Considering its rich gambling history, the state of Arkansas has a disappointing legal viewpoint regarding this pastime. Casinos are allowed and there are two of them in the state, but these are not what most modern gamers expect. There are very few options when it comes to legal gambling in Arkansas and they are limited to charitable gaming, daily fantasy sports, lottery, as well as dog and horse racing.
Arkansas is another example in the sea of US states with frustratingly misleading language in its gambling regulations. The government doesn’t make it very clear which rules one must follow if they wish to remain on the right side of the law, as well as which games are legal and which are not. This is the case with online gambling as well.
As in most other states, online gambling in Arkansas is not illegal but not legal either. This means that online casinos are not allowed to operate in the state, while gamers are free to gamble with real money online. Therefore, online gamblers usually choose to register in offshore online casinos or use VPNs to access geo-restricted sites from New Jersey or Las Vegas.
All this hardly makes Arkansas a gambling haven. The state does not earn much from gambling, which is no surprise considering the fact that there are only two legal casinos on its territory. Also, these casinos rely on horse and greyhound racing for a large chunk of their profit, and these disciplines are reporting all-time low numbers in recent months.
When it comes to online gambling, in particular, no law prohibits it. To the best of our knowledge, no gamblers have ever been charged with an online betting-related crime in Arkansas. However, the fact that it has never happened before doesn’t necessarily mean it will not occur in the future.
The state could very easily use the fact that online gambling has not been explicitly legalized to begin accusing people of breaking the law. This is the problem with the vague language in state regulations we mentioned earlier.
Arkansas is by no means the only state that is guilty of this type of behavior; in fact, most US states approach online gambling in a similar fashion.
If you live in the Natural State and you’re looking for some online gambling options, things are not as grim as they may look. Because the state’s law doesn’t specifically mention online gambling, every resident of legal age is technically allowed to take part in it. The law imposes no penalties to those who gamble online since the activity is practically non-existent in the eyes of the law.
All this makes online gambling non-illegal, or what you might call implicitly legal. As we explained previously, this attitude to online gambling is quite common in US state law. However, it is a bit unusual coming from a state that explicitly bans any gambling, even among friends or family members. All you need to know is that as long as you play in an offshore online casino, you’re not breaking any laws.
It doesn’t seem likely that Arkansas will move to regulate online gambling any time soon. This topic has not been discussed among the state’s lawmakers in recent years. There have been discussions, however, of legalizing table gambling, as well as opening tribal casinos in the state. Whether any movement in that direction would be good for online gamblers in Arkansas is still unclear.
Gambling seems to be controlled quite tightly in Arkansas for the time being, and it is hard to tell what the future might have in store for online gamblers in the Natural State. It is also the only state in the US that has no funding in place for fighting gambling addiction. There is a special hotline for Arkansas gamblers, set up by the US National Council on Problem Gambling, but the state itself offers no resources to gambling addicts.
You will not find any large casino resorts in Arkansas. The Natural State currently has only two casinos, and for a long time, they only offered slots, horse racing, and dog racing.
In the last year or so, these casinos have expanded, and they now offer a few table games, including poker and blackjack. In addition to these games, the locations also offer virtual lottery terminals.
Note that these are not large casinos, so if you’re expecting something you would normally find in Atlantic City or Las Vegas, you are going to be disappointed. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of horse or greyhound racing, there is much to look forward to in Arkansas, since both locations have a long history with these types of betting. In fact, they were both initially opened as raceways in the mid-1900s.
Arkansas casinos do not offer any resort- or hotel-style amenities or even rooms. This could be disappointing for those who have got accustomed to large casino resorts that we’ve had a chance to see throughout the country. In Arkansas, these casinos are more of a roadside stop or an evening getaway for locals.
As we explained previously, Arkansas used to be an important gambling state in the early 20th century, with large casino resorts much like those found in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, these establishments were primarily owned by criminal organizations at the time, which meant there was an increase in violence, as well as many regulatory problems. That eventually led to the arrest of several casino owners and the state of Arkansas took a hard line on land-based casinos.
Unlike many other US states, Arkansas does not currently have any casinos in Indian reservations. Players who would like to take part in traditional casino games have no other choice but to leave the state. The best option, in our opinion, however, is to play online in offshore casinos. Arkansas gambling laws make no mention of online gambling, which makes it technically legal and an excellent option for gamers who don’t want to travel.
If you’re not sure about the legal situation when it comes to online gambling in Arkansas (or any other state for that matter), it won’t hurt to talk to a lawyer. The Nature State, in particular, seems very strict about banning all forms of gambling, even though the law makes no mention of online gambling per se.
It is always a good idea to check the state’s gaming policy thoroughly before engaging in any gambling activity (whether online or in land-based venues). This is especially true in states that seem prepared to enforce their gambling laws, which Arkansas has been known to do more than other states with similarly written regulations.
It is illegal to run an online casino in Arkansas, but it is not illegal for residents to play in offshore casinos. Many of these sites have gambling licenses from countries like Dominica, Costa Rica, or Panama, and they treat their customers fairly. Just make sure to select a reputable and well-regarded online casino.
Although it is not regulated, much like online casinos, online poker is legal. Residents of Arkansas can sign up and play on online poker sites without worrying about prosecution. Find a safe poker room with a history of excellent customer service and you should be perfectly fine.
The minimum age for gambling in offshore online casinos is 18. The same is true when it comes to parimutuel betting at dog tracks and horse tracks. You’ll need to be over 21 if you wish to play at a land-based casino in the state.
It does not seem very likely that the state will launch an interstate online gambling market any time soon. This does not seem to be on the agenda of local lawmakers, so we would not expect any form of iGaming bill shortly.