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Best Arkansas State Online Casino Apps and Sites

Gambling laws in Arkansas have changed in recent years. Up until 2018, gamblers in Arkansas were limited to horse race betting and the government-run Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. But a state vote to expand the scope of gambling activities was successful and the scene opened up to land-based casinos and sports betting venues. 

Very recently, sports betting was also allowed online, but only through special operators. This shows some advancement in the acceptance of gambling as a form of entertainment, but the online market is still very limited. This article explores the past and future of online gambling and casinos in Arkansas.

Guide to gamble in the state of Arkansas

Top 10 (insert top list including sweepstakes and social casinos)

  • Betly Sportsbook
  • BetSaracen
  • Oaklawn Sports (coming 2022)
  • Global Poker
  • Draftkings
  • FanDuel
  • LuckyLand Slots
  • WinStar
  • Chumba Casino
  • Fortune Coins

That would depend on what you want to gamble on and how. Online casinos are a definite no-no, while social casinos and daily fantasy sports are completely allowed. On the other hand, most sportsbooks are unable to target players in Arkansas, with the exception of those sportsbooks that signed up to Arkansas's revenue share agreement. Currently there are only two, with one more about to launch.

In summary, online gambling is available in Arkansas but it's limited and highly restricted. The state's conservative approach seems to be a move to control the amount of gambling taking place by residents, while also retaining a maximum amount of the profits. This means that many residents opt for on-site gambling, where they can access bets and games of all kinds with virtually zero restrictions.

Gambling History in Arkansas

In the 1800s, Arkansas was known for its thriving (yet not quite legal) gambling hub. It was all happening in Hot Springs, Arkansas, which had its heyday between 1927 and 1947. There were well over ten casinos in the area, frequented by famous mobsters like AI Capone. All these establishments were illegal, but the city turned a blind eye in favor of collecting tax from the organizations. However, by 1967, the new governor eradicated all gambling in the city except for horse and dog racing.

In 2005, the state passed the Local Option Horse Racing and Greyhound Racing Electronic Games of Skill Act, which allowed race tracks to offer some electronic, casino-style games. In November 2018, Arkansas approved a constitutional amendment to legally allow casinos for the first time. By 2019, four legal, vegas-style casinos set up shop in Arkansas. Licenses for further casinos are being issued every year. In February 2022, the state of Arkansas legalized online sports betting in a controversial revenue-sharing deal with the state.

Recent developments show a very slow but promising move towards online gambling. It won't be an overnight shift, but there does appear to be some motivation to get online casinos legalized in Arkansas over the next few years. In the meantime, social casinos are there to fill in the blanks.

Some players might feel initially skeptical about social casinos, the perception being “where's the fun if you can't win real cash?”. But that's not necessarily accurate. 

Many social gaming sites like LuckyLand, Chumba and WinStar created an immersive structure resting on coins and tokens, allowing players to compete for big rewards and real cash prizes. Every site has its own rules and themes, and it's up to each player to choose the one that fits. When online casinos are out of the picture, social casinos make for an excellent stand-in.

Expected Online Casino Games in Arkansas

At this point in time, we can only take a wild guess at the expected online casinos that will be available in Arkansas. Online casinos remain steadfastly illegal in Arkansas. If you want to experience the excitement of slots, jackpots, table games, and more, your best bet is to pay a visit to one of the licensed land-based casinos. 

Should the day come when Arkansas law makes a U-turn and welcomes the world of online casinos, there's no way to tell what exactly that would look like. Considering the legalization of online sportsbooks came with severe restrictions, there's reason to believe that online casinos will be treated in the same way. 

If sites had to give up such hefty portions of their profits to the state, it makes it less of an attractive option. This is exactly why so many of the major sportsbooks have yet to offer their services within the state of Arkansas.

Online Slots

There’s no chance of legally playing online slots for real money in Arkansas. But if you’re on the lookout for some online slot fun, all hope isn’t lost. Social casinos and sweepstakes sites are here to save the day. 

These generally look and function in a very similar way to online casinos, and many of them also have nearly identical content. You’ll find slot games from all the leading providers in the world, so you can spin the reels on top titles like Starburst, Wolf Gold, Fruit Party and many more. What’s more, you’ll collect real rewards when you win.

Online Poker

Online poker isn't legal in Arkansas, but you can go all out with land-based poker in one of the many casinos scattered around the state. If you're not in the mood to leave the house, you can give social poker a try. This works in exactly the same way as a regular poker app or site, except that you don't win directly by withdrawing cash. Instead, you collect rewards, tokens, or points.

These can be used to access special tournaments or in exchange for real prizes. Very often, tournament prizes will be real cash. Global Poker is a great example of such a site.

Lottery

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is a state-run lottery that uses some of the proceeds to pay for college scholarships. It kicked off in 2008 when the people of Arkansas voted in favor of the sale of lottery tickets. In 2009, scratch-off tickets and powerball games were added to the approved list of lottery games. 

