There are two casinos in Arkansas. They are Oaklawn Jockey Club in the city of Hot Springs, Garland county, Arkansas and Southland Greyhound Park in city of West Memphis, in Crittenden county. In Arkansas the only forms of gambling that are currently legal are horse racing, greyhound racing, and electronic games of skill. The electronic games played in Arkansas include virtual craps, poker, roulette, and blackjack. The games are played following the long accepted rules, but the virtual cards appear on each player’s personal monitor.
Arkansas’ two casinos play an important role in helping to fund the state’s budget. Located on opposite sides of the state, the taxes the casinos generate and the jobs they create help to improve the lives of tens of thousands of people from Arkansas. Competition from adjoining states for the money Arkansans spend on legal gambling has led the Arkansas legislature to open the state up to extended casino hours and other types of gambling. Some casinos are now open 24 hours a day. These actions have made thousands of people happy and can lead to a significant swell in the state’s coffers.
Oaklawn Jockey Club is a casino that’s very popular with people in Arkansas. Primarily known for its thoroughbred racing including The Racing Festival of the South, the facility now boasts a wide range of casino games. Opened in 1905, the casino has been subject to the state’s political forces. This has led to the facility having to close and reopen several times. Horse racing is what drew visitors in the 1930s and beyond. In 2008 Oaklawn added poker tables and casino style slot machines as part of a $3 million renovation. This has drawn thousands more people to the facility each year.
Black Jack is one of the most popular casino games in Oaklawn Jockey Club casino. People love the fact all they have to do is find a good seat at the table, place your bet, and rake in the bucks. While the cards are dealt live, the players sees them on a video screen. Using the touch screen technology they can choose to stand, split, double down, or ask for a hit. You can make wagers using digital chips. The Black Jack table itself calculates the winners and adds to their digital chip count. It’s all very high-tech, easy to use, and lots of fun.
Southland Park Gaming and Racing is located in West Memphis. Long known for its greyhound racing, the park has also expanded to include casino games in 2006. The facility offers electronic Blackjack, electronic games of skill, and video poker machines. This has improved their financial standing and enabled them to expand. Today it’s West Memphis’ third largest employer. In May 2008 the hours of the electronic gaming was expanded to compete with the casinos in Mississippi. This has led to a significant boost in the amount of money the casino brings in and pays out.
With over 1,500 games there is always some action going on in the casino at Southland Park. There is the poker room, electronic roulette and craps and blackjack tables with live dealers. Plus you can relax in Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill or grab a bite to eat at the Bourbon Street Steakhouse or the World Market Buffet. It’s a great way to spend a day or a weekend.
Casino gambling has been a boon the Arkansas economy. It is drawing an increasing number of tourists to the state. The direct and indirect financial impact casino gambling has had on the state of Arkansas cannot be overstated.