Sports Betting in Arkansas

Betting on sports is legal in Arkansas after voters in the state approved a constitutional amendment which expands its gaming options. Since all legal bets must be placed in-person at licensed locations, Arkansas is likely to revisit this barrier to betting.

Arkansas Sportsbook Locations

In 2018, voters in Arkansas chose to amend the state’s constitution to issue four casino licenses, which include the ability to provide wagering. According to the state’s constitution, anyone 21 or older can participate in gaming, including sports betting.

With no mention of mobile betting apps or even online betting sites in the Arkansas Casino Gaming Amendment, it’s not likely there will be betting platforms anytime soon. This model of legalizing sports wagering sure gets it done but keeps it in the casino.

All of this will be regulated by the Arkansas Racing Committee, which is also tasked with overseeing all of gaming in the state. Every facility that has been authorized to engage in legal casino gaming will also be where you can able wager on sports for real money.

Arkansas granted casino licenses to two existing racinos in Pope and Jefferson counties, with plans to grant two more to physical casino properties that have yet to be constructed. These new properties are authorized to be built within zones in Crittenden, Garland, Pope and Jefferson counties.

The two facilities that were mentioned by name in the amendment include the Southland Casino and the Oaklawn Racing Casino Although both were granted casino licenses, Oaklawn Racing Casino became the first casino in Arkansas to taking wagers in 2019.

The two locations immediately granted licenses will also be converted into full-scale casinos, featuring structural updates and expanded gaming options. Each of these Arkansas sportsbook locations will be at or near the state’s soon to be upgraded racinos.

LocationLicensePartner
Southland CasinoIssuedNone
Oaklawn Racing CasinoIssuedNone
Saracen Resort CasinoAwaitingNone

Gambling in Arkansas Timeline

2018

Voters in Arkansas approve a ballot amendment expanding the state’s gaming options, and legalizing sports betting. The amendment immediately grants sports betting licenses to 2 existing locations as well as approves casino expansions to each of the facilities.

2017

Arkansas makes an array of changes to its state code, allowing for bingos and raffles in which proceeds will go to charitable causes.

2009

The Arkansas Lottery finally launches, with proceeds going towards the funding of education in the state. Arkansas also enters a multi-state lottery pool to help boost the size of their prizes and joins the Multi-State Lottery Association.

2008

Arkansas voters approved the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act, which establishes the Arkansas Lottery Commission.

2005

The Arkansas legislature approves of several "Games of Skill" that make it so many video gaming terminals can be offered at parimutuel horse and greyhound betting facilities.

1967

Authorities in Arkansas shut down illegal gambling operations run by criminal organizations in the city of Hot Springs.

1957

Arkansas passes a law that officially legalizes parimutuel betting in the state legal and also establishes betting on greyhound races in the state.

1929

The state passes a law making it legal to bet on horse races in Arkansas, legalizing a long-established pass-time in the state.

1916

The racetrack at Oaklawn opens its doors for business. A bill to legalize betting on horse racing passes the Arkansas Legislature but faces a veto from the governor, which is shortly overturned by legislators before the state’s Supreme Court backs up the governor’s veto.

1880

With horse betting rising in popularity, black-market gambling is all the rage in Arkansas.

1874

The Arkansas Constitution includes only one mention of any type of gaming and it’s a ban on lotteries, implying that other forms of gaming are permitted in the state.