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Arkansas Gambling Statutes

TITLE 5. CRIMINAL OFFENSES
SUBTITLE 6. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY OR WELFARE
CHAPTER 66. GAMBLING

§ 5-66-101. Construction of statutes.

The judges of the several courts in this state shall, in their construction of the statutes
prohibiting gaming, construe the same liberally, with a view of preventing persons from evading the penalty of the law by changing of the name or the invention of new names or
devices that now are, or may hereafter be, brought into practice, in any and in all kinds
of gaming, and all general terms of descriptions shall be so construed as to have effect, and include all such games and devices as are not specially named; and in all
cases, when construction is necessary, it shall be in favor of the prohibition and against
the offender.

§ 5-66-102. Duty of officer.

When it shall come to the knowledge of any sheriff, coroner, or constable, or either of
their deputies, that any person is guilty of any of the offenses created or prohibited by this section and §§ 5-66-101, 5-66-104 - 5-66- 107, and 5-66-109, it shall be their duty to give
notice thereof to any judge or justice of the peace for the county who shall:
(1) Issue his warrant and cause the offender to be brought before him;
(2) Examine the matter in a summary manner; and
(3) Discharge, bail, or commit the offender, as the circumstances and the right of the
case may require.

§ 5-66-103. Gambling houses.

(a) Every person who shall keep, conduct, or operate, or who shall be interested,
directly or indirectly, in keeping, conducting, or operating any gambling house or place where gambling is carried on, or who shall set up, keep, or exhibit or cause to be set up,
kept, or exhibited or assist in setting up, keeping, or exhibiting any gambling device, or
who shall be interested directly or indirectly in running any gambling house or in setting up and exhibiting any gambling device or devices, either by furnishing money, or other articles for the purpose of carrying on any gambling house shall be deemed guilty of a felony and on conviction shall be confined in the Department of Correction for not less than one (1) year nor more than three (3) years.
(b) If any sheriff or deputy sheriff knows or is informed that a gambling house is being
operated or that any person is engaged in the exhibiting of a gambling device within his county, it shall be his duty to immediately proceed to the place where such gambling house is located and arrest the person engaged in running or operating the gambling house and to bring such person before some magistrate or court having jurisdiction to examine into the matter; and upon such sheriff, or deputy sheriff, failing to comply with the provisions of this subsection, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined in any sum not less than one hundred dollars ($100) and shall be discharged from office.

§ 5-66-104. Gaming devices - Prohibition.

Every person who shall set up, keep, or exhibit any gaming table or gambling device,
commonly called A. B. C., E. O., roulette, rouge et noir, or any faro bank, or any other gaming table or gambling device, or bank of the like or similar kind, or of any other
description although not herein named, be the name or denomination what it may,
adapted, devised, or designed for the purpose of playing any game of chance, or at which any money or property may be won or lost, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and
on conviction shall be fined in any sum not less than one hundred dollars ($100) and
may be imprisoned any length of time not less than thirty (30) days nor more than one (1) year.

§ 5-66-105. Gaming devices - Financial interest.

If any person shall in any way, either directly or indirectly, be interested or concerned in
any gaming prohibited by § 5-66-104, either by furnishing money or other articles for the purpose of carrying on gaming, or being interested in the loss or gain of such prohibited
gaming, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be fined as
in § 5-66-104.

§ 5-66-106. Gaming devices - Betting.

If any person shall be guilty of betting any money or other valuable thing or any
representative of any thing that is esteemed of value, on any of the games prohibited by § 5-66-104, on conviction he shall be fined in any sum not exceeding one hundred dollars
($100) nor less than fifty dollars ($50.00).

§ 5-66-107. Gaming devices - In buildings or on vessels.

If the owner or occupant of any house, outhouse, or other building or any steamboat, or
other vessel shall knowingly permit or suffer any of the before mentioned games, tables, or banks or shall suffer any kind of gaming under any name whatsoever, to be carried on
or exhibited in their houses, or outhouses or other buildings, or on board of any steamboat, flatboat, keelboat, or other vessel on any of the waters within this state, on conviction, every such owner or occupant shall be punished as provided in § 5-66-104.

§ 5-66-108. Gaming devices - Search warrants.

