Arkansas State Flag IconGambling laws can be confusing for players to decipher, and determining what types of gambling are legal or illegal in any state is not always clear cut or black and white. Currently, the state of Arkansas does not license, regulate or permit any state based online gambling site to operate within their boundaries. There is no law in Arkansas that specifically prohibits or bans online gambling.

Arkansas gambling law is simple – it is illegal to bet on anything unless it is specifically permitted by law. In fact the law goes on to mention that betting is prohibited on certain games. These games include games of chance and games in which money or property may be won. Playing poker for money can violate this provision of Arkansas gambling law. This means that Arkansas online gambling which is regulated outside of the United States is not prohibited and can be a viable option for players living in the state. This can include Arkansas online sports betting, casino gambling, poker gambling and Arkansas online bingo gaming.

Arkansas gambling law does not define games of chance. Participating in an illegal gambling activity is a violation and carries a small fine. However poker players can be charged with possession of a gaming device which is a misdemeanor offense. In Arkansas, it is illegal to keep, set up or exhibit a gaming device or table. Keeping, conducting or operating a home or premises where gambling is carried out is a felony offense.

Other Arkansas Gambling Pages

Land-Based Gambling Laws In Arkansas

Not all forms of gambling are illegal in Arkansas. Certain forms of gambling are legal in the state and specifically permitted by law. In 1907 an act of the general assembly made gambling on horse races illegal, and racing was suspended until nine years later. An attempt to legalize betting in 1915 failed, but racing was resumed nevertheless from 1916 through 1919. In 1935 the legislature sanctioned pari-mutuel betting and set up the Arkansas Racing Commission. A bid to allow casinos, charity raffles, bingo, and a state lottery in Arkansas failed (65 percent against to 35 percent for) on November 7, 2000. Courts in Arkansas have foiled several attempts to put casino initiatives on the ballot.

What Types of Gambling Are Legal In Arkansas?

While horse racing was legalized in the early part of the 20th century, the residents of Arkansas had to wait until 2007 for another form of legalized gambling. In 2007 the state legalized charitable bingo and raffles. In 2008, the voters in the state were asked to vote on the establishment of a lottery commission in the state. Unlike the previous vote, this time the voters voted in favor of setting up the state lottery commission. It became the 43rd state to start a state lottery. Arkansas is a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association. Video lottery is still not permitted in Arkansas. In 2009 the state started selling scratch-off lottery tickets. The state lottery in most states is officially called the state lottery. However in Arkansas, it is called the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. It does not use balls and drawing machines like most other state lotteries. In fact it was amongst the first few states to introduce computerized drawing.

Who Regulates Legal Gambling Options In Arkansas?

The Arkansas Racing Commission is entrusted with the responsibility of controlling and monitoring gambling activities in the state. It was initially set up to regulate horse and dog racing but was later given powers to deal with all forms of gambling except the state lottery which is regulated by the Arkansas Lottery Commission. According to the Arkansas Racing Commission, live poker is illegal if the it offers winnings in real money. Despite this, bars and restaurants in the state regularly hold poker games and tournaments. These games do not violate Arkansas gambling law as the bars and restaurants do not charge the players a fee. The law not only prohibits them from charging a fee, they are also prohibited from requiring the players to make a minimum food or drink purchase.

Arkansas Casino Gambling Laws

There are no land based casinos in Arkansas. In fact the state has only two gambling facilities – a horse racing track and a dog racing track. There used to be a few internet cafes but in 2012 the state started closing down such cafes. Residents and visitors in Arkansas who are interested in playing casino games do still have the option of legal Arkansas online casinos which are licensed, regulated and located outside of the United States.

Arkansas Poker Gambling Laws

Arkansas gambling law does not provide any exception for home poker games. In fact all forms of gambling on card games is illegal in Arkansas. Arkansas is one of the few states that allow unsuccessful gamblers to sue to recover the money or property lost in a gambling activity. The suit must be filed within ninety days from the date on which the unsuccessful gambler paid the money or property handed over the property. The safest form of poker gambling for Arkansas players is to participate in legal Arkansas online poker rooms which are regulated offshore.

