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Arkansas Gaming Community Size



For many Americans, Hot Springs is a quiet city nestled at the bottom of the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. Its primary claim to fame is that it’s home to the oldest federal reserve in the country.

Some Native Americans also believe the water at Hot Springs national park possesses healing powers. But what most people don't know is that this resort city has a rich history of casino gaming.

 And were it not for Arkansas’ conservative laws, it would have birthed a gambling community as large as Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Instead, here’s an outlook of the state’s gaming community.

Offshore Casinos

Arkansas gambling laws don’t mention online casinos and sportsbooks. They were created pre-Internet after all. However, their wording makes them open to different interpretations.

In many ways, Arkansas' gambling laws mirror those in the Great White North. Canadian laws don't allow nor prohibit online casinos. And as a result, players aren't in the wrong when they bet at websites based in the US, Europe, or South America.

The demand for online gaming in Canada is so high that new casinos keep cropping up. This website keeps an update of every new operator that accepts Canadians. And it also compares the benefits of joining these websites versus using established companies.

In-person Betting is Restricted

Arkansas allows a handful of betting games offered at the Southlands Racetrack and the Oaklawn Park racetrack. Horse and greyhound race betting is allowed. But bets are provided on a pari-mutuel basis.

You can bet on poker, bingo, and lotto games. But you can’t play blackjack, roulette, or baccarat. The explanation is that casinos should only provide games of skill or games whose profits go towards charities.

Poker is defined as a game of skill. On the flip side, bingo and lotto help the state collect funds for charities. When it comes to sports betting, the state is yet to agree whether outfield sports like football and basketball should be provided.

That said, both the Oaklawn Park and the Southlands racetracks have hundreds of gaming machines. Most of them look like slots, blackjack, and roulette. But they have add-on features that make them look like games of skill for legal reasons.

Daily Fantasy Sports Allowed

Although Arkansas has always had strict gambling laws, it loosened its stance in 2017 to permit Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). It was a surprising move considering the Land of Opportunities has always objected to anything gambling-related.

All the same, you can join DraftKings, FanDuel, or your favorite DFS website legally in Arkansas. For the uninitiated, fantasy sports are games of skill—and luck—that challenge you to draft the best-performing team every week.

You select players from different players in the same league. But you can’t choose more than three players from the same team. So, you could select a QB and RB from Tampa Bay and Corner Back and Kicker from Chicago and Kansas respectively.

The best part of DFS is that’s incredibly fun and social. It’s full of people to compete with, sometimes for real money. All you need is to pay a “buy-in” amount. And if you have the best performing team, you could win as much as $1 million.

  Online Gambling Laws

Arkansas bans all forms of gambling not allowed by law. Some lawyers interpret that to mean you can't play online casinos in the Natural State. However, others maintain gambling at foreign betting sites isn't illegal.

All the same, the punishment for gambling illegally is a fine of $50 or $100. No one has ever been arrested for betting online in Arkansas. But the state enforces its string anti-gambling laws on investors.

To expound more, Arkansas doesn’t take it lightly when people run illegal gambling dens. Not only will it close down such a business but it could also force you to reimburse players of their money.

Can you play at foreign casinos in Arkansas? Yes, but you need to be cautious. Not all foreign websites are worth your time and money. Like Canadians, the best way to find a reliable online casino is by:

  • Checking Review Websites

Checking review sites helps you find the most recommended operators. You can also read detailed reviews of each company. But the bottom line is that you can easily spot a site with the best ratings and create an account.

Reading comprehensive casino reviews is essential if you want to find a genuinely reliable website. That’s because you can discover a lot of details about a company. And you can compare these services to several casinos before you make the right decision.

For example, you could compare withdrawal speeds or quality of customer service. That way, you can rank several websites and join the best casino to you.

  • Looking for Valid Licenses

Online gambling is a regulated industry. So, before you join a gaming website, look for a license. In the US, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are the most well-known online casino regulators. Outside of North America, the best regulators are based in Malta and the UK.

Casino regulators are important in many ways. For starters, they ensure gaming websites are operated by professionals. They also verify games for fairness and require operators to enforce advanced security measures.

Importantly, regulators act as moderators in case of disputes. You can request them to help if a casino defrauds you. Or you can tip them off to investigate an illegal matter at a casino you use.

  • Checking Games and Bonuses

What casino games do you want to play? Because if you’re only interested in poker, then you don’t need a slot or blackjack site. But if you prefer to play slots, you want a site that features a broad range of slot machines.

On the flip side, you might want some bonuses to boost your bankroll. But you don't just want any offers. Look for bonuses you can easily convert to cash. That means you read between the lines and only join sites with attractive offers.

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