Arkansas has legalized online gambling in the form of sports betting. Bettors in AR can bet with two online sportsbook operators in the state. Although Arkansas has three retail casinos and another one on the way, there is currently no discussion on legalizing online casino gaming.
Arkansas joined the online betting market in early 2022.
Online gambling is finally here in Arkansas! Online sports betting rules were approved by the Arkansas Racing Commission on December 30, 2021, and by the Arkansas Legislative Council in early 2022. The first online sportsbook launched in March 2022 and the second followed a few months later. It’s uncertain whether more books will launch later this year.
While the online betting regulation was expected, online casino operations have not been discussed. While the state has three land-based casinos, there is little interest in moving the operations online.
⭐ Arkansas Sports Betting
Arkansas sports betting was legalized in 2018 after voters approved of a constitutional amendment, and three brick-and-mortar casinos started to offer sports betting. With the new online regulations, the casinos can partner with up to two online sportsbook brands each, or create their own.
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs
Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis
Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County (run by the Quapaw Nation)
In construction: Legends Resort & Casino in Russellville, Pope County (delayed because of legal issues, to be run by Cherokee Nation Businesses)
Southland Casino runs sports betting with Betly.
Online Betting Regulations
Online sports betting was approved by the Arkansas Racing Commission after hours of heated debate on the issue among various stakeholders. Lobbyists for the national sportsbook operators pushed for more competition, while some of the locals attempted to halt the expansion on sports wagering. The end result was met with mixed feelings from all sides, but it does allow up to eight online sportsbooks to operate in Arkansas.
Licensing: Each casino, including the upcoming Legends Casino, has two online skins. This means they can either partner with two operators or set up an online sportsbook themselves. Each online sportsbook must carry the partner casino’s name visibly on their sites and apps.
Revenue Sharing: A major disappointment to national sportsbook operators, as the casinos are entitled to 51% of proceeds from the online betting operations; in most states, casinos get 5-15%. Whether this will deter major brands like BetMGM and DraftKings remains to be seen.
Taxation: Arkansas currently has a 13% tax rate on sports betting, and the Racing Commission did not discuss amendments to the taxation. Therefore it can be assumed that online betting will carry the same tax rate as retail wagering.
New Online Sportsbooks
No major online sportsbook has announced their entry to Arkansas as of July 2022. Since the operational costs are high, Arkansas currently has two sportsbooks operated by the local casinos:
⭐ Arkansas Online Casino
Online casinos are not yet legal in Arkansas. Now that online sports betting is legal, we have high hopes for AR online casino gambling as well. One potential way for legal online casinos to enter Arkansas market is through the three existing brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. Arkansas casinos offer slot machines, table games, electronic games, and other gambling options.
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs
Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis (includes a greyhound track)
Saracen Casino Resort
Arkansas currently has casino gaming at three local casinos.
If you want to play casino games online in Arkansas, you need to head out to social casinos. These Sweepstakes casinos give you the chance to play for free, in exchange to vouchers that you can then exchange to real money prizes. A sweepstake is not technically considered a gambling site, and is therefore a viable option for online casino gambling in AR, as well as in many states with no other casino site choices. You can also try out a slot or a table game like Three Card Poker on demo mode on some sites well, without having to deposit funds.
Online poker is not legal in Arkansas, and live poker in any form is quite limited as well. The Southland Park poker room is the only regulated poker room in the state. If you want to play poker in AR, we suggest playing at Southland Park, as home games are officially against Arkansas state law. Maybe the future will see Arkansas online poker emerge.
⭐ Horse Racing Betting
The Oaklawn Park Horse Racing track was opened in 1904, and horse racing has been legal in Arkansas ever since, overseen by the Racing Commission. They even host the Arkansas derby, which has a $1,000,000 purse. Retail and online wagering on horse races are both available to state residents. If you are looking to bet on horse racing online, you should take advantage of the TwinSpires promo code offer for a $250 horse betting bonus.
⭐ Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports sites are no longer considered gambling in Arkansas. Therefore, the Natural State residents can freely participate in DFS games by creating pools at DraftKings and FanDuel. In order to play DFS, you need to be at least 18 years of age.
⭐ When Will Arkansas Launch Online Gambling?
Despite legalizing sports wagering quite early on, Arkansas is still considered quite a conservative state by the gambling industry. The new online sports betting regulations, should they pass the Arkansas Legislative Council, are not the most progressive either, but still enable Arkansas residents to wager anywhere in the state. Although the online betting market will be quite small, several major brands can be expected to join in as casinos start to create partnerships. BonusFinder US will update this page with all the latest details on Arkansas online gambling.
Last updated: 06/10/2022
Arkansas Gambling Q&A
When will online gambling be legal in AR?
It already is. The Arkansas Legislative Council could approve the new online betting regulations by the end of January, and after that, online operations were allowed to begin immediately.
Can I play online casino games for real money in Arkansas?
No. However, you can play video poker, slot machines, electronic table games, and live dealer table games at one of the three existing land based casinos in Arkansas. That being said, Arkansas is a big state, and rather than driving a hundred miles, Arkansas residents might be better off by taking their casino gaming to a social casino, where you can try online slots for free, or to other states.
Can I use offshore gambling sites in AR?
Technically yes, but we highly recommend against that. Offshore sites have no legal requirement to pay back your bets, and you can never be quite sure if they are the fair play type. As online sports betting is about to launch in Arkansas, we recommend not wasting your time with illegal operations.
What is the legal gambling age limit in Arkansas?
The legal age in Arkansas is 21 years old to play games at a casino and for sports bets. For DFS as well as horse and greyhound pari-mutuel betting online, the age limit is 18 years.
Can I participate in Arkansas Lottery games online?
No, you can only buy tickets for games like Mega Millions from Arkansas Lottery retailers. You must also withdraw winnings in person or by mail.
Riku is the Editor in Chief at BonusFinder and is a global expert in casino, sports betting and poker.
Riku was a professional online poker player for 10 years where he has played against some of the world’s best known pro-players such as Phil Ivey and Doyle Brunson. When not playing poker Riku was exercising his passion for sports betting and developing his expertise for casino games.
Riku as Editor in Chief oversees all the research and writing at BonusFinder. He also spends hours weekly speaking with the US casinos and sportsbooks to make sure everything is up to date to make sure you can "Play With More"
Riku has been recognized as an expert in the field and led the BonusFinder team to several gambling award nominations including:
EGR North America Awards 2020 - Affiliate of the Year
EGR Operator Awards 2019 - Casino Affiliate of the Year