TYPES OF CASINOS IN ARKANSAS
Historically a once-active hub for gambling, casinos in Arkansas today can be found in three locations: two Arkansas casinos are located at racetracks and the third is a Tribal casino.
Hot Springs, a protected reserve within the state, had its share of gambling history running through the Civil War and prohibition. At its peak Hot Springs had 10 major casinos and more minor locations than Las Vegas at the time. Decades later, legal and regulatory issues alongside the changing of political moods after World War II caused the gambling scene to eventually dissipate and become shut down for almost 40 years.
Gambling in Arkansas Today
There are two racetrack casinos in Arkansas. They both offer electronic gaming machines, as well as live table games. Pari-mutuel wagering on live racing is also offered seasonally.
In late 2018 Arkansas voters approved a referendum to allow one casino in both Jefferson and Pope Counties. The Quapaw Indian Tribe is building a $350 million casino resort in Jefferson County near Pine Bluff. The Saracen Casino Resort, which will have a 300-room hotel and 80,000 square feet of gaming space, is expected to open by late 2020. However, a smaller temporary casino opened in that location on October 1, 2019. A license for the Pope County casino location had not been approved as of late 2019.
Gaming regulations require that electronic games at all casinos in Arkansas must return a minimum of 83%.
The payback percentages on electronic gaming machines at all casinos in Arkansas are released as a matter of public record. Just click here to see a list of slot machine payback statistics for all Arkansas casinos.
Both Arkansas racetrack casinos offer: slots, video poker, video keno. blackjack, craps, roulette, three card poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and sports betting. Southland also offers Mississippi Stud.
Saracen casino only offers slot machines at its temporary casino, but will offer an assortment of table games when the full casino resort opens in late-2020.
The minimum gambling age at all Arkansas casinos is 21, or 18 for pari-mutuel wagering.
Arkansas Gambling Laws
The laws forbidding gambling, found in the Arkansas State codes, are so antiquated that the penalties are the same as they were written in 1967 including fines of $10 and $25. These laws also fail to address, you guessed it, the internet. The main statutes generally make a clear distinction between individuals gambling amongst each other and running a gambling house, possessing and operating gambling machines, and/or organizing events. The state legislation also makes no distinction between games played where the house makes a profit and social games, however home poker games are outlawed—with the same fines applied.
Want to See a Map of all casinos in Arkansas?
Visit our Arkansas casinos map page to see a detailed map showing all casinos in that state.
Shown below is a list of Arkansas casinos. Click on a name to see a page of detailed information about that particular casino.
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For more information on visiting casinos in Arkansas, or general tourism information, call the state’s tourism office at (800) 628-8725 or visit their web site at: www.arkansas.com.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN ARKANSAS
Arkansas is a tourist paradise for outdoor lovers, featuring moderate climate, mountains, lush terrain, lakes and rivers to explore. The state is also an affordable tourist destination with many free events that you can enjoy throughout the year like festivals, art exhibitions, and so on. Arkansas is filled with many activities to try for all types of tourists and some of the best things to do are listed below.
Hot Springs National Park
The springs are located in the Ouachita Mountains and are considered by the American Indians to have healing properties. The park was built in 1921 and was attracting tourists even before it was established. The park houses lovely old bathhouses which are still in use till today like the iconic Fordyce Bathhouse which is now used as the park’s visitor center. Other attractions you can explore here are hiking trails, an observation tower, and diverse hot springs.
This is a sharp rock that juts out of the forest walls and it is one of the most picturesque places in Arkansas. Hawksbill Crag is a great place to go if you are looking for spots to take Instagram worthy pictures or you are a photographer. It is best to come here early in the morning before it is overrun by tourists and photographers.
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
This school has a rich history and it was the place where desegregation began. In 1957, the army escorted nine black teenagers to school here without incident and this event is regarded to be a crucial moment in the Civil Rights Movement. The school is still an active education space and you can only explore the school by a ranger-led tour which must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance.
Buffalo National River
This is an unpolluted free-flowing river and it features three designated wilderness areas within its boundaries. The river runs through the Ozark Mountains and it is also considered to be a protected area as it houses bobcats, deer, and elk. Activities include camping, hiking, and horseback riding. If you are lucky to be in Arkansas during the summer and fall, you can also try out kayak, tubes, and canoeing on the river.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Located in southwestern Arkansas and not far from Murfreesboro, this park is the only source of natural diamonds opened to the public in the United States. Over 75,000 diamonds have been uncovered here since 1906. The diamonds that you will find here range in color from white and brown to yellow. Best of all, anything you find here is yours to keep! The park also features a water playground, museum, and tree-shaded campground.
Mount Magazine State Park
Mount Magazine is the tallest mountain in northwest Arkansas and it is filled with a number of outdoor and indoor activities to try out. The highlight of the park is the campground, picnic area, and hiking trails. The visitor center and lodge house an exhibit gallery, Skycrest Restaurant, and gift shops. At the visitor center, enjoy interpretive programs on the fauna, flora, and natural and cultural history of the park. You can also try out extreme sports activities here like rock climbing, horseback riding hang-gliding, and mountain biking.
Garvan Woodland Gardens
This is the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas and can be found just 10 miles south of Hot Springs National Park. The garden was established in 1956 by Verna Cook Garvan and it features many different plots with mesmerizing structures. It is best to start exploring the grounds from the Pratt Welcome Center where you can also enjoy the resident peacocks’ shows. Some of the top places not to miss here are Evan Children’s Adventure Garden, Anthony Chapel, and the on-site Chipmunk Café.