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Navigating Oregon's Gambling Laws A Complete Overview

Welcome to the dynamic domain of Oregon's gambling scene. Nestled within its borders are tribal casinos, pulsating with an array of gaming delights, from slots to table games and poker. Oregon's landscape of opportunities extends to a state-operated lottery, featuring enticing games like Mega Millions, Powerball, and scratch-offs. A recent addition to the sector is sports wagering, legalized in 2019, accessible via a state-run app and select tribal casinos. The territory of pari-mutuel wagering thrives, focusing primarily on the exhilarating world of horse racing, both at licensed racetracks and off-track betting locations. In this arena, Oregon embraces limited forms of charitable gaming, showcasing bingo and raffle games orchestrated by non-profit organizations. However, it's important to note that while online sports betting has found a legal footing, other sectors within the online gambling domain, including casinos and poker, await further exploration in this thriving sector.

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Overview of Online Gambling in Oregon

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In Oregon's online gambling landscape, despite the absence of regulations for online casino gaming and poker, the state offers diverse legal gambling options. Nine tribal casinos provide Vegas-style games, including slots, blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker. The state's journey, marked by the establishment of the first Indian casino in 1992, showcases a unique blend of traditional and contemporary offerings. While online casino gaming remains uncharted territory, Oregon excels in video lottery terminals, charitable gaming, pari-mutuel horse betting, and legal video lottery machines.

The Oregon Lottery plays a central role, overseeing numerous video lottery machines, video poker games, and extending its influence to Native American casinos. In sports betting, the state pioneered a parlay-style game in 1989, leading to full-fledged online sports betting in 2019 through the Scoreboard app. Oregon's legal framework distinguishes between participants and operators, with penalties for unlawful gambling, though online gambling operates in a gray area.

The minimum gambling age is 18 for lottery games and parimutuel betting, and 21 for casino games and poker. Online gambling in Oregon is limited to mobile sports betting via the Oregon Lottery's DraftKings app and online horse wagering through platforms like TwinSpires. The absence of regulations for online casino gaming and poker leaves room for speculation about future developments in this dynamic and evolving field.

The Legal Gambling Status in Oregon

legal

The legal gambling landscape in Oregon reflects a dynamic blend of traditional and contemporary offerings, carefully regulated to ensure responsible gaming practices. With a focus on tribal casinos, video lottery terminals, charitable gaming, and the state lottery, Oregon provides diverse avenues for entertainment. This overview explores the legal status of various gambling activities in the state, shedding light on the permissible forms, associated regulations, and minimum age requirements. Whether it's the excitement of tribal casinos, the accessibility of lottery games, or the strategic play in poker rooms, understanding the legal framework ensures a safe and enjoyable gambling experience in Oregon.

Activity Legal Status Minimum Age
Land-based Gambling Yes (Tribal casinos, VLTs, horse race betting) 21
Online Gambling No (Mobile sports betting legal)
Lottery Yes 18
Charitable Gaming Yes 18
Poker Rooms Yes 21
Sports Betting Yes 21
Bingo Yes 18
Daily Fantasy Sports Yes 18
Pari-Mutuel Betting Yes 18
Casinos Yes 21
Online Casinos Prohibited
Online Sports Betting Yes 21
Online Poker Prohibited

License for Online Casinos in Oregon

illegalIn Oregon, the realm of online casinos operates without the presence of a state-issued license. Unlike some states that have embraced regulatory frameworks for online casino operations, Oregon's stance is distinct. The absence of a state license for online casinos is primarily attributed to the current legal landscape, which does not explicitly authorize or regulate online casino gaming. The state's gambling regulations have primarily focused on traditional forms of gambling, such as tribal casinos, video lottery terminals, and charitable gaming. The decision to forego a state license for online casinos reflects a cautious approach, and as of now, there is no indication of imminent changes in the regulatory landscape to accommodate such licensing. Therefore, individuals engaging in online casino activities in Oregon should exercise vigilance and awareness of the existing legal constraints surrounding this particular aspect of the gambling domain.

History and Timeline for Oregon Online Gambling

The timeline weaves through decades, each chapter contributing to the evolving landscape of gambling within the Beaver State.

