Arkansas Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in AR

Learn about Arkansas's race tracks and legal horse race betting options

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You’ll be glad to know that in-person horse race betting is completely legal in Arkansas. This state hosts a thoroughbred race track, offering you a range of gambling options from pari mutuel wagering and simulcasting to exciting casino games. Plus, if you prefer the comfort of your home, you can easily place your bets on horse races through various advance deposit wagering sites and apps.

Most Popular Arkansas Race Tracks

Oaklawn Racing & Casino

Address: 2705 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901
Phone: 800-625-5296

Oaklawn Racing & Casino is the home of thoroughbred betting in Arkansas. As you step into this iconic venue, you’ll find a one-mile racetrack that hosts the biggest winter horse races in North America, running from January to May each year. The best part is that there’s no entrance fee.

With 2,900 seats, you can comfortably watch and wager on your favorite horses. The betting options are diverse, ranging from Place, Win, Show, to Pick 3, Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, and Daily Double. If you can’t make it to the track for live racing, you can still enjoy their simulcast and off-track betting options.


But Oaklawn is not just about horse racing. It also offers a sportsbook where you can wager on a variety of sports like ice hockey, tennis, golf, and baseball. The on-site casino, featuring slots and table games like craps and blackjack, adds to the excitement.

After a day full of thrilling experiences, you can unwind at their on-site hotel, complete with amenities like a pool, valet parking, room service, and a spa.

List of All Arkansas Race Tracks

If you’re looking to place your bets on Arkansas horse racing events, your options might be relatively limited with just a single thoroughbred race track in operation, but let’s explore this exclusive venue.

Arkansas Race TracksAddressPhone NumberBetting Allowed?
Oaklawn Racing & Casino2705 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901800-625-5296Yes

Simulcast Wagering in Arkansas

If you’re a fan of off-track betting, Arkansas has got you covered. Simulcast wagering is perfectly legal in the state, allowing you to place bets on horse races happening across the country without having to be at the track. However, it’s worth noting that there are only two facilities where you can enjoy this form of betting.

Here’s a list of all the venues that offer simulcast wagering:

Betting LocationAddress
Southland Casino1550 Ingram Blvd, West Memphis, AR 72301
Oaklawn Racing & Casino2705 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901

Popular Arkansas Horse Racing Events with Dates

If you’re an Arkansas racing enthusiast, the state has a calendar of events that are sure to pique your interest. The state hosts a number of popular horse races throughout the year, each offering a unique experience and a chance to place your bets.

Let’s check out all the details of these races:

Horse RacesRacing DatesWhere to Bet
Razorback HandicapFebruaryOaklawn Racing & Casino
Bayakoa StakesFebruaryOaklawn Racing & Casino
Rebel StakesFebruaryOaklawn Racing & Casino
Azeri StakesMarchOaklawn Racing & Casino
Essex HandicapMarchOaklawn Racing & Casino
Whitmore StakesMarchOaklawn Racing & Casino
Count Fleet Sprint HandicapAprilOaklawn Racing & Casino
Apple Blossom HandicapAprilOaklawn Racing & Casino
Arkansas DerbyAprilOaklawn Racing & Casino
Fantasy StakesAprilOaklawn Racing & Casino
Oaklawn Mile StakesAprilOaklawn Racing & Casino
Oaklawn HandicapAprilOaklawn Racing & Casino

Types of Horse Betting in Arkansas

If you’re looking to place bets on Arkansas horse racing events, you’ll find that the state exclusively offers thoroughbred races. This means you won’t find any quarter horse racing or harness racing here. However, don’t let that limit your excitement as the betting options are diverse.

You can bet on the horse to Win, Place, or Show. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can try your luck with Exacta, Trifecta, or Superfecta bets. For those who love a challenge, there are also options like Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 5.

Other Types of Gambling in Arkansas

In this section, you can learn all about Arkansas gambling laws and other forms of gambling in the state:

History of Arkansas Horse Racing

The federal Horseracing Act of 1978 made simulcast wagering possible, allowing the state to accept off-track wagers on races in other states.

The interest in thoroughbred racing sparked in the 1890s with the construction of Sportsman Park. William McGuigan purchased land on Malvern Avenue in Hot Springs in 1902. He later transformed it into Essex Park in 1904, which was an immediate success. The same year, the Oaklawn Jockey Club was formed, and more land was purchased in Hot Springs to build more Arkansas race tracks.

However, the success of Oaklawn upset McGuigan, as it ate into Essex Park’s profits. He joined forces with Reverend Amis who together created the Citizens Improvement Union, whose sole aim was to eliminate horse racing in the state. By 1907, they were successful, and Arkansas horse racing was outlawed, forcing Oaklawn to close.

In 1914, local business leaders decided that reviving horse racing could boost the economy. In 1915, they managed to pass a bill, but it was vetoed. Despite a lawsuit attempting to overturn the veto, the Arkansas Supreme Court decided to agree with the governor.

A new bill to legalize racing passed in 1929, but it was vetoed again. Undeterred, a group of businessmen declared that in 1934 Oaklawn would restart racing, which it did, despite being technically prohibited.

Finally, in 1935, Governor Junius Futrell signed Act 46, legalizing pari mutuel betting on horse races, marking a new era for Arkansas horse racing.

In 2018, PASPA: Sports Protection Act was overturned and as a result, Arkansas launched some form of legal sports betting.

Arkansas Gambling FAQ

Is Arkansas horse racing legal?

As the US gambling laws by state differ, it’s important to understand the rules in your home state. Horse racing betting is legal in Arkansas, which means you can enjoy live racing events at venues like Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, which is one of the premier horse racing tracks in the country. You’re also allowed to place bets on these races.

Can I bet on horse races in other states?

Absolutely, you can bet on horse races in other states while in Arkansas. This is made possible through simulcast betting facilities available in the state. These facilities broadcast races from other states in real-time, allowing you to place wagers as if you were at the actual race. However, it’s important to remember to engage in responsible gambling practices.

What’s the largest race track in Arkansas?

The only race track in Arkansas is Oaklawn Racing & Casino located in Hot Springs. This premier venue is one of the most prominent horse racing tracks in the country. Here, you can enjoy live racing events and place bets on your favorite horses. The resort also offers a casino and dining options for a full entertainment experience.

Can I bet on horse races online in Arkansas?

Yes, you can bet on horse races online in Arkansas. Online horse racing betting is legal in the state through what is known as Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW). This means you can fund an account on a betting site or app and use those funds to place wagers on horse races. This makes it easy and convenient for you to participate in the excitement of horse racing without needing to physically be at the track.

How can I bet on Arkansas horse racing events?

In Arkansas, you have several options for betting on horse racing events. You can visit a physical racetrack like the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort and place your bets directly. Another option is simulcast betting, where you can wager on live races happening at different locations. Additionally, you can bet online through licensed Advance Deposit Wagering platforms, where you fund an account and place wagers on horse races from the comfort of your own home.

What’s the minimum age to bet on horses in Arkansas?

The minimum gambling age by state will vary, but in Arkansas, you are required to be 18 years old or over to bet on horse races. This means you must be at least 18 years of age to place a bet on a horse racing event, whether it’s at a physical racetrack, through simulcast betting, or on an online betting platform.

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