Gambling has been a popular pastime for many civilizations, which can be traced back to some of our earliest ancestors. More organized forms of gambling were thought to originate in Venice when the Casino di Venezia opened in 1638.
Arkansas first allowed casinos to open for the first time in 2018 after voters approved a constitutional amendment so gambling could be regulated in the state. Four locations were approved and licenses were given to three different casinos.
In this article, we provide detailed information on the best casinos in Arkansas and what they have to offer.
Saracen Casino Resort – Jefferson County
The Saracen casino resort is located near Little Rock, Arkansas. Despite what the name may suggest, it isn’t a typical resort with a hotel and a pool. Saracen is the first stand-alone casino in Arkansas, with more amenities to follow.
This casino does have dining facilities and a bar, but you’ll need to book a hotel nearby if you want to stay overnight until the main hotel is completed. The future hotel and spa are set to have 300 rooms and house a conference center.
Choose between slots, table games, and poker rooms when visiting the Saracen casino. The 80,000 square-foot gaming area contains over 1,800 slot machines, 40 table games, and a private poker room.
The poker room is away from the hustle and bustle of the main casino, giving players plenty of opportunity to concentrate and win big. There is even a table-side service so you never have to go thirsty whilst you play.
If you’re hungry after a few rounds on the slot machines, head to one of the many restaurants on the resort. From steakhouses to sports bars there is something for every appetite and time of day.
- Bet Saracen app
- Four restaurants
- Large games room
- Private poker room
- Table-side beverage service
- Player’s Club
- Monthly events and giveaways
It is unclear from their website whether or not they have disabled access, valet parking, or accessibility facilities. We would suggest ringing their main phone number ahead of your visit to ensure that you can be catered for.
Guests must be over 21 to enter the property and state ID is required to prove identification.
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort – Hot Springs
Oaklawn has been a popular thoroughbred racing track since 1904, however, the casino opened its doors in 2021. Located on the outskirts of the Hot Springs National Park, the resort is within easy reach of airports, bus routes, and highways.
The state-of-the-art casino offers a number of live games, music, popular slot games, and a sportsbook area which is ideal for watching live sporting events and making wagers.
There are around 1,500 slot machines in the casino and 30 tables on the floor.
Across the 30 tables, customers can play anything they can think of from blackjack to craps. The new Interblock stadium allows customers to play live or automated table games with friends or on their own.
Apart from the impressive casino, the resort is well-known for its long history of horse racing which can also be accessed here.
There are a staggering 17 different dining options available at Oaklawn, these range from ordering room service to being waited on at one of their upscale restaurants. With the variety of cuisine and extras available, you’ll never want to leave!
Upscale rooms with beautiful finishings can be found at this resort. Guests can choose from a variety of options, which includes a trackside king-size suite.
Alongside the luxurious hotel rooms, guests can enjoy a visit to the relaxing Astral Spa and receive a whole host of treatments.
If you fancy a quick dip in the pool in the morning, why not plunge into the beautiful outdoor pool? The pool is only for hotel and spa guests, so don’t be tempted to walk in straight off the craps table.
Sit back and relax with a drink or breakfast delivered to your chair.
- Hotel & Spa with outdoor pool
- 17 different dining options, including bars, shops, and room service
- Valet and parking services (free parking)
- Business center
- Disabled access
Oaklawn markets itself as being a family-friendly establishment. Children are allowed in the hotel and certain restaurants when accompanied by an adult. There are some restricted areas such as bars where children are not allowed.
Customers must be over 21 to enter the casino.
Southland Casino Hotel – West Memphis
Southland is located in West Memphis; it is the home to a greyhound racing track, hotel, and casino. The casino is open 24/7 which means there is plenty of time to fit in the many activities that are available here.
Boasting the largest gaming floor in the area, Southland offers an impressive 2,400 slot machines and 50 live table games. There are also areas where customers can watch and bet on live sports events.
A high-limit room is available for those chasing a thrill, here you’ll find six high-limit blackjack tables and 54 slot machines with increased denominations available.
Southland is the proud home of one of the top greyhound racing programs in the country. The facility opened in 1956 and has continued to expand into what it is today.
Those visiting the casino may want to pop their heads onto the track and place a bet.
Feeling hungry? Visit one of the 8 offerings which include a steakhouse, sports bar and grill as well as a humble café. After dinner, you can visit one of the bars where you can sip on a delightful cocktail whilst being entertained by the large TV screens.
Need a quick caffeine fix? Head to The Grind for the ultimate coffee station which offers a grab-and-go menu as well as a cozy café area where you can sit and relax for a while.
Although the casino is open 24/7, there are specific opening hours for the restaurants, and booking a table is highly recommended to avoid disappointment.
With 300 rooms there is plenty of space for everyone at Southland. The brand-new rooms are fitted out to the highest specifications and there are a number of pet-friendly rooms too!
From standard rooms to presidential suites, you can comfortably rest your head after a day of activities at the resort.
Ice machines are offered on every floor and a fitness center is also available for guest use in the hotel. The wide range of facilities at this hotel makes it a great place to stay for long-term visits as well as weekend trips.
- Covered parking
- Lucky North Club phone app
- 8 bars and restaurants
- Live greyhound racing
- Mobility scooter rental
- Accessible access
You must be 21 or older to play in the casino, check-in to the hotel or eat in one of the restaurants.
Proposed Casino Openings
As mentioned before, there were four casino locations approved in the state. A new casino is set to open soon in Russellville. Legends Resort & Casino will be located in the heart of the River Valley, offering entertainment, luxury, and world-class gaming.
Looking more closely at what the resort will offer its customers, they can expect a four-star hotel, entertainment venues, horse racing, golf courses, and restaurants. It sounds like there isn’t much they aren’t offering!
A proposed $225 million is being invested into the venue, which will make it a worthy opponent for the others in the area. Currently, there is no set date for the grand opening of the resort, but it is hoped that everything will be completed by 2024.
A Note On Responsible Gambling
Gambling shouldn’t take over your life and when visiting places where gambling is the most prominent feature, it can be easy to get carried away. Each of the casinos here has help and information on how to enjoy gambling responsibly on their websites.
When it starts to feel as if you have lost control, there are a number of places you can turn to. Call the Responsible Gaming Hotline at (800) 522-4700. Customers can also visit the NCPG website which can give them more information on how to help themselves.
As soon as gambling starts to lose its fun appeal, it’s time to stop and take a step back from the game.
The Bottom Line
There are 3 casinos in Arkansas, with a fourth on the way. Each of these casinos offers its customers new and exciting ways to play games and interact with one another.
If one were to be crowned the best, then Oaklawn would take the prize as it has the most facilities on offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Largest Casino In Arkansas
The largest casino in Arkansas, Southland Casino Hotel is considered to be the largest due to the 113,000 square-foot casino and the multitude of gaming machines and live games tables.
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