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Arkansas Gambling Laws

The regulation of gambling varies quite a bit from state to state. In fact, some states don't allow gambling at all within their boundaries aside from bingo or other games used to raise money for a church or other nonprofit. The emergence of casinos on Native American reservations, which are under federal authority, led to a gambling boom throughout much of the country (see the National Indian Gaming Commission's Website to learn more). Currently just a few states prohibit gambling entirely, including Utah and Hawaii.

Laws concerning gambling cover everything from horse racing and card games to bookmaking and casinos. While state lotteries also are a form of gambling based on games of chance, they usually are regulated separately (it's important to note that lottery revenue goes directly to the state).

Overview of Arkansas Gambling Laws

Arkansas has a very restrictive gambling policy, limited primarily to horse and dog racing. There are currently no Indian casinos in Arkansas, while gambling houses and devices are prohibited in the state. However, there are two "racinos" in the state (Hot Springs and West Memphis) that offer some casino-style games along with horse and dog racing. The electronic gaming machines were permitted under state law after passage of the Local Option Horse Racing and Greyhound Racing Electronic Games of Skill Act of 2005.

Additional provisions of Arkansas gambling laws are listed in the following table.

Code Section 5-66-101 et seq.; 23-110 et seq.
Gambling Betting any money or any valuable thing on any game of hazard or skill.
Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting Pari-mutuel wagering only.
Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting Franchised greyhound racing legal, pari-mutuel wagering only.
Casinos Allowed? Gambling houses and devices banned (certain electronic games of skill are allowed if local municipalities approve them)
Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned All wagering on all sports or games banned. Betting on card games can result in a fine of not less than $10 and not more than $25.

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of new statutes or decisions from higher courts. Make sure you contact an Arkansas gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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