  • 1933: Legalization of Pari-Mutuel Betting Oregon takes its initial step into the realm of gambling by legalizing pari-mutuel betting, opening the door for horse racing enthusiasts to wager on their favorites.
  • 1971: Introduction of State Lottery A significant milestone arrives with the introduction of Oregon's first official state lottery, marking a pivotal moment in the state's endorsement of government-sanctioned gambling.
  • 1984: Establishment of Oregon State Lottery The voters of Oregon approve the establishment of the state lottery, ushering in a new era of expanded gambling options and opportunities for residents.
  • 1989: Legalization of Video Lottery Terminals Oregon pioneers the authorization of video lottery terminals (VLTs), distinguishing itself as one of the first states to embrace this innovative form of gambling technology.
  • 1992: Passage of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) While not specific to Oregon, the enactment of PASPA at the federal level reverberates nationwide, influencing the landscape of sports betting across the country.
  • 2004: Approval of Tribal-State Gaming Compacts Oregon takes a collaborative step with Native American tribes, entering into compacts that pave the way for the establishment of tribal casinos, further diversifying the gambling offerings.
  • 2007: Statewide Smoking Ban in Casinos A significant regulatory shift occurs with the implementation of a statewide smoking ban, impacting public places, including casinos, in alignment with evolving health and social norms.
  • 2018: Repeal of PASPA In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court repeals PASPA, granting states, including Oregon, the authority to legalize sports betting within their borders.
  • 2019: Launch of Sports Betting Oregon seizes the opportunity presented by the repeal of PASPA, introducing legal sports betting through the state lottery, expanding the spectrum of gambling activities available to residents.
  • 2021: Expansion of Online Gambling Options The state legislature reflects the growing trend of digital gaming by considering bills to expand online gambling options, acknowledging the dynamic shift towards online platforms in the modern era.

Legalization of Sports Betting Oregon

sports betting

The trajectory of sports betting legalization in Oregon is marked by significant milestones, underscoring the state's embrace of this dynamic industry. The journey begins in 1989 when the Oregon State Lottery introduces Sports Action, a parlay game allowing betting on the NFL and NBA, with a notable exception for games involving the Portland Trail Blazers. Fast-forwarding to 2005, the Oregon legislature approves a bill to phase out Sports Action by 2007. A pivotal moment unfolds on May 14, 2018, as the U.S. Supreme Court deems the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional, opening the floodgates for states to legalize sports betting.

In the wake of this transformative ruling, Oregon leaps into action. On Aug. 27, 2019, the Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City pioneers legal, in-person sports betting, marking the official launch of sports betting in the state. The momentum continues with the opening of Oregon's second retail sportsbook at The Mill Casino in North Bend on Oct. 29, 2019. However, it is Jan. 18, 2022, that sees a significant shift as DraftKings officially assumes control of the Scoreboard sportsbook application, becoming the sole online sportsbook in Oregon.

Notably, the advocacy group Sports Oregon, including corporate giant Nike, expresses support for the expansion of Oregon's sports betting market on Aug. 27, 2022. The state's commitment to sports betting reaches new heights as it reports nearly $500 million in yearly sports betting handle for 2022 on Jan. 12, 2023, signaling a thriving and lucrative industry. This journey from the introduction of Sports Action to the present-day online sports betting landscape exemplifies Oregon's progressive stance and strategic adaptations within the evolving realm of sports betting.

Legal Gambling Forms in Oregon

In Oregon, legal gambling forms offer a diverse array of entertainment for enthusiasts. The landscape encompasses traditional and contemporary options, reflecting the state's progressive approach to gambling. Tribal casinos stand as prominent entities, providing a Vegas-style ambiance with an assortment of slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker. The state's endorsement of video lottery terminals (VLTs) adds a modern twist, allowing players to engage in electronic gaming experiences. Charitable gaming, including bingo, raffles, and casino nights organized by authorized non-profit entities, fosters a sense of community involvement. Pari-mutuel horse betting thrives at licensed racetracks, complemented by off-track betting options on simulcast races, while online horse betting enthusiasts can participate through advance deposit wagering sites. The Oregon Lottery plays a central role, offering lottery games, video lottery machines, and video poker games, both in traditional establishments and Native American casinos. Sports betting, legalized in 2019, has gained momentum, allowing residents to participate in both in-person and online betting activities. While online casino gaming remains uncharted territory, the state continues to explore and adapt to the evolving landscape of legal gambling forms.

