Arkansas is a unique state that has a high demand for gambling but only a few limited options available, unlike its neighboring states Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi that have plenty of gambling entertainment. With the increased popularity of online gambling, there are lots of changes in the gaming industry that the laws are trying to catch up to.
With so many gray areas in the gambling laws within Arkansas, especially with the introduction of online gaming, players who are looking to try their luck online wonder what is and is not allowed within the state.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Arkansas?
As with most states around the US, online gambling is a gray area that can be confusing for most players who are looking for convenient access to their favorite casino games online. While the overall stance is against online gambling along with laws that prohibit players from placing real money bets through online casinos based in the state, there are no laws against gambling in offshore casinos.
Since most online casinos are based and regulated outside the United States, players have found a loophole that allows them to gamble without the fear of breaking the law. The main issue with offshore online casinos is the fact that many are either unregulated or are potentially scam sites that target US players, but there are many ways that players can find legitimate online casinos and stay safe while betting with real money.
Arkansas Offshore Casino Activity
Arkansas is the 35th most active state that participates in offshore online gambling at casinos as of 2020 with a gross win amount of $5.47m. Arkansas contributes to 0.47% of all offshore casino activity in the United States for 2020. Click here to see a breakdown of all offshore gambling activity broken down by state. The following is a breakdown of all offshore casino gambling from Arkansas since 2003.
*Note: Data from 2020 is currently based on estimates.
Source – H2 Gambling Capital
Offshore gambling statistics for sports betting from Arkansas can be found here.
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Differences Between Land-based and Online Casinos
Players who love to gamble will generally be divided into two categories: those who prefer land-based casinos and those who love online casinos. While some people have a hard time seeing the difference between the two, loyal players from either side will have a strong opinion for one or the other.
Arkansas currently does not allow classic land-based casinos, but it does have a few racino establishments that offer horse or dog racing, along with classic casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, craps, and video poker. Though there is a demand for sports betting options, they are currently illegal and unavailable. Unfortunately for players who would prefer to play in their own backyard, the greater casino options in neighboring states are too tempting, which is why lots of players choose to make the distance for thrills and entertainment outside Arkansas.
There are currently no online casino options available from within Arkansas, though many offshore sites have been introduced over the past few years. The only online betting that players in the state are legally able to make are for fantasy sports. Offshore online casinos are a loophole that enables players to enjoy casino gambling for real money because they are licensed and regulated from international jurisdictions. Most of the casinos that cater to US players offer a wide range of games that are illegal within the state, making them an attractive choice for convenient gambling without the need to travel to neighboring states for casino thrills. Common games that online casinos offer are:
- Poker (includes Hold’Em and other variations)
- Dice Games (Sic Bo, Pai Gow)
- Live Dealer Games
- Sports Betting*
*Though not as popular or widely available as slots and casino table games, more sites are beginning to introduce sports betting sections to provide a bigger range of gambling to US players.
How to Find the Best Arkansas Online Casinos
Players who are looking to try out an online casino experience should check out a few things before they join a gambling site. There are lots of options available out there and sadly not all of them will give the best gaming experience possible. To get the most out of an online casino and stay safe in the process, they should consider the following:
Good Game Selection
One of the best ways to find out if a site is even worth checking out further is to see exactly what they have on offer in terms of gambling games. If the selection is thin or they do not have the desired games, it would pay to check out other sites that do have variety in the game collections.
Attractive and User-friendly Design
Navigating around a site should be quick, easy, and fun. With so many casino sites out there, tolerating a site that is not user-friendly will only add frustration and make the gaming experience less than stellar. Choose a site that is designed for excitement and entertainment for the best gambling experience around.
License and Regulation
Look for online gambling licenses and regulators that ensure fair play. Most sites will list their license in the footer of the main page, though others will have it listed within the help pages or the terms and conditions. A quick check with customer support should give players all the answers they need. Offshore licenses are registered through international jurisdictions like Costa Rica, Malta, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Panama, among a few others. Always look for these jurisdictions or do a quick online check of any that are unfamiliar.
No matter how well a site is designed for a smooth gaming experience, players will eventually need to contact customer support for something. To make sure support will actually be there when needed, check out which forms of contact the site offers and test out the response time. Some support teams will take a little longer than usual to reply, especially when contacted during times of high volume, though most should be able to reply within 24 hours.
How Can I Stay Safe Gambling for Real Money Online?
Some advice from the experts to keep players safe when gambling online:
Choose Trusted Banking Options
US banks will not allow any gambling transactions to be made with online casinos, so US players have to choose other payment methods for their deposits and withdrawals. Most online casinos will accept major credit cards and popular international e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and similar. Another new option that many sites are beginning to accept is cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Set a Gambling Limit
To stay on top of gambling means, players are always advised to set aside a budget for gambling. This budget should be manageable and set at an amount that can be comfortably lost while gaming. Anything more than comfortable could result in a lot of stress and anxiety, which defeats the purpose of the games. They should always be a fun form of entertainment, rather than a stressor.
Safety and Security
To ensure all information and banking transactions are safe and secure at all times, check out the different safety features the online casino has in place to keep players safe. Most sites will employ SSL encryption technology, along with firewalls and third-party regulators to stay on top of transactions and security on the site. A quick search through the terms and conditions or contacting customer support should provide most of the information and give all players the peace of mind while gaming.