Oregon Sports Betting and Gambling Laws

Oregon State Online Gambling lawsWithout the reputation of the big gambling states, Oregon is actually one of the better states to live in as a gambler. Gambling options in the state consist of tribal casinos, fantasy sports, horse racing, a state lottery, social gambling, limited online options and charitable games. Moreover, the Beaver State issues licenses to organizations that wish to host real money poker games.

For Oregon’s position on online casinos, betting on sports, online gambling etc., see the table below

Gambling Type Legal Land-Based Legal Online
Sports Betting Yes Yes
Casinos Yes No
Fantasy Sports (DFS) N/A Yes
eSports No No
Poker Yes No
Horse Racing Yes Yes
Lottery Yes No
Charitable Gambling Yes No

Oregon Gambling Tax Rate

There is an 8% tax on gambling winnings.

Large wins may possibly attract additional Federal taxes.

Legal gambling age in Oregon

Gambling Type Age
DFS 18
Casinos 18-21 (Varies)
Horse Racing 18
Lottery 18
Charitable Gambling 18

Sports Betting in Oregon – the laws

Sports Betting Laws in Oregon are intrinsically linked to developments at the Federal level of government. The Oregon Lottery says it will study the situation closely now, after the Supreme Court decision to pass sports betting laws back to the states in May 2018. However, the state of Oregon may be able to introduce sports betting games without the requirement for any new legislation at all.

Is Sports Betting legal in Oregon?

Legal – Yes. Currently available – no.

Oregon was one of four states that were granted an exemption from the Federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) banning sports betting in the United States, due to a type of parlay betting game offered by the State Lottery in the Beaver State at the time.

Back then, the Oregon State Lottery had a sports wagering game called ‘Sports Action’ that allowed customers to place parlay-style bets on NFL and NBA games. Sports Action was closed down in 2007, but the State Laws still exist that the game can be reactivated in the future if the State Legislature so chooses.

Given that history, the most likely pathway that legal sports betting will come to Oregon will potentially be via the state lottery. The Oregon Lottery has stated on several occasions that it is interested in giving new life to sports betting in the state.

In September 2018, a mobile ticket-checking app was launched by the Oregon Lottery and it appears is if the technology may be the starting point for legal sports betting. See more below in the Sports Betting Online section.

Meanwhile, Oregon’s residents and visitors can enjoy the sports betting options of DFS and horse and greyhound racing until further options become available soon.

Sports Betting Online

While many forms of online gambling are yet to arrive in Oregon, full online sports betting could be just around-the-corner.

The launch of the Oregon State Lottery’s mobile app will provide the groundwork for the implementation of legal online sports betting at any moment. Given no new legislation will be required, nor drafting of new sports betting taxes, it is seemingly simply a matter of time for the State Lottery to fine-tune the technology and apply it to sports-betting-platforms.

Lottery spokesman Matt Shelby has announced that the Oregon State Lottery will launch the mobile app in two phases. The lottery will firstly release a basic app allowing players to check the lottery results and jackpots.

Secondly, according to Shelby, is to launch “virtual sports games.” The term is somewhat confusing, as typically virtual sports betting generally applies to games in which players wager on the random outcomes of simulated sports events. However, it’s a start and certainly full online sports gambling will surely follow.

That said, Oregon has no legislation in place to regulate a full-service sports betting industry. The State Lottery may begin independently with Sports Action and the body has powers to introduce new game types if it sees fit. However, new legislation will be required to provide governance and a tax scheme for fully-fledged sports betting. No release date has yet been set for the re-introduction of Sports Action.

Until that time, DFS and online betting on horse-and-greyhound-racing are both available and legal ways for the online sports bettor to play real money games in Oregon.

Casinos in Oregon

Oregon casinos offer a wide selection of casino gambling options to players. There are 11 full-scale gaming resorts on tribal lands. There have also been recent moves to develop and license a commercial casino industry. The rejection of a 2012 referendum has put further casino expansion in Oregon on hold.

Oregon’s Land-based Casinos

In accordance with state law, without-exception, all casinos in Oregon must be located on Native American tribal lands. The Tribes have so far unsuccessfully lobbied to try and open casinos on non-tribal territory.

Oregon casinos offer electronic slots and video poker machines and gaming tables for poker, keno, blackjack and bingo.

Online Casinos in Oregon

Legal online gambling options in Oregon are currently limited to games of skill, DFS and horse and greyhound racing.

Until legalized, online players in Oregon should abstain from playing both off-shore and U.S. based online casinos and not run of the risk at any potential unwanted run-ins with law enforcement bodies and Oregon’s gambling laws.

Horse Racing Betting in Oregon

First legalized in 1933, Oregon horse racing betting has a rich heritage.

The Oregon Racing Commission oversees the industry and is responsible for licensing of the state racetracks, approving racing events, animal welfare, simulcasting and track management.

Moreover, Oregon was one of the first and only states to legalize horse racing betting online with legislation as early as 1997.

