Legal Online Poker For Arkansas Residents

Casino gambling in Arkansas is governed by the Arkansas Racing Committee, an organization subordinated to the state Department of Finance and Administration. Offline poker is currently banned in Arkansas, but there are organizations that have found ways to bend the law and organize public poker events in local pubs. They don't charge nominal fees (rakes) for entering tournaments or using their tables, nor do they ask the players to consume food and drinks from their locations.

Is Online Poker Legal In Arkansas?


Simply put, YES! There is nothing in the Arkansas state statutes that limit Arkansas residents from playing at online poker sites. This is because poker is considered a game of skill, not a game of chance. Games of chance are gambling in it's purest form and either the house or the player is the winner. On the other hand, games of skill, such as online poker, pit one player versus another player and the house profits for hosting the game, not because the player lost his/her money.

Furthermore, there are no complications on the federal level when it comes to playing online poker however the UIGEA does create problems when trying to deposit into online poker sites. For more info on the UIGEA, keep reading on this page.

Legal Online Poker Sites For Arkansas Residents

Even though they are illegal, there are many underground card rooms and unlicensed casinos in Arkansas. However, being caught there – even though chances are slim – is a felony. As an Arkansas resident, your only chance of playing poker while staying away from illicit halls is to do it online. We have tested many online poker sites and came with a list of the best ones out there.

Bovada Poker - Biggest Poker Tournaments In The Industry

Bovada Poker is the online poker site that seems to be on top of Arkansas players' preferences. The great user interface, plethora of payment methods and extraordinary customer support can hardly be matched by any competitors. Oh, and did I mention that they have a dollar for dollar deposit match bonus? Better yet, they accept Visa & MasterCard deposits, so funding your account is as easy as it can get. If you have ever shopped online – for anything – you won't have any troubles with making your first deposit.

Arkansas residents are always welcomed at Bovada's online poker room. Any time, day or night, Bovada is open and ready for Arkansas residents to come and sit at their online tables. As a welcome bonus, Arkansas players get a 100% to $1,000 deposit bonus on the first deposit only. This is one of the best legal poker sites that accept Arkansas residents and we are certain that you will enjoy your time at the tables here.

BetOnline Poker - Easy Deposits And Fast Withdrawals

We have been getting a lot of feedback asking when we would go over the best of the best online poker rooms available to Arkansas residents. The answer is as soon as we write about BetOnline, which is now. BetOnline is the king of online poker in the state of Arkansas, and after this short review all the secrets of the world of online poker will finally be revealed to you. Everything you could ever need to know about online poker is of course in this legal online poker room.

The reason we are so confident in your imminent stay on BetOnline is because of things like their welcome bonus. What better way to attract new players than by giving them back more than they have put into the site. Most sites settle for at most 100% of the first deposit back, BetOnline says, “How will our new players ever get a bankroll started with such a measly sum? They need back 200% of their first deposit to really get the party started!” The only thing they ask of their loyal players is that they play poker in the site. Play poker, on a poker site, get money for winning or losing. If that sounds too good to be true to you then go redefine your definition of reality at BetOnline.

SportsBetting Poker - Big Poker Bonuses For Arkansas Players

The poker room at SportsBetting is an elusive beast. Many hear whispers of it in the wind as they travel across the many forums of the internet. Others may stumble on it by accident when looking into poker rooms available to Arkansas residents. No matter how the lost souls of the online poker world come to SportsBetting they all stay for one reason. The unmatched adrenaline rush found from playing the best players from around the web.

Don’t get us wrong, you can win plenty of money at this online poker room, and people love spending time winning money. Heck, this Arkansas poker room dedicates an entire section to nothing but games and guaranteed tournaments that help players build up a bankroll. If you are a different caliber of poker player, the kind who can’t sleep at night unless they have faced a worthy opponent down on the felt top of glory then look no further than the weekly high stakes guaranteed tournaments. They’re chock-full of the best players in the U.S. who have gathered here for one reason. That reason is the pursuit of someone who can best them in a match of the most high stakes, adrenaline fueled, and pulse pounding poker in the U.S. If you think you can handle the action should go to SportsBetting and get in on the game now.

Arkansas Online Poker Laws

Since there really aren't any state laws affecting the particpation of Arkansas residents at online poker sites, the only real laws to consider come from the federal level. With that being said, all the information herein applies to playing online poker within the United States, Arizona included.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is commonly misinterpreted, so let's clear the facts out: it does not, in any way, ban individuals from wagering their money online! The only restriction imposed is on banks who aren't allowed to cooperate with certain gambling venues, in the sense that you, as a player, may sometimes be denied to use your credit card to fund an online casino account.

Poker isn't even mentioned in the UIGEA bill. The law doesn't single out any game, be it of skill or chance, let alone deem them as illegal. The confusion was started by the mainstream media who did a horrible job at showcasing the story and is still being fed by people who can't think outside of the box. So, even though brick and mortar poker is (somewhat) against the law in Arkansas, all residents can safely play poker online.


Is it Legal to Play Land Based Poker in Arkansas?

One of the most popular pastimes in the United States right now is poker.  While federal law is usually not a hindrance for most US citizens to participate in poker, even for healthy sums of money, the state laws affecting many residents can make a poker hobby more difficult.

Luckily for Arkansas residents, the laws regulating gambling (and poker) in their state are very easy to work around, especially when taking into consideration some of their southern neighbors.

Technically, even the participation in poker, if one is placing bets and wagers surrounding the game, is illegal.  However, the penalty for getting caught merely participating in poker is, at best, a firm pat on the wrist.  Any Arkansas resident caught knowingly betting in a game of poker may be fined anywhere from $10 to $25.  If this law sounds antiquated, that’s because it is.  This law was written all the way back when $10 was a substantial penalty, and has not been updated since.

With so little for the court system to gain from prosecuting gamblers, (it ends up costing a good bit more than they will reap) it rarely if ever happens.  The only cases of any Arkansas residents being punished for gambling comes from huge sting operations where illicit poker games were broken up by police.

However, this brings up an important distinction, namely, what separates a gambler from one who is in the business of gambling, and can therefore be accused of setting up an illicit poker game.  While the law will take no umbrage with a resident merely hosting a private poker game in his house amongst friends, as soon as that resident accepts any money for hosting the game (popular methods are charging admission for the privilege to play or collecting a “rake” from each pot) he is setting up a “gambling house” which can be considered a public affair, and therefore a felony charge.

As long as Arkansas residents avoid this particular action, they should be able to avoid any prosecution in the state of Arkansas.

Where to Play Legal Poker in Arkansas

While it is technically illegal to set up private games amongst friends according to the letter of the law in Arkansas, no resident should come under any fire for doing so.  In fact, there are no incidents on record of Arkansas police breaking up a private poker game just so long as the host was not collecting profits, which would elevate it into a public, “illicit” game.

Happily for Arkansas residents who wish for more serious, casino-like options when it comes to their poker, there are two poker rooms in the state attached to race tracks where the gambling laws do not apply.  In these poker rooms, Arkansas residents may play Texas hold ‘em for anywhere from a $10-$50 buy-in.

Avid poker players may scoff at the low buy-in and therefore low stakes of the game, but these are the only professionally organized and legal poker games in state.  It’s true that many states' legislation is changing by the day to become more and more allowing of poker games, but Arkansas has not got on board quite yet, limiting residents to incredibly low stakes games – at least for now, and at least on land.

Note: The information on this website should in no way be regarded as legal counseling. We are a handful of poker players from Arkansas who want to share our experience on how you can play legally, and that's as far as it goes. If you want legal advice, we strongly suggest you contact a lawyer.