Arkansas Online Sports Betting Laws
Arkansas is one of the many states to legalize sports betting in recent years. So far, only retail betting is allowed, but hopefully the success of online sports betting elsewhere will persuade the state’s legislators to expand its availability in the near future.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is Sports Betting Legal in Arkansas?
Yes, Arkansas sports betting has been legal since voters in the state approved it in 2018.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Arkansas?
Sadly not. The law approved by Arkansas voters did not authorize online or mobile sports betting.
How Old Do I Have to be to Place a Bet in Arkansas?
You have to be 21 years of age or older to place a sports bet in Arkansas.
If you want to bet in Arkansas, you will have to go to one of the racetrack casinos licensed by the state.
Go in person to the casino you want to bet at.
Sign up for sports betting – be prepared to show ID to prove your age and address.
Place your first sports bet.
Arkansas sports betting was legalized in November 2018, when the people of the state voted in favor of ballot measure, Issue 4. This measure amended the state’s constitution to authorize the expansion of gambling operations, including to allow sports wagering at existing racetrack casinos at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Gaming and Racing in West Memphis. The measure also authorized the state to issue licenses for new casinos in Jefferson and Pope counties, which would also be allowed to offer sports wagering.
In July 2019, the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort was the site of the first sports bet struck in the state.
The volume of sports bets struck since runs into the tens of millions of dollars. As of spring 2021, the state’s three operational sportsbooks had taken more than $55.8 million in bets.
However, that handle is dwarfed by the amount staked on slot machines in this traditionally conservative state. More than a billion dollars has been wagered on slots since the casinos opened their doors.
The ballot measure did not include authorization for online sports betting in Arkansas.
That means there are no legal Arkansas-run online sports betting operations. You cannot place sports bets legally using your computer, tablet or mobile.
Yes, they are. Any money you win through Arkansas sports betting is considered taxable income by the IRS. You should report all gambling winnings on your federal income tax return. If you win more than a certain amount, usually $600, you should expect to receive a W-2G form. Some of your winnings may be withheld by the casino to enable you to pay the tax on your winnings, which usually runs at 24%.
Although you can bet on horse racing in Arkansas when you are 18, the rules on sports betting at casinos are stricter. You need to be 21 or older to be able to place a sports bet in the state.
There is no such thing as Arkansas online sports betting yet. The only way to place a sports bet in Arkansas is to attend one of the casinos licensed within the state.
Arkansas sports betting is not allowed on any amateur sports, although there are two exceptions: the Olympics and college sports.
In common with all other states, the people of Arkansas may not bet on political markets. No licensed operator is allowed to offer odds on elections, for instance.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is one of the only ways in which Arkansans can engage with sports wagering online. In a state where online sports betting is not yet legal, DFS is an attractive option for sports fans.
A bill was signed into law in April 2017 formally legalizing DFS in the state.
The two biggest DFS operators, FanDuel and DraftKings, both have huge numbers of customers in Arkansas. They offer a large number of opportunities to play on football, basketball, baseball, and hockey.
The Razorbacks, from the University of Arkansas, are one of several top-level college teams based in the state. With betting on college sports allowed in Arkansas, and the NBA popular from coast to coast, the action on basketball is constant with the local sportsbooks.
With the arrival of Arkansas sports betting, the focus on responsible gambling has been heightened.
While sports betting is a pleasant and fun experience for the overwhelming majority of people, for a small minority it can lead to financial and emotional problems. Some local bodies, such as the state lottery, have launched initiatives to raise awareness of the issues that can arise.
The Arkansas Department of Health & Human Services is responsible for general health and addiction services. However, the best resource available to people in the state is the National Problem Gaming Helpline. This enables access to other sources of support such as Gamblers Anonymous, GamTalk and Gam-Anon.
A ballot initiative is passed by state voters authorizing the expansion of gambling operations, including to allow sports wagering, at two existing racetrack casinos and two new casinos in Jefferson and Pope counties.
The first bet is struck at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort on July 1 – a general manager places $5 on the Dallas Cowboys to beat New York Giants. It is one of two licensed casinos to open in Arkansas.
Saracen Casino Resort, the third casino in the state, opens in October.
There are only three casinos where you can bet on sports in Arkansas. A fourth, in Pope County, has been authorized but has been delayed by ongoing legal wrangling over which applicant will be granted the casino license.
|Casino/Retail Sportsbook||Retail Sportsbook Partner||Address|
|Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort||Oaklawn Race & Sports Book||2705 Central Avenue, Hot Springs AR 71901|
|Southland Casino & Racing||Betly||1550 North Ingram Boulevard, West Memphis AR 72301|
|Saracen Casino Resort||Quapaw Nation||3513 Market Street, Pine Bluff AR 71601|
No. Arkansas online sports betting is not legal. There are, however, legal online options for wagering on horse racing, greyhound racing, and Daily Fantasy Sports.
The only places where you can legally engage in Arkansas sports betting are the three licensed casinos in the state: Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, Southland Casino & Racing, Saracen Casino Resort. A fourth, in Pope County, has been authorized but has been delayed by ongoing legal action.
Yes, you can. Arkansas sports betting was legalized in 2018 and the first bets were struck in 2019. However, you have to be aged 21 or over and you can only bet on sports at licensed casinos.