Arkansas is also part of the multi-state Mega Millions lottery, allowing players to purchase tickets for life-changing wins. But despite progress on the lottery front, lottery tickets still can't be purchased online. Instead, players from Arkansas who want to try their luck will have to find a land-based licensed retailer to purchase their tickets in person.

Roulette

As one of the most famous casino games in the world, roulette is definitely available in Arkansas. So long as you're willing to travel to one of the land-based casinos, you can have your fill of the gleaming spinning wheel and the promise of huge multiplier wins. 

If you want to play online, then you're going to hit a wall. A legal wall, that is. Online roulette is currently illegal, so you'll have to opt for a free-to-play option, or look for a social casino that offers roulette games. Until Arkansas welcomes real money online casinos, real money sofa roulette will have to wait.

Online Blackjack

Blackjack has been bringing joy and strategy to the casino experience since the 1800s, and Arkansas was no exception. In its heyday, people traveled to Arkansas from all over the US for the best card action around. Today, things are a lot more civilized, with rules and regulations firmly in place. While most land-based casinos in Arkansas still host several blackjack card tables, the fun has yet to reach the online world. While online casinos remain firmly prohibited by the state of Arkansas, players will be forced to play at social casinos or sweepstakes sites that offer a similar experience, but with a different reward structure.

Live Dealer

Unfortunately, there's absolutely no way to access live dealer or live casino games in Arkansas, both on land or online. These games are the unique creation of online casinos, offering players a trip to Vegas without ever having to leave their homes. This combination of real dealers and live streaming is exclusively accessed on participating online casino sites only. Until Arkansas brokers an agreement and launches a license, players in this part of the world will just have to content themselves with a trip to a land-based casino. We're hoping it's only a matter of time before Arkansas joins the ranks of other regulating states.

Arkansas Sports Betting

For a long time, sports betting in Arkansas was limited to horse and dog racetracks. Players could only bet in person and were subject to many restrictions. It took some time, and there’s still a long way to go, but Arkansas has stepped into a new era for sports betting, welcoming online and mobile betting

While the racetracks are still around, players can now take things online. Two big brands (Betly Sportsbook and BetSaracen), which already own popular racetracks and resorts within the state, have launched sportsbetting apps that allow players from Arkansas to place bets and compare odds on all their favorite sports. 

But progress definitely comes at a price, as the state's 51% revenue share agreement has scared off many top sportsbooks, as they prefer not to relinquish such a huge chunk of their profits. It will be interesting to watch the space and see whether the state reduces its stake, or if the sportsbooks decide it's worth the cost.

Daily Fantasy Sports Betting in Arkansas

Daily Fantasy Sports allows players to draft teams of real-life players. The success or failure of these drafted teams is entirely dependent on the performance of the players in current sporting events. 

For a while, legislators were skeptical as to whether or not they fell into the gambling sphere, but Arkansas put an end to speculation by being one of the first states to enact a law that allowed Daily Fantasy Sports in 2017.

This law also allowed the state to tax DFS providers at a rate of 8%, which fell within the standard margin for most sportsbooks.

Horse Betting in Arkansas

There is only one major racetrack in Arkansas, and that's the Oaklawn Racing and Gaming Track. Southland Park Gaming and Racing also has a track, but it's dedicated to greyhound racing. 

If you choose to go online, your options widen slightly. With only two legal sportsbooks allowed, these are the only sources for online horse betting in the state

A third sportsbook is on its way, so it does mean you get more flexibility and choice versus visiting the only racetrack and placing your bets in person. Of course, if what you appreciate is the thrill of a live race, then nothing can compare to being there in person.

Expected Online Sportsbooks to Launch in Arkansas

Online sportsbooks have been legalized in Arkansas since 2022. The government signed them into law via a super controversial agreement based on a 51% revenue share. That means sportsbooks that operate in the state will have to fork over an enormous chunk of their profits

As a result, very few have signed up, with organizations like BetMGM being particularly vocal about their disapproval of the agreement. As things stand, only Betly Sportsbook and BET Saracen took Arkansas up on their sportsbook offer, offering players the use of their Apple and Android mobile apps. 

Betly Sportsbook belongs to Southland Casino, a well-established land-based casino in Arkansas. Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is about to launch its own online sportsbook, bringing more competition into the space.

What Sports Can I Bet On When Arkansas Legalizes Sports Gambling?

Sports gambling is already legal in Arkansas, with both land-based and online options. There are two online sportsbooks available to Arkansas players, Betly Sportsbook and BetSaracen. Both of these offer a diverse range of sports wagers. Players can compare odds and create bet slips on pretty much any sport, including Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, MMA, Boxing, Darts, Volleyball, and more.

Keep in mind that these sites are exclusively sportsbooks, and there's no way to access any casino games through the platform. Should more sportsbooks decide to accept Arkansas's revenue share requirements, they will more than likely offer a very similar setup with the same kind of sports portfolio. The only benefit to more sites entering the market is increased competition, which will inevitably result in more competitive odds and better promotions.