Mobile Casinos Icon

Oregon Online Casinos

Oregon's online casinos offer a diverse range of virtual gambling experiences, featuring popular games like slots, poker, and roulette, providing residents with convenient and entertaining options in the digital realm.
Sports Betting Icon

Oregon Sports Betting

Enthusiasts engage in legal sports betting in Oregon, placing wagers on a variety of sports events in a regulated and accessible betting environment, contributing to the state's dynamic sports betting scene.
poker

Oregon Online Poker

Catering to poker enthusiasts, Oregon's online poker sites create digital spaces for engaging tournaments and cash games, enhancing the state's evolving online gambling offerings.
bingo

Oregon Bingo

Online bingo platforms in Oregon provide residents with opportunities to enjoy traditional and themed bingo games, creating a lively and entertaining gaming experience for bingo enthusiasts.
Blackjack Icon

Oregon Blackjack

Oregon's online blackjack platforms offer players a digital version of the classic card game, providing a straightforward and enjoyable gaming experience within the state's diverse gambling options.
lottery

Oregon Lotteries

Oregon conducts lotteries, offering residents the chance to participate in games of chance and potentially win prizes through a regulated and transparent system, adding variety to the state's gambling landscape.
Horse Racing Icon

Oregon Parimutuel Betting

Oregon allows parimutuel betting on horse racing events, ensuring a regulated system that provides fairness and transparency for individuals interested in wagering on these events.
illegal

Oregon Prohibited Gambling Activities

The state of Oregon has clear regulations on prohibited gambling activities, including unauthorized games of chance or skill, ensuring compliance with state laws to maintain a secure and well-regulated gambling environment.

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Legalization of Bingo in Oregon

The legalization of bingo in Oregon reflects a facet of the state's diverse and regulated gambling landscape. Oregon permits limited forms of charitable gaming, and bingo is a key player in this arena. Non-profit organizations, authorized by the Oregon Department of Justice, can host bingo events as part of their fundraising efforts. The regulations governing charitable gaming emphasize fair play and the responsible use of proceeds for charitable purposes. Bingo halls, typically operated by nonprofit entities, contribute to the state's charitable gambling scene, providing a social and community-oriented environment. Subject to licensing and regulatory standards, these halls offer a platform for individuals to engage in bingo games while supporting various charitable and community services. The legalization of bingo aligns with Oregon's commitment to fostering responsible and community-centric gambling activities within the bounds of established regulations.

bingo icon

Blackjack

Legalization of Blackjack in Oregon

Blackjack, a classic and widely enjoyed card game, is legally available in Oregon within the confines of tribal casinos. The state's approach to gambling includes the operation of tribal casinos that provide an array of Vegas-style gaming options, and blackjack is a prominent feature among them. Tribal casinos offer a dynamic gaming environment where patrons can engage in this popular card game, adding to the diverse range of entertainment choices available. Governed by regulatory frameworks, tribal casinos contribute to the state's gambling landscape while adhering to guidelines that ensure fair play and responsible gambling practices. As one of the traditional and well-loved casino offerings, the legalization of blackjack within the tribal casino setting aligns with Oregon's strategy of providing a comprehensive and regulated gambling experience for its residents and visitors.

Legalization of Lotteries in Oregon

lottery

The legalization of lotteries in Oregon marks a significant chapter in the state's gambling history. In 1971, Oregon introduced its first official state lottery, a pioneering move that expanded government-endorsed gambling. This establishment marked a departure from the previously limited gambling options, primarily consisting of parimutuel betting on live racing. The subsequent decade witnessed a transformative shift in the state's gambling landscape, with the approval of tribal-state gaming compacts in 2004, leading to the establishment of tribal casinos.

The Oregon State Lottery has played a central role in providing entertainment and contributing to state funds. Over the years, it has evolved to include various lottery games, video lottery machines, and video poker games, accessible at traditional establishments and Native American casinos. Revenue generated from the lottery serves multiple purposes, including funding street, road, or highway improvements, supporting charitable organizations, and aiding local government bodies within specified counties.

The legalization of lotteries not only diversified the gambling options available to residents but also contributed to vital community initiatives through revenue-sharing mechanisms. Today, the Oregon State Lottery remains an integral component of the state's regulated gambling landscape, showcasing the balance between entertainment, responsible gaming, and contributions to public welfare.

Oregon Parimutuel Betting

horse racing icon

Parimutuel betting in Oregon has a notable history, dating back to 1933 when the state legalized this form of wagering, specifically allowing bets on horse racing. Pari-mutuel betting involves pooling the bets on a particular event, with the odds and final payouts determined by the total amount wagered on each outcome. In Oregon, this type of betting is primarily associated with horse racing, and enthusiasts can participate in on-site wagering at licensed racetracks as well as off-site betting through simulcast races. The state's regulatory framework ensures fair play and adherence to guidelines, creating a structured and controlled environment for those interested in the excitement of parimutuel horse betting. While parimutuel betting on horse races remains a legal and regulated activity, other forms of online gambling, including online casinos and poker, are not currently permitted in Oregon.

