Can You Play Online Poker Arkansas?
No, as a poker player living in Arkansas, you cannot play online poker legally in the state. In fact, gaming opportunities are generally limited in the state, as most forms of gambling are prohibited by law. Also, since most of the population is against gambling, the legislation prohibiting Arkansas online poker will likely not change in the near future.
Why Not? What Are the Online Poker Laws in Arkansas?
There is no law that prohibits Arkansas online poker specifically. However, according to state laws, all forms of gambling activities are considered illegal. Only non-profit bingo rooms are allowed to operate with a permit, which explains why there are a lot of bingo halls all over the state but no casinos.
The broad definition of gambling in the state’s laws means playing poker, whether online or offline, is prohibited even though it was not named specifically in the law. Citizens living in Arkansas who want to play poker online can still find a (risky) workaround for this problem. The alternative is to use offshore gambling sites. These sites (such as Ignition and ACR Poker) welcome players from Arkansas. They host a full complement of online casino games, including poker and other similar offerings.
Also, since the state laws that prohibit gambling don’t really go after ordinary poker players, it means you can play safely without a significant risk of legal problems. Despite this possibility, MyPokerCoaching does not recommend patronizing online poker sites if you care about your funds’ safety and playing a fair game.
These gambling sites are not under federal or state jurisdiction, which means they’re not regulated by any authorities in the United States. This puts players completely at their mercy. There's no guarantee of fair play when you use these platforms and no guarantee of getting your money when you do win.
Potential Arkansas Poker Sites to Launch in the Future
Poker has been popular in Arkansas for many years, but the state is still to regulate online poker sites. There have been several attempts at it over the years, but so far, none have come to fruition.
It is a pretty safe bet that online poker in AR will be regulated at some point in the future, so the only real question is when. While it’s hard to give any definitive answer at this point in time, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any important developments.
When online poker is finally legal in AR, there are a few sites that we can expect to go live. These are all operators with a major presence in the regulated US market, and they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to expand their presence.
BetMGM Poker Arkansas
BetMGM has established itself as a household name in the regulated US online poker space, and the operator will likely be among the first to stake a claim in such an attractive new market.
We expect BetMGM Poker will bring out a platform similar to that in other states like PA, MI, and NJ. A poker client powered by the PartyPoker technology offers a modern and very reliable solution for all online poker fans, even if it is not as rich in functionalities as some other platforms.
In terms of game variety, players can look forward to a nice mix of online tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and, in all likelihood, BetMGM Poker’s staple SPINS – a hugely popular sit & go variation featuring a random jackpot.
It is also likely that BetMGM Poker AR will come out of the gate swinging, offering a generous welcome bonus. With what’s likely to be heavy competition in the state, all sites will look for ways to stand out, and this is generally a good thing for the players.
Although the company couldn’t enter the US before 2016, PokerStars has established itself as a staple name of online poker in the country, just like they have done in the global market.
Once the regulation is finally passed, the launch of PokerStars is pretty much a guarantee. This is especially true if the state passes a law with the expectation of joining the MSIGA, as the operator seems eager to take advantage of opportunities provided by interstate poker.
But even without that particular element, AR is a big enough market on its own.
What PokerStars brings to the table is the operator’s experience in organizing major online series, first and foremost. US versions of ‘COOP events have been hugely successful in all states where the site currently has a presence, and there is no reason to think Arkansas would be an exception.
PokerStars also offers one of the best software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This enhances the player experience and certainly helps push the site towards the top of the list when deciding where to play.
The third AR poker site likely to go live as soon as legal requirements are met is WSOP.com. Right now, WSOP is the only operator present in all regulated US markets with active poker sites, and the company is on the constant lookout for expansion opportunities.
WSOP.com has one trump card that no other operators can match, which is its ability to host bracelet-awarding events and exclusive satellites to live World Series of Poker tournaments. This has helped the operator remain competitive across the country.
A launch in a new state would likely mean an exclusive bracelet series, giving players in the state great opportunities to win some WSOP silverware from the comfort of their home, and if past experience is any indicator, this is an opportunity that players jump on.
WSOP should have no problem claiming its fair share of the new market despite competitors, with the operators’ numbers surging during major live and online events.