Deposit and Withdraw Methods in Arkansas Gambling Sites

Deposit and withdrawal methods when gambling in Arkansas will vary depending on the type of gambling activity you choose. For example, if you're placing bets with online sportsbooks, you'll most likely deposit and withdraw using Trustly or Play+. With Trustly, you can deposit your bank account directly into your betting account. Play+ is a virtual wallet that is funded from your bank account. Funds are then transferred from the wallet to the betting account. Both options are super safe and secure, so you never need to worry. Most of the time, deposits are instant, while withdrawals can take anything between three and seven business days.

If you're using social casinos or sweepstakes sites and you want to purchase a token or coin pack, then Trustly and Play+ are very likely to be two of the options available. Sometimes there will also be the option to deposit using credit or debit cards, or other digital wallets like Shrill and Neteller. If you're visiting land-based sites like racetracks and casinos, or purchasing lottery tickets, payment methods can range between credit cards, debit cards and cash.

Bonuses to be Offered in Arkansas

Bonuses and promotions are usually benefits that come with online gambling, and sportsbooks are no exception. All legal Arkansas sportsbooks come with built-in rewards systems, bonuses, and promotions. For example, when playing at Betly, every bet contributes to your coin balance. These coins can be exchanged for free bets and other rewards.

Beyond loyalty programs, players can also gain access to regular bonuses offered on the sites almost daily. New players definitely gain the biggest advantage, because when you first sign up for these sites you're almost always offered a super generous package to give you a head start. Once you've used this up, the sportsbook promotion section is always packed with additional offers like free bets based on any losses, opportunities to boost your odds, access to competitions, and themed special offers during popular sporting events.

Our thoughts on how Arkansas is Developing

Arkansas's rich gambling history is now the stuff of legends and research books. You can scarcely Google ‘Arkansas’ without finding a snippet or two about Hot Springs and the famed gambling halls. Those days are firmly in the past. However, there's definitely been a recent resurgence of gambling over the last couple of decades.

Land-based casinos and racetracks are now legalized and legitimate entertainment spots, with new casinos popping up all the time. Some sportsbooks have even braved the state's tough conditions and entered the online world with sleek mobile apps offered state-wide. We're certainly not suggesting that there will be a resurgence of mobsters, but perhaps online gambling will take off to match the situation in states like New Jersey and Colorado. It might take some time before online casinos are made legal, but it certainly looks like Arkansas is set to become a popular gambling hotspot for the second time in history.

FAQs on Arkansas Gambling

Can you gamble online in Arkansas?

No. While land-based casinos and sports betting are allowed, online casinos remain illegal. The only options are a handful of online sportsbooks, and only those that have signed up to Arkansas's 51% revenue share agreement.

Can I use DraftKings in Arkansas?

You certainly can. DraftKings is a daily fantasy sports site, and these have been legal in Arkansas since 2017. One thing to note is that DraftKings has also added a sportsbook to its site. However, since they haven't agreed to Arkansas's online sportsbook conditions, this part of the site is restricted for people in the state.

Can I bet on FanDuel in Arkansas?

Like DraftKings, FanDuel is a DFS site that has grown to encompass a wider gambling scope over the past years. The parts of the site that go beyond daily fantasy sports are currently illegal in Arkansas.

This is likely to change soon as they've partnered with IGT, which is also the company behind BetSaracen, a legal online sportsbook in Arkansas.

Can I play online poker in Arkansas?

Southland Park Casino is a land-based casino in Arkansas that's home to a very popular poker community. The casino offers both cash games and tournaments.The enthusiastic participation is likely to be down to the fact that real money poker is illegal online. Until the state decides to license online casinos and other forms of online gambling, players in the region will have to content themselves with social sites like Global Poker.

Can I use barstool sportsbook in Arkansas?

Currently, the Barstool online sportsbook is only available in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, Virginia, New Jersey, Tennessee, Arizona, Iowa, West Virginia, and Louisiana. This is very likely to change, but as yet it's unavailable in Arkansas.

Why are there no casinos in Arkansas?

Arkansas does have legal and licensed land-based casinos. These are set up Vegas-style with numerous table games, poker rooms, slots, and jackpot games.

Is it possible to legally bet on sports online in the US?

That depends on the state you’re in. Some states, including Arkansas, allow some forms of online sports betting, while others do not. States like New Jersey and Colorado have embraced online gambling most freely, with the fewest restrictions of all.

Are all forms of gambling illegal?

No. Online casinos, online sportsbooks, racetracks, and land-based casinos are all legal forms of gambling. Depending on where you are in the world, the restrictions will vary, so be sure to always stay on the right side of the law!

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Loren Oller
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I consider myself to be an avid guitar player, sports enthusiast, and a big fan of blackjack and social casinos. My task is pretty easy to resume.. make sure you are well informed on all US casinos that might interest you. I've been writing reviews based on my experiences for a while and I'm happy to say that my work will truly help you even if it's just by telling you the legal gambling laws of a state or the top games that are trending right now!
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Reviewed by Julia Attard, Senior Author