Online Poker in Oregon: Legal Gambling and Laws
2021 Update: Can I Play Online Poker in Oregon?
Oregon still hasn’t passed online poker legislation. The state’s been a bit apprehensive when it comes to online poker, but they pass sports betting regulation. A 2018 Supreme Court decision opened the doors for states to regulate sports betting and Oregon was one of the many states that walked through it.
Oregon legalized live and online sports betting and launched its online sports betting platform in August 2019. Online sports betting is managed by the Oregon Lottery and is only available through their “Scoreboard” app. But as long as you have it, you can bet from your phone from anywhere in Oregon. There’s no betting on college sports though.
There are also a number of places to bet on sports live in Oregon. The first sportsbook launched shortly after the mobile app in September 2019. That sportsbook belongs to the Chinook Winds casino. There are several tribal casinos across Oregon and they’re working on providing sports betting to customers.
Poker and Gambling Laws in Oregon
Oregon has a long history of gaming. It started with horse tracks back in 1946 and has expanded to include charitable gaming, tribal casinos and online sports betting. There has been pushback against wider gaming though and multiple proposals to build commercial casinos have failed.
Oregon has a long and broad set of laws that define gambling, what’s allowed and what the consequences are for doing what’s not. The most basic element to regulate gaming is defining what gambling is. Chapter 462.010 of the Oregon State Law defines gambling as:
“Staking or risking something of value upon outcome of a contest of chance or future contingent event not under control of actor, upon agreement that actor would receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.”
This is a fairly inclusive definition. Most states use the term “chance” when they’re defining gambling. This makes it easier for states to regulate poker since it was deemed a game of skill at the federal level. But Oregon’s definition adds “future contingent event not under control of actor.” This would include a lot of games that aren’t purely games of chance. Poker players know that no matter how hard you try, the flop turn and river are never under your control.
Can I Play Poker on PokerStars in Oregon?
No, you can’t play PokerStars in Oregon. If you travel north to Canada you can fire up a game, or if you travel to the East Coast you can play PokerStars in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. PokerStars used to be all over the US, but after a Department of Justice investigation found wrongdoing in the company and several others, they left the country in 2011.
A few fines, indictments and years later, PokerStars is making its way back into the US. For it to get back to Oregon, the state would first have to pass online poker legislation. Then it would have to license PokerStars. Each state has segregated player pools so far, so the giant tournaments from back in the day are stuck there, back in the day.
Luckily, there are a few sites that have big player pools, a wide selection of cash games and generous sign-up bonuses. Sites like Ignition Poker, Bovada and Americas Cardroom have become great PokerStars alternatives for poker players in Oregon. If you want more details on these sites and others, check out our reviews below:
Legal Gambling in Oregon
There’s plenty of legal gaming in Oregon. The first kind that started in the state was horse racing, which dates back to 1946. There was also a small greyhound racing stint in the state from 1993 to 2004. The state still has a few horse tracks and it also has hubs where you can bet on horse and dog races across the country.
Like many states, Oregon also allows for social and charitable gaming. It also has a state lottery since 1984. The lottery passed thanks to a voter amendment. Residents largely supported the amendment with 66 percent of the vote. Revenue has grown every year and in 2018, the lottery revenue grew to $1.3 billion with $726 million going to the state.
Tribal casinos are the other big form of legal gambling in Oregon. Tribes have been negotiating and expanding gaming in the state since the early 90s. Now all nine tribes have gaming compacts with the state and there are 11 tribal in the state with another one under discussion. It’s estimated that tribal casinos in the state have an economic impact of $1.26 billion with a tax impact of $163 million.
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