Arkansas Betting Sites – A Guide to Betting In Arkansas

Arkansas is one of the states in the USA that has some complex laws regarding the legality and legitimacy of betting in the state. While it is illegal to own and operate a land-based gaming club (except for gaming club games at race tracks), online betting and online gaming club are completely legal in the state. There are also games with full legal backing, while there are others that are completely illegal and some that are legal with exceptions. These are all examined in this review.

Arkansas which was known as the Land of Opportunity some years back is now called the Natural State. It is the 29th largest state and the 33rd state with the most populations with an estimated population of almost 3 million as of 2016. Amongst the several famous and successful people who have risen from Arkansas are former President Bill Clinton, Walmart owner Sam Walton and singer Johnny Cash. Because you would hardly find any gaming clubs in Arkansas (although you can find some gaming club games at race tracks), online betting is a popular substitute for many Arkansas gamblers and gaming club enthusiasts.

Below are some online betting site and the deposit bonus that are on offer available in Arkansas

Online Betting and Arkansas Law: Is Online Betting Legal in Arkansas?

Yes, there is legal permission for online betting in Arkansas. There are no laws written in Arkansas to keep residents from betting online. This includes online gaming clubs, sports betting and race betting. Online betting is a well-known alternative for Arkansas residents because only pari-mutuel betting is allowed on race betting while no betting is allowed for sports.

The people of Arkansas are free to bet at both online U.S. gaming sites and off-shore gaming sites.

Can I Get Arrested For Betting Online in Arkansas?

No, you cannot get arrested for betting online in Arkansas. Now, if you start your gaming club or bookie website, that is a different ball game entirely, but if you are only going on to gamble, you are free to do so under the law.

Establishing or/and operating a gaming club or betting house in Arkansas is illegal. This is what section 5-66-103 of the Arkansas Code defines a betting house as:

“(a) A person commits the offense of keeping a betting house if the person: (1) Keeps, conducts, or operates, or who is interested directly or indirectly in keeping, conducting, or operating any betting house or place where betting is carried on; (2) Sets up, keeps, or exhibits or causes to be set up, kept, or exhibited or assists in setting up, keeping, or exhibiting any betting device; or (3) Is interested directly or indirectly in running any betting house or in setting up and exhibiting any betting device, either by furnishing money or another article, to carry on any betting house.

(b) Keeping a betting house is a Class D felony.”

Gaming club Games: Illegal with Some Exceptions

Here is what section 5-66-106 of the Arkansas Code says about betting on gaming devices:

“(a) It is unlawful for any person to bet any money or other valuable thing or any representative of anything that is esteemed of value on any game prohibited by ß 5-66-104.

(b) Upon conviction, a person who violates this section is guilty of a violation and shall be fined in any sum not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) nor less than fifty dollars ($50.”

In the year 2005, the Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 1151 which permitted race tracks to install games of skill such as blackjack, poker, and video poker machines. Hence, some of the race tracks today include blackjack, poker, video poker, craps, and roulette. Visiting one of these race tracks should fulfill your gaming club needs, but if not, Mississippi is right next door and has a wide variety of gaming clubs to choose from.

Sports and Race Betting: Pari-Mutuel Betting Only

This is what section 5-66-114 of the Arkansas Code says about sports or game betting:

“(a) (1) It is unlawful for any person, partnership, or corporation to receive or transmit information in the State of Arkansas relating to football, baseball, basketball, hockey, polo, tennis, horse racing, boxing, or any other sport or game for gaming. (2) This section does not apply to a radio station or newspaper disseminating such information as news, entertainment, or advertising medium. (3) The provisions of this section do not apply to any commission conducting a legalized race meet within the State of Arkansas.”

This is what section 5-66-116 of the Arkansas Code says about horserace betting:

“(a) It is unlawful to directly or indirectly bet in this state, by selling or buying pools or otherwise, any money or other valuable thing, on any horse race of any kind whether had or run in this state or out of this state.”

Each bet or gamble on horse racing is considered a separate offense, and after the third offense, you may be liable to pay up to $500 in fines and spend 6 months in prison. Pari-mutuel betting is allowed at permitted racetracks in Arkansas. Pari-mutuel is a betting system that takes everyone’s wager and then is paid out of a sharing pool to all the winning betters after taking out taxes and the house take.

Keno: Illegal

Here’s what section 5-66-110 of the Arkansas Code says about Keno:

“(a) If a person sets up or exhibits, causes to be set up or exhibited, or aids or assists in setting up or exhibiting in the state any gaming device commonly known and designated as “keno” or any similar device by any other name or without a name, upon conviction the person is guilty of a violation and shall be fined in any sum not less than two hundred dollars ($200) for benefit of the common school fund.”