How Does Parimutuel Betting Work?

Parimutuel betting is a betting system commonly used in horse racing and other events where multiple participants compete. The term “parimutuel” comes from the French term “pari mutuel,” which means “mutual betting.” In this system, bettors are not wagering against a bookmaker or the house but rather against each other. Here's how parimutuel betting works:

  • Betting Pool Creation: All bets placed on a particular event are pooled together into a single fund called the betting pool. This can include bets on different outcomes or participants.
  • Odds Determination: The odds for each participant are not set in advance by the house. Instead, they are dynamically determined by the amount of money wagered on each participant in the pool.
  • Payout Calculation: After the event concludes and the results are known, the total pool is distributed among the winning bettors. The payout for each winning bet is calculated based on the size of the pool and the amount of money wagered on the winning outcome.
  • Takeout: Before the payouts are made, a certain percentage is deducted from the total pool. This is the takeout or vigorish, which goes to the house or the organization managing the betting system. The remaining amount is distributed among the winning bettors.
  • Dividend Calculation: The payout for each winning bet is calculated by dividing the remaining pool after the takeout by the amount of money wagered on the winning outcome. This determines the dividend or payout per unit of the winning bet.
  • Distribution of Winnings: Winning bettors receive their share of the pool based on the amount of their wager and the calculated dividend. The larger the winning pool, the higher the payouts for successful bets.

Parimutuel betting is known for offering a dynamic and interactive betting experience, as odds change in real-time based on the betting patterns of participants. It also ensures that the house has no vested interest in the outcome of the event, as the bookmaker's profit is a fixed percentage of the total pool. This system is widely used in horse racing, greyhound racing, jai alai, and other similar events where participants compete against each other.

Oregon Prohibited Gambling Activities

 

Responsible GamblingOregon's gambling regulations delineate a set of prohibited activities to maintain a structured and responsible gaming environment. Among the expressly forbidden gambling activities in the state are online casino gaming and online poker. While Oregon has embraced certain forms of online gambling, such as mobile sports betting, the law currently does not permit online platforms for casino games and poker. The legal framework draws a clear distinction between permitted and prohibited activities, shaping a landscape that prioritizes consumer protection and responsible gambling practices. Individuals engaging in unauthorized online casino gaming and poker may face legal consequences. It's crucial for residents and visitors alike to be aware of these restrictions and adhere to the established regulations to ensure a compliant and enjoyable gambling experience within the boundaries set by Oregon law.

Gambling in Oregon – Licensing, Tax and Fees

In Oregon, the regulatory landscape for gambling involves a cooperative framework between the state and the nine compacted gaming tribes: Burns Paiute Tribe, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Klamath Tribes, Modocs & Yahooskin, Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Indians, Confederated Tribes of Siletz, Coquille Indian Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde Community. Tribal casinos are subject to regulation by both the tribe and the state. To engage in Class III gaming activities, tribes must seek approval from the tribal gaming commission, with the Oregon State Police overseeing the conduct of these activities.

License IconLicensing in tribal gaming involves the tribes covering the cost of Oregon State Police activities related to the compacts. The compacts, effective indefinitely, can be renegotiated by mutual agreement between the state and tribes. Limits on gaming machines in tribal casinos can be adjusted through compact renegotiation once the maximum is reached.

Taxation and revenue sharing mechanisms are integral components of the compacts. Tribes contribute to street, road, or highway improvements based on traffic impact studies and Oregon Department of Transportation requirements. Additionally, they are obligated to establish and maintain a community benefit fund, contributing approximately six percent of the previous year's net income. The fund supports charitable organizations and local government bodies within specified counties. State revenue from tribal gaming is allocated for similar purposes, including infrastructure improvements and grants to charitable organizations.

Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), tribes must utilize gaming funds for tribal government operations, general welfare, economic development, charitable donations, or local government agency support. Promotional credits do not impact revenue sharing, and tribes are required to report gambling winnings subject to Oregon personal income tax. This comprehensive regulatory structure ensures responsible gaming practices, community benefits, and transparent financial contributions from tribal gaming activities in Oregon.

Important Questions for Gambling Laws of Oregon

Is online gambling legal in Oregon?

