax professional or review the guidelines provided by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

How do I get a gaming license in Arkansas?

  1. License Fee: $75.00. This fee is non-refundable. The original year’s fee is due with application. 
  2. Application Fee: $150.00. This is a non-refundable fee. 
  3. Required Forms: P5 – 13.4. 
  4. Submit Completed Application and Payment for License Fee and Application Fee To: Arkansas Racing Commission.

Obtaining a gaming license in Arkansas involves a thorough application process and compliance with state regulations.

1. Determine Eligibility: First, you need to determine if you are eligible to apply for a gaming license based on the specific type of gaming activity you’re interested in. This could include operating a casino, working in a gaming-related role, or other relevant activities.

2. Contact Regulatory Authority: Identify the regulatory authority that oversees gaming licenses in Arkansas. In the case of casinos, the Arkansas Racing Commission is responsible for regulating casino gaming. Contact the commission to obtain application materials and guidance.

3. Complete Application: Obtain the necessary application forms from the regulatory authority and carefully complete them. Provide all required documentation, personal information, and any supporting materials required by the application.

4. Background Check and Investigation: Be prepared for a thorough background check and investigation process. This typically includes providing fingerprints, disclosing financial and personal information, and authorizing the regulatory authority to conduct investigations.

5. Pay Fees: Pay any required application fees and licensing fees as specified by the regulatory authority.

6. Wait for Approval: Your application will be reviewed by the regulatory authority. This process can take some time, as they will carefully evaluate your application, conduct investigations, and ensure you meet all the necessary requirements.

7. Comply with Regulations: Once your application is approved, you’ll need to adhere to all regulations and requirements set forth by the regulatory authority. This includes ongoing compliance with reporting, financial, and operational requirements.

For the most current and accurate information. Consulting with legal professionals who specialize in gaming law can also provide valuable guidance throughout the application process.

Is Gambling Legal In Arkansas


Navigating the legal landscape of gambling in Arkansas reveals a dynamic journey through changing attitudes and regulations. From the introduction of a state lottery in 1973 to the expansion of casino gambling in 2018, the state has embraced a variety of gambling activities. 

Arkansas allows forms of gambling such as casinos, horse racing, charitable gaming, and a state lottery. However, details concerning online gambling and mobile betting remain less clear, and it’s advisable to seek up-to-date information from official state sources. 

As laws and perspectives continue to evolve, individuals interested in engaging in gambling activities within Arkansas should be well-informed about the specific regulations governing their chosen form of entertainment. Whether enjoying a night at a casino or participating in a lottery, understanding the legal boundaries ensures a responsible and enjoyable gambling experience in the Natural State.

Author James Lopez