Lottery: Legal

There is a state scholarship lottery in Arkansas which started in 2009 and since the inception of the program, almost $700 million has been given to Arkansas students as scholarships for in-state colleges. There has also been $2 billion in prizes given out to gamblers.

Bingo: Legal with Restrictions

The only bingo and raffles are allowed in Arkansas are those whose proceedings are given to charity. This is what section 23-114-103 of the Charitable Bingo and Raffles Enabling Act says about bingo:

“(a)The game of bingo or a raffle conducted by a licensed authorized organization shall not be a lottery prohibited by Arkansas Constitution, Article 19, Section 14 if all net receipts over and above the actual cost of conducting the game of bingo or raffle are used only for charitable, religious, or philanthropic purposes.

(b)(1)No net receipts from games of bingo or raffles shall be used to compensate in any manner any person who works for or is in any way affiliated with the licensed authorized organization.

(2)(A)Charitable bingo or raffles shall only be conducted by a licensed authorized organization through its bona fide officers and members who volunteer their time and receive no compensation for their services.

(B)A licensed authorized organization shall not conduct games of bingo or raffles through any agent or third party.

(c)The provisions of this chapter are not intended and shall not be construed to allow the play of games of bingo or raffles through any electronic device or machine.”

The first contravention of these laws relating to bingo can costs you up to 5,000 dollars and any subsequent offenses can cost up to $10,000. Also, you may not hold more than 4 bingo games on the same premises within a week.

Social betting: Illegal

Social betting is illegal. This is what section 5-66-113 of the Arkansas Code says about betting on games of hazard or skill:

“(a) If a person bets any money or any valuable thing on any game of hazard or skill, upon conviction he or she is guilty of a violation and shall be fined in any sum not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00).”

Since the fine is a maximum of $25, it is usually common to find an illegal game going on in someone’s house. It is also illegal to have gaming devices in your home. This is what section 5-66-107 of the Arkansas Case says about owning gaming devices:

“(a) It is unlawful for any owner or occupant of any house, outbuilding, or other building or any steamboat, or another vessel to knowingly permit or suffer any games, tables, or banks mentioned in ß 5-66-104 or permit or suffer any kind of gaming under any name, to be carried on or exhibited in his or her house, outbuilding, or other building, or on board of any steamboat, flatboat, keelboat, or other vessels on any of the waters within this state.

(b) Upon conviction, a person who violates this section is guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor and shall be fined in any sum not less than one hundred dollars ($100) and maybe imprisoned any length of time not less than thirty (30) days nor more than one (1) year.”

Betting Venues in Arkansas

The nearest liking to a gaming club you are going to get in Arkansas is a racetrack. You can find many different gaming club games at the race tracks today including poker, blackjack, craps and more. There are currently only two race tracks that offer large gaming rooms in Arkansas, including Southland Park and Outlaw Racing & Gaming.

History of Betting in Arkansas


Most of the betting laws operative in Arkansas today, was put into place in 1967. This is inclusive of the law that made Arkansas one of the few states where that at-home poker games are illegal. Although the home poker games are illegal, the fine is a max of $25, which is still true today.


The law-making body in Arkansas passed the law that allowed a game of skill to be placed into race tracks. This law allowed electronic games, so the race tracks created a live dealer and electronic screen hybrid. This hybrid system allowed them to stay in line with the legislation while and also having live dealers on site.


Strict and stringent licensing rules were clarified under the Charitable Bingo and Raffles Enabling Act which permitted bingo games for charity to take place.


After being approved in 2008. The state-regulated lottery begins that was approved in 2008. This lottery uses its funds to grant scholarships to in-state Arizona students


Arkansas has strict betting laws this includes the prohibition of gaming clubs and all social betting. Even running a poker game out of your home can get you into trouble with Arkansas law enforcement. The closest thing Arkansas has to a gaming club are the two race tracks that have large gaming rooms. These race tracks do offer craps, blackjack, poker and more, but most of the game machines are electronic.

Keno is another game that is prohibited by Arkansas law, but the state does have a state-regulated lottery that residents can participate in. Bingo and raffle ticket events are only allowed under the Charitable Bingo and Raffles Enabling Act, which allows only limited amounts of prizes to be given out and a max of four bingo games a week at a single location.

Online betting is one type of gaming that is completely legal in Arkansas and is a popular option for the residents. Gaming club games, sports betting, race betting and every other type of online betting are legal in Arkansas. There is no much change expected to be coming to the Arkansas betting laws in the nearest future. The racetrack gaming rooms provide an adequate gaming club experience, and the bordering state of Mississippi offers a variety of gaming clubs for people looking for a more “out-there” betting experience.