(a) It is made and declared to be the duty and required of the judges of the circuit
courts, the presiding judges of the county courts, and also of the justices of the peace, on information given or on their own knowledge, or where they have reasonable
ground to suspect, that they issue their warrant to the sheriff, coroner, or constable as
the case may be most convenient, directing in the warrant a search for gaming tables, or devices hereinbefore mentioned or referred to, and, directing that on finding any, the devices shall be publicly burned by the officer executing the warrant.
(b) The officer executing a warrant, and burning, by virtue thereof, any gaming device,
as required in subsection (a) of this section, shall, on his making his return to the officer who issued the warrant, and getting the statement of such judge or justice,
that the warrant had been returned to him duly executed by the burning of any gaming
device, stating what or describing the device burnt, endorsed on the warrant, be entitled to his fees for such service, to be paid by the person keeping the gambling
table.

§ 5-66-109. Gaming devices - Vagrants.

(a) All keepers or exhibitors of any gaming table, bank, or other gambling device and
all persons who travel or remain in steamboats, or go about from place to place for the purpose of gaming shall be deemed and treated as vagrants.
(b) All and every keeper or exhibitor of either of the gaming tables, called A. B. C. or
E. O. or any other table distinguished or known by any other name, letter, or figure, such as faro bank, rouge et noir, or any gaming bank, of the same or like kind, with, or without a name, shall be deemed and rated as vagrants.

§ 5-66-110. Keno, etc.

(a) If any person shall set up or exhibit, or cause to be set up or exhibited, or aid or
assist in setting up or exhibiting in any county, city, or town in the state, any gaming device commonly known and designated as "keno" or any similar device, by any other name or without a name, each person so setting up or exhibiting such device, or aiding or assisting in exhibiting or setting up such device, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on indictment and conviction before the circuit court or on conviction before a justice of the peace, shall be fined in any sum not less than two hundred dollars ($200) for benefit of the common school fund.
(b)(1) It shall be the duty of each prosecuting attorney in this state who knows or is
informed of any person exhibiting or setting up, or aiding or assisting in setting up any device described in subsection (a) of this section in his district, to take immediate steps
to have such person immediately arrested for trial, and the prosecuting attorney shall
have such person arrested as above provided for each separate offense done or committed on every separate day.
(2) If any prosecuting attorney who knows or is informed of any violation of this
section shall refuse or neglect to cause the arrest and trial of the person so offending within five (5) days next after he knows or is informed of the offense, he shall, on
indictment and conviction, be fined in any sum not less than five hundred dollars
($500).
(c)(1) It shall be the duty of every justice of the peace, knowing or being informed of
any violation of subsection (a) of this
section, in his township, for which the parties have not been arrested or tried under the
provisions of this section, to cause the
arrest and trial of the person so offending, for each separate offense done or committed
against the provisions of this section.
(2) If any justice of the peace who knows or is informed of any violation of
subsection (a) of this section in his township shall
refuse or neglect to cause the arrest and trial of the person so violating the same,
within five (5) days next after he is
informed of the same, he shall be guilty of a misfeasance in office, and, on indictment
and conviction, the circuit court shall
remove him from office.
(d) No license granted by any city or town shall be a bar to any prosecution or
conviction under the provisions of this section or
any excuse, protection, or justification for any justice of the peace or prosecuting
attorney failing to carry out the same.

§ 5-66-111. Pinball machines, etc.

(a) Any coin-operated pinball machine or other device which is designed so that more
than one (1) coin can be inserted so as to give the player additional odds in making a high score or winning additional free games is unlawful, and the operation thereof shall be a misdemeanor which shall be punishable by the imposition of a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or both.
(b) It is the intent of this section to prohibit the use of so-called "bingo"-type pinball
machines, the interstate transportation of which is prohibited by 15 U.S.C. § 1172.
(c) Coin-operated amusement devices, including pinball machines, which will take
only one (1) coin for each player for each game and which are equipped with flippers which can be activated by the player to propel a ball back onto the playing surface of the machine so as to prolong the playing time and increase the score attained by the player and upon which not more than twenty-five (25) free games can be won by the player are specifically designated as amusement devices and their use is declared to be legal so long as all state and municipal taxes have been paid and the owner thereof has obtained a permit, filed a bond, and paid the privilege tax required by § 26-57-401 et seq.

§ 5-66-112. Card games - Betting.

If any person shall be guilty of betting any money or any valuable thing on any game of
brag, bluff, poker, seven-up, three-up, twenty-one, vingt-et-un, thirteen cards, the odd trick, forty-five, whist, or at any other game at cards, known by any name now known to the law, or with any other or new name or without any name, he shall, on conviction, be fined in any sum not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

§ 5-66-113. Games of hazard or skill - Betting.