Federal laws do not make it illegal to play online poker or online casino games. The Federal Wire Act prohibits sports betting and does not apply to online poker. This means that state based sports betting sites are unlikely to emerge anytime soon, hence players will have to consider betting at legally licensed offshore Arkansas sports betting sites. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act does not make it illegal to participate in online gambling. It does not apply to participants of online gambling. It only places strict regulatory oversight on how online gambling transactions can be processed. It targets online gambling site operators and payment processors, and does not affect players.

Arkansas Sports Betting Laws

Arkansas state laws do not address offshore sports betting and only recently added an amendment to allow domestic sports betting at the state’s casinos. Many residents are want to further expand the states sports betting laws to online and mobile platforms. For now, residents looking for online sportsbooks are limited to the offshore legally licensed sportsbooks that service the US.

Arkansas Gambling Laws

We have provided access to the official Government Information Website – Arkansas Gambling Laws for players who are interested in reviewing the official laws and statutes concerning gambling for the State of Arkansas themselves. You will find everything you need to do this at the link provided.

**If you are seeking legal services or professional interpretation of any law or statute, we suggest you contact a lawyer. This site is intended to serve as informational only, and we do not provide any type of legal services. We are not lawyers and are not trained in any area of the law. We provide this information as a courtesy, however we do not provide professional law interpretation or advice.

FAQS Relevant To Arkansas Gambling Laws

What Is A “Game Of Chance”?

Although the state of Arkansas doesn’t provide a legal definition, the term is typically used to draw the difference from that of its opposite, a game of skill. Other states have defined the term as a game in which players make a wager and the winner is primarily based on random luck.

What Are The Consequences For Illegal Gambling In The State Of Arkansas?

Being caught as a simple bettor in an illegal gambling operations in the state of Arkansas only carries a small fine. However, if you are in possession of a gambling device you can be charged with a misdemeanor offense. If you own or rent a house that is being used in illegal gambling activities you can be charged with a felony offense with jailtime in some cases.

What Is Pari-Mutuel Betting?

In French, it means “mutual stake”. Pari-Mutuel gambling is the primary form of betting that is utilized by horse and dog tracks around the world. It’s a system of betting where all the wagers are pooled before the race takes place and are distributed among the winners. The players are betting against other players instead of the house, which only takes a small percentage fee from the pot.

What’s The Difference Between Arkansas’ Scholarship Lottery And A Normal State Lottery?

The Arkansas Scholarship lotteries net proceeds all go to funding scholarships and grants to residents of Arkansas that are enrolls in nonprofit colleges and universities within the Natural State.

Does Arkansas Have Social Gambling?

Yes, over the course of the year’s bars and restaurants have gotten away with having poker nights by not requiring their patrons to make a minimum purchase of food or drinks. These bars and restaurants also do not charge any of these players a fee and stand to make no profit from the games themselves at all.

I Lost My Watch In An Illegal Gambling Game, What Can I Do?

Arkansas is one of the only states that will allow you to sue for lost money or property in gambling activity. Despite not having the responsibility to keep your watch on your wrist, if you lose said watch in a game of illegal gambling you are fully within your rights, whether it be scrupulous or not, to sue for the property that you rightfully lost in your illegal activities. This functions as a lesson to those who would sanction such illegal events, you stand to lose your winnings even if they are fairly won.

Will I Get Arrested For Gambling Online In Arkansas?

Absolutely not. To our knowledge, there has never been a single arrest in the state or Arkansas for online gambling. There is no law that you can break in Arkansas that specifically judges the act of placing bets with real money over the internet. Secondarily, they lack the technology and resources to track such activity. Tracking such activity can easily be viewed as government surveillance.