No, currently, online gambling in Oregon is limited to certain forms. While the state has legalized mobile sports betting through the Oregon Lottery's DraftKings app, other online gambling activities such as online casinos and poker are not permitted. The legal landscape is continually evolving, so it's essential to stay informed about any changes in regulations. Residents and visitors should engage in online gambling activities within the bounds of the law, focusing on the authorized options available in the state.

What is the minimum age requirement for engaging in online casinos, sports betting, and poker in Oregon?

The minimum age requirements for various forms of gambling in Oregon are as follows:

  • Online Casinos and Poker: Currently, online casinos and poker are not legalized in Oregon, so there is no specified minimum age for engaging in these activities.
  • Sports Betting: The minimum age for participating in sports betting, whether in-person or through mobile platforms like the Oregon Lottery's DraftKings app, is 21 years old. It's important to adhere to these age restrictions to ensure compliance with Oregon's gambling regulations.

How does parimutuel betting work in Oregon?

Parimutuel betting in Oregon operates in the context of horse racing, and the process involves several key steps:

  1. Betting Pool Formation: All wagers placed on a particular horse race are combined into a collective fund known as the betting pool.
  2. Odds Determination: Unlike traditional fixed-odds betting, the odds for each horse are not predetermined. Instead, they are dynamically calculated based on the total amount wagered on each horse.
  3. Payout Calculation: After the race concludes, the total pool is distributed among bettors who backed the winning horse. The payout for each winning bet is determined by dividing the remaining pool after deducting the house's takeout by the amount wagered on the winning horse.
  4. Takeout: Before payouts are calculated, a certain percentage, known as the takeout, is deducted from the total pool. This percentage represents the house's commission and covers operating costs.
  5. Reporting and Withholding: The racing facility is responsible for reporting and, if necessary, withholding taxes on winnings. Bettors may be required to provide identification for large payouts.
  6. Dynamic Odds: One distinctive feature of parimutuel betting is the dynamic nature of odds. As more bets are placed, the odds can shift in real-time based on the betting patterns, creating an interactive and fluid betting experience.

What types of gambling are legally permissible in Oregon?

In Oregon, several forms of gambling are legally permissible. These include:

  • Tribal Casinos: Nine compacted gaming tribes operate tribal casinos in the state, offering a variety of Vegas-style gaming options, including slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker.
  • Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs): The state allows the operation of video lottery terminals, providing electronic gaming experiences.
  • Charitable Gaming: Regulated charitable gambling is permitted, including bingo, raffles, and casino nights organized by authorized non-profit entities.
  • Pari-Mutuel Betting: Betting on horse racing is legal at licensed racetracks and through off-track betting locations, including simulcast races. Online horse betting is also allowed through advance deposit wagering sites.
  • State Lottery: The Oregon Lottery offers various lottery games, video lottery machines, and video poker games, available both in traditional establishments and Native American casinos.
  • Sports Betting: Legalized in 2019, sports betting is available in Oregon through a state-run app (such as the DraftKings app) and at some tribal casinos.

Which regulatory bodies oversee gambling activities in Oregon?

The regulatory oversight of gambling activities in Oregon involves collaboration between tribal entities and state agencies. The key regulatory bodies include:

  • Tribal Gaming Commissions: Each of the nine compacted gaming tribes in Oregon has its own tribal gaming commission. These commissions play a crucial role in regulating and overseeing tribal casinos within their jurisdictions. They set rules for tribal gaming operations and work in coordination with state authorities.
  • Oregon State Police: The Oregon State Police have a significant role in the oversight of tribal gaming activities. Tribes seeking approval for Class III gaming activities must submit their proposals to the tribal gaming commission, and once approved, the Oregon State Police govern the conduct of these activities within tribal casinos.
  • Oregon Lottery: The Oregon Lottery oversees and regulates specific forms of gambling in the state, including video lottery terminals (VLTs), sports betting through the Scoreboard app, and other lottery games. The Oregon Lottery contributes to the regulation of these activities in collaboration with other state agencies.
  • Department of Revenue: The Oregon Department of Revenue is involved in the oversight of gambling activities, particularly concerning the reporting of gambling winnings. Tribes are required to report gambling winnings subject to Oregon personal income tax to the Department of Revenue.
Gabriela Kirilova

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Gabriela Kirilova | Content Specialist/Slot Expert

Gabriela Kirilova is a senior gaming analyst at CasinoLandia. If it looks like a slot, rings like a slot, or spins like a slot, then Gabriela will know about it. She is our Chief Slot Reviewer, and Analyzer.
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