When searching for things to do in the Southern state, casinos in Arkansas is not one of the top activities you will find. Well, that is because there are only two casinos in the state and the gambling laws are strict. There is nothing new there as most American states have rather strict gambling laws with a number of casino games being considered illegal. Arkansas visitors or beginner players can try their hand at poker, baccarat or blackjack in Hot Springs only an hour away from the capital city of the state, Little Rock.
Arkansas was nicknamed the Natural state because it is popular for its scenic natural beauty. Picture natural springs, smelling the roses at one of the botanical gardens of the Ozark, or paddleboarding on the beautiful Beaver lake. It would be ideal to be able to spend some time in the sun and play a top-rated casino game online. But before you can do that you have to be aware of the sates gambling laws and whether or not you will be able to play at web casinos. Read our guide for more info.
Considering the current stance of gambling in the state of Arkansas, it’s easy to forget that Arkansas was once a gambling hotspot. The revival of the gambling industry in the state saw the legalization of four different gambling forms. Players can take part in the state lottery, charitable games, race tracks and several table games. Players have to be 18 and over to take part in the lottery or race tracks. In terms of casino games, players have to be 21 and over.
You may be wondering if there are any casinos in Arkansas that are operated online. Well unfortunately for novice casino game players or visitors it is illegal to operate an internet casino or poker room. However, that does not mean that players can’t participate in online gaming. There are a number of offshore web casinos that welcome players from other states. Playing at a local web casino could see the player lose their money should the casino be shut down as it is not permitted to run a web casino within the Arkansas borders.
Arkansas Gambling Legislation Timeline
Gambling the 1800s
In the 18th century playing at a casino in hot springs Arkansas usually meant playing a casino that was run by gangsters. Casinos in Hot springs were largely run by gangsters and were popularly known as drinking dens.
The baby boom years saw the casino establishments in Hot Springs close down with the last casino closing in 1967. Greyhound racing was the last man standing in the Arkansans gambling industry.
Gambling the 2000s
The new legislation that was passed saw the legalization of gaming machines, the lottery, charitable games and fantasy sports. Lottery proceeds in the state are to go towards funding state education.
Regulatory Bodies in Arkansas
Gambling in the state of Arkansas falls under the regulation of the Arkansas Racing Commission. The commission regulates all the gambling activities in the state as well as all the licensing. According to the new legislation, when applying for a racing commission license it’s mandatory to have voter support letters. The commission will hold a public comment shearing after they have approved the draft of the operating regulations. Before the lawmakers make a final authorization, the commission will finalize the rules.
Due to internet gambling not being regulated in the state, web casinos are restricted by offshore licensing authorities.
Arkansas has several problem gambling resources to help players that have developed a gambling addiction. There are self-help resources such as gamblers anonymous or GamTalk, as well as representatives from the National Council on Problem Gambling who is available to help.
Arkansas’ Best Land Based Casinos
Arkansas currently only has two land-based casinos and two more casinos that are pending. River Valley Casino Resort in Pope County announced its intentions to apply for a casino incense. Jefferson county also publicly announced its intention of acquiring a license for its Saracen Casino Resort. Players won’t be able to find any Indian casinos in Arkansas. The two casinos in Arkansas are pari-mutuel racetracks which offer games of skills that are electronic.
Oaklawn Racing Casino & Resort: Formally known as Oaklawn Racing and Gaming, this casino offers player 65 000 square feet filled with great entertainment. There are over 1000 gaming machines, seven different restaurants, and a lounge. If you are too exhausted to drive back home, check into the Hot Springs Hotel at Oaklawn. Address: 2705 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Southland Casino Racing: The 55 000 square feet casino is open 24/7 and offers players more than 2000 gaming machines and table games. There are five different food and drink spots. Address: 1550 Ingram Boulevard, West Memphis, Arkansas.
State Casino Stats
There any plenty of casinos to choose from in Arkansas, however, there are tons of gambling favourites to enjoy. Here is a rundown of the casino statistic in Arkansas.