(a) If any person shall be guilty of betting any money or any valuable thing on any
game of hazard or skill, he shall on conviction be fined in any sum not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00).
(b) In prosecuting under subsection (a) of this section it is sufficient for the indictment
to charge that the defendant bet money or other valuable thing on a game of hazard or skill, without stating with whom the game was played.

§ 5-66-114. Sports or games - Transmission of information.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, or corporation to receive or transmit information in the State of Arkansas relating to football, baseball, basketball, hockey, polo, tennis, horse racing, boxing, or any other sport or game for the purpose of gaming.
(1) This section shall not apply to radio stations or newspapers disseminating such
information as news, entertainment, or advertising medium.
(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any commission conducting a legalized race meet within the State of Arkansas.
(b) Any teletype, telegraph ticker tape, or similar machine or device used in the
transmitting or receiving of information relating to games or sports as set out in subsection (a) of this section, which is used either directly or indirectly for the purpose of
gaming, is defined and declared to be a "gaming device".
(c) Any person who violates the provisions of this section and any teletype, telegraph
ticker tape, or similar machine or device when used for gaming purposes, as defined in this section, shall be subject to the procedure and penalties as set out in §§ 5-66-101 - 5-66-110, 5-66-112, 5-66-113, 5-66-116, and 5-66-118.

§ 5-66-115. Sports or games - Bribery of participants.

Whoever gives, promises, or offers to any professional or amateur baseball, football,
hockey, polo, tennis, or basketball player or boxer or any player who participates or expects to participate in any professional or amateur game or sport or any jockey, driver,
groom, or any person participating or expecting to participate in any horse race, including owners of race tracks and their employees, stewards, trainers, judges, starters, or special policemen, or to any manager, coach, or trainer of any team or participant or prospective participant in any such game, contest, or sport any valuable thing with intent to influence him to lose or try to lose or cause to be lost or to limit his or his team's margin of victory in a baseball, football, hockey, or basketball game, boxing, tennis, or polo match or a horse race or any professional or amateur sport or game in which such player or participant or jockey or driver is taking part or expects to take part or has any duty or connection therewith, or who, being a professional or amateur baseball, football, hockey, basketball, tennis, or polo player, boxer, or jockey, driver, or groom or participant or prospective participant in any sport or game or a manager, coach, or trainer of any team or individual participant or prospective participant in any such game, contest, or sport solicits or accepts any valuable thing to influence him to lose or try to lose or cause to be lost or to limit his or his team's margin of victory in a baseball, football, hockey, or basketball game or boxing, tennis, or polo match or horse race or any game or sport in which he is taking part or expects to take part or has any duty or connection therewith, commits a Class D felony.

§ 5-66-116. Horseracing - Betting.

(a) It shall be unlawful to bet in this state, directly or indirectly, by selling or buying
pools or otherwise, any money or other valuable thing, on any horse race of any kind whether had or run in this state or out of this state.
(b)(1) Any person who shall violate subsection (a) of this section shall be deemed
guilty of a misdemeanor and:
(A) For the first offense, on conviction shall be fined in any sum not less than ten
dollars ($10.00) nor more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00);
(B) For the second offense, on conviction shall be fined in any sum not less than
twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100);
(C) For all offenses after the second, on conviction shall be fined in any sum not
more than five hundred dollars ($500) and imprisoned in the county jail for a term of not less than thirty (30) days nor more than six (6) months.
(2) Every bet, wager, sale of pools, or purchase of pools shall be deemed a separate
offense.
(c) It shall be the duty of circuit judges and prosecuting attorneys of this state, and the
grand juries and mayors of the cities and towns of this state, and the policemen and marshals of the cities and towns, and the justices of the peace, sheriffs, and constables to enforce the provisions of this section, when it is violated in their presence or when the information of the violation is brought to their knowledge by affidavit or otherwise.
(d) If any sheriff, constable, or policeman shall refuse or neglect to at once arrest and
bring before some court of competent jurisdiction for trial any person who violates this section, when the knowledge of the violation shall be brought to their attention by the affidavit of any resident of the county where said offense is committed, such sheriff, constable, or policeman shall be deemed guilty of nonfeasance in office and on conviction shall be fined in any sum not more than five hundred dollars ($500) and shall be
removed from office.

§ 5-66-117. Horseracing - Agency service wagering.

