Arkansas Online Gambling

Gambling Information and Online Casino Listings

Perhaps it is not evident now, but back in the day, certain areas in Arkansas territory were hotbeds for illicit gambling activities.

History reports gangsters fighting over control of the liquor and gambling in Hot Springs as far back as 1880. By the late 1920’s, Hot Springs became a gambling powerhouse with around a dozen major and a lot of minor casinos. The Natural State was once home to gambling businesses much like those in Las Vegas, when the Mob were a huge influencer in the region..

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History of Gambling in Arkansas

The Southern Club, which was run by mobster Owney Madden, hosted politicians, movie stars and high rollers, and operated underground. All the casinos that sprang up in the city during the Great Depression entered a tough break in the post-war era. The political moods have changed after World War II and the gambling scene was affected by the conservative movement which eventually put an end to the flourishing Hot Springs gambling history in 1967. The place is now synonymous with leisurely vacations and spa retreats. Hot Springs literally went down in flames, as Governor Winthrop Rockefeller sent in squads of state troopers to terminate all casino operations and burn all the gaming machines and tables.

What was left alive were the racetrack venues and dog racing facilities. Horse racing in Arkansas dates back to 1929, whereas greyhound racing was legalized in 1957. None of this legislation changed until the early 2000s, and the gambling climate focused primarily on the racetracks, which were also a touristic asset. In 2005, the Game of Skill act came into effect in Arkansas and it allowed electronic skill-based games at the racetracks, turning them into what is popularly known as racinos. Charity games and raffles have also been introduced and there is an operating state lottery. The only reason why the lottery was established was the ability to funnel money into the state’s educational system.


Land based casinos

Arkansas is home to two pari-mutuel racetracks which pass as racinos because they house electronic games of skill. There are no commercial casinos in the Natural State, and no casinos on Native American reservation land. The two existing casinos have a limited range of games. While offering blackjack, roulette, craps, slots and live poker, racinos can merely come second to a genuine gambling experience at proper brick and mortar casinos. The slot machines offered in Arkansas are based on skill; they provide the player with two spins. Upon witnessing the results of the first spin, the player is allowed to retain any and all of the symbols on each reel, or none at all, before proceeding to the next spin. The minimal return of electronic gaming machines in the State of Arkansas is 83%.

The two racinos are Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, also known as Oaklawn Jockey Club, and Southland Park Gaming & Racing. Oaklawn Racing & Gaming is located in Hot Springs and operates primarily as a thoroughbred racing track. Oaklawn also features over 1,000 slots, instant racing and video poker terminals, playable at low stakes. Electronic blackjack and live poker are offered as well, but live poker is played using electronic cards and deals. The venue is open from 10 am to 3 am/5 am (Fri/Sat), offers free parking and the services of three restaurants.

Southland Park Gaming & Racing is located in West Memphis. It houses over 600 slot machines on its floors, as well as electronic forms of blackjack and poker. Southland Park has a high limit room with machines accepting bets between $1 and $25, and also offers a wheel of fortune machine, roulette and craps. The establishment is associated with 4 restaurants and a buffet (player's club members get a buffet discount). Both Arkansas tracks run only seasonal racing, but gaming is available around the calendar year.


Online Casinos

Arkansas is, undoubtedly, a conservative southern state, which has an overall restrictive approach to gambling. Internet bets have not found their way into state law, which is why prospective online gamblers must pursue their luck at offshore casino sites, joining the majority of the US nation.

The alternatives are out there, and the only thing players need to worry about is finding a casino website which guarantees security, anonymity and fair software. A fair amount of time has passed since UIGEA, allowing the good casinos to surface and leave the shady ones unattended. Some of the brands which have proven their fairness are web-based gaming hubs like Ignition Casino, Cafe Casino and Casino Max. Run by reliable operators, these sites offer the best possible software to residents of Arkansas and other US states affected by the federal restriction. Slotocash Casino is a place where Arkansas gamblers can enjoy online poker, table games, slots, blackjack and more, with phenomenal bonuses and rewards. Cafe Casino has RTG software and the feedback is consistently positive. Casino Max is the newest of the three, offering RTG games and an easily navigable gaming platform that works on all handheld devices.


Regulation and legality of online gambling

Gambling over the Internet while living in Arkansas is no different than if you were to live in any other US region where the local internet gambling industry is unregulated. There is no specific prohibition against online betting. However, there is a general ban on any forms of gambling which have not been made explicitly legal yet. But using this in any court of law is a stretch. The gambling laws in Arkansas are still largely based on the 1967 code, and these statutes predate the internet. The gray area covers many a region in the US, but the players don’t mind it as long as they have their offshore casinos to gamble at. Most gambling enthusiasts feel confident about wagering over the internet, thinking it unlikely that they will experience any interference by the law enforcers.


Fun Facts about Arkansas

  • Two particularly bizarre phenomena are located in Arkansas. The first one is the Dover Lights which occurs in an uninhabited valley of the Ozark Mountains. The strange illumination is attributed to the restless spirits of Spanish soldiers who died there looking for treasure - according to the local legend. The other one is the Southern Sasquatch, also known as the Fouke Monster, whose sightings were reported in 1971.


  • A person who lives in Arkansas is called an Arkansan, but a native from Arkansas can also be called Arkansasan, Arkansasian, Arkansawyer or Arkie.
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