(a) Every person who, either for himself or as agent or employee of another, places,
offers, or agrees to place, either in person or by messenger, telephone, or telegraph, a wager on behalf of another person, for a consideration paid or to be paid by or on behalf of the other person, on a thoroughbred horse race being conducted in or out of this state shall be deemed guilty of a Class D felony.
(b) It shall be a defense to prosecution under this section if a defendant can prove that
his wager on behalf of another person was of a casual nature with no profit motive and merely an accommodation to the other party.

§ 5-66-118. Lottery, etc. - Tickets.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to:
(1) Keep an office, room, or place for the sale or disposition of lottery, policy, and
gift concert tickets or slips or like devices;
(2) Vend, sell, or otherwise dispose of any lottery, policy, or gift concert ticket, slip,
or like device;
(3) Possess any lottery, policy, or gift concert ticket or slip or like device, except a lottery ticket issued in another state where a lottery is legal; or
(4) Be interested either directly or indirectly in the sale or disposition of any lottery,
policy, or gift concert ticket or slip or like device.
(b) In any prosecution or investigation under this section, it shall be no exemption for a
witness that his testimony may incriminate himself, but no such testimony given by the witness shall be used against him in any prosecution except for perjury, and he shall be discharged from liability for any violation of the law upon his part disclosed by his testimony.
(c)(1) The General Assembly recognizes that the present laws relating to lotteries are
vague in certain areas and, although designed to prohibit the operation of lotteries in the state, may be interpreted to prohibit even the printing of lottery tickets by companies in this state for distribution in other states where lotteries are legal; that there are companies in this state which print various types of tickets, stamps, tags, coupon books, and similar devices and which may be interested in printing lottery tickets for states in which lotteries are lawful; and that it is the intent and purpose of this subsection to clarify the present law relating to lotteries to specifically permit businesses in Arkansas to print lottery tickets for use in states where lotteries are lawful.
(2) The printing or other production of lottery tickets by businesses located in Arkansas for use in states in which lotteries are permitted is declared to be lawful, and nothing contained in this section and § 5- 66-119 or any other law shall be construed to make such printing or production unlawful.
(d) Any person who shall violate any provisions of this section shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor and on conviction shall be fined in any sum not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).

§ 5-66-119. Lottery - Promotion through sales.

(a) Every person who shall in this state, directly or indirectly, set up, promote, engage
in, or in any manner participate in any plan, scheme, device, or other means, either alone or in concert with any other person, firm, or corporation, either within or without the State of Arkansas, whereby goods, property, or any other thing of value is sold to any person, firm, or corporation for any consideration, either cash or otherwise, and upon the further consideration that the purchaser shall agree to obtain one (1) or more persons to articipate in the plan, scheme, device, or other means by making a similar purchase and a similar agreement to secure one (1) or more other persons to participate therein in the same manner, each purchaser being given the right to obtain money, credits, goods, or some other thing of value, depending upon the number of persons joining in or participating in the plan, scheme, device, or other means, is declared to have set up, promoted, engaged in, or participated in a lottery, which is declared to be unlawful; and the promotion, engaging in, or participation in the same shall be punishable as hereinafter provided.
(b) The chancery court of any county in which any such plan, scheme, device, or other
means is set up, proposed, operated, promoted, engaged in, or participated in may enjoin the further operation or promotion of or engagement or participation in any such plan, scheme, device, or other means, upon complaint filed by the Attorney General of this state or any prosecuting attorney of any county in which such a plan, scheme, device, or other means is proposed, promoted, operated, engaged in, or participated in, or by any other interested person, on relation of the State of Arkansas; and any such injunction may be granted without bond furnished by the plaintiff, and the court may make further orders touching upon the subject matter as it may find necessary and desirable.
(c)(1) The General Assembly recognizes that the present laws relating to lotteries are
vague in certain areas and, although designed to prohibit the operation of lotteries in the state, may be interpreted to prohibit even the printing of lottery tickets by companies in this state for distribution in other states where lotteries are legal; that there are companies in this state which print various types of tickets, stamps, tags, coupon books, and similar devices and which may be interested in printing lottery tickets for states in which lotteries are lawful; and that it is the intent and purpose of this subsection to clarify the present law relating to lotteries to specifically permit businesses in Arkansas to print lottery tickets for use in states where lotteries are lawful.
(2) The printing or other production of lottery tickets by businesses located in Arkansas for use in states in which lotteries are permitted is declared to be lawful, and nothing contained in this section or § 5-66- 118 or any other law shall be construed to make such printing or production unlawful.
(d) Any person who violates a provision of this section commits a Class D felony.

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