Track Side: Oregon boasts 4 Horse Racing tracks offering betting on live racing and simulcast betting on non-race days.

Off-Track Betting (OTB): Oregon currently offers a network of 11 OTB locations, and occasionally OTB’s are sometimes open for service (under state license) at county fairs and other one-off events.

Online Betting on Horse Racing in Oregon: Most of the major online horse racing betting sites operating in the United States today accept customers from the State of Oregon. Real money betting action is offered on the most popular U.S. races (The Triple Crown and Kentucky Derby etc.) and most popular international horse racing venues.

Oregon’s Daily Fantasy Sports Laws

Federal laws determine Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) to be a contest of skill and therefore exempt from all gambling regulation. Accordingly, many state governments have followed the spirit of the Federal ruling and have ruled DFS to be legalized at the state level under their own laws.

Oregon’s State Legislature have yet to agree on their overarching rules and regulations, and meanwhile, DFS companies are all still accepting the players from Oregon for their real money DFS competitions. However, recent bills introduced in Oregon are seeking to have the legal situation clarified.

In 2017 two bills were introduced the clarify the legality of DFS in the state. Firstly, HB 2761 is looking to have DFS constituted in the state’s definition of gambling, which would effectively kill off DFS as a legal entity in the Beaver State.

Secondly and more positively, bill HB 2549 is looking authorize the Oregon State Lottery Commission to regulate the DFS industry and issue licenses to DFS sites with the same series of rules and controls that most other states have in place such as;

  • a minimum age of 18,
  • segregation of players’ funds from operational funds and;
  • prohibiting participation of users who may have conflicts of interest (staff etc.).

Neither bill have yet passed and DFS continues to operate without restriction in Oregon.

What exactly is DFS?

A DFS competition is a relatively new and original version of real money sports game that has broken its ties with traditional win/loss sports betting. A mock ‘salary cap’ is designated for your ‘team’, which is used for you to ‘spend’ on ‘buying players’ for your virtual DFS team.

The athletes in each associated real-world sports competition (NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL and college football and basketball among others) are valued and correlated to their live real-world season performances and career statistics (just as transfer fees are in the real-sports world).

For example, in an NBA DFS league, players may select a new fantasy NBA team every day or allotted time period: using their budget to spend on point guards, centers, power forwards, swingmen etc. Points are decided upon based the performances of the players in the real-world games (e.g. 0.5 for a 3-point shot or 2 points for a block etc.). Players usually look for cheaper consistent team players than outright and expensive superstars.

Weekly, daily or even season-long DFS competition winners can potentially win as much as $1 million per competition, per major league. Winnings are paid out from the prize pools made up from all the player’s minimal entry fees.

Poker Laws in Oregon

Three options exist for Live Poker in Oregon;

  • The state’s Tribal Casinos,
  • Non-profit Poker card rooms, and;
  • Home or social games, as long as no-one profits from the games.

Online Poker Laws in Oregon

Online Poker is a currently unavailable for online players currently in Oregon and the topic does not seem to be on the radar of discussion for the state’s lawmakers. See above sections, ‘Sports Betting Online’ and ‘Online Casinos in Oregon’ for further information.

eSports Betting in Oregon

As with introduction of legal sports betting seemingly close at hand for citizens of Oregon, legal eSports betting will assist in transforming betting options for the new millennium in the Beaver State. In possibly only a few months from now, players will potentially be winning exciting eSports wagers through betting markets never before imagined.

What are ‘eSports’?

As those of us who attended an all-night LAN party back in the early days of video gaming will attest that ever since the very first days of video games, players have always been trying to best their colleagues.

Fast forward to the present day and video game play at the top level, (i.e. eSports) has created an enormous betting industry on the outcomes of the professional global tournaments.

Professional eSports ‘athletes’ participate in a range of gaming tournaments, competing in games like Rocket League, Overwatch, League of Legends and Fortnite). Experiencing extraordinary growth, the eSports industry shows little signs of slowing down any time soon. The worldwide eSports market is expected to cross the $1 billion threshold later in 2018/19.

As a matter of course, when there is big money on offer, sportsbooks are close behind. Global sportsbooks offer competitive betting markets across all the big eSports tournaments.

Expect to see legal eSports betting soon in Oregon at your favorite legalized sportsbook operator.

Benefits of Legal Gambling to Oregon

  • Oregon’s Gambling Industry since 1999 has;
    • Funded more than $680 million to State Parks.
    • Funded more than $685 million towards habitat restoration of endangered species.
    • Funded Outdoor Schools and Veteran’s Welfare Services.
  • Since 1985, Oregon’s Gambling Industry has poured more than $3 billion towards job creation in the Beaver State.
  • Since 1995, Oregon’s State Government has funded Public Schools with funds raised from legal gambling to the tune of almost $7 billion.
  • Oregon’s tribal casino industry has opened up creation of jobs and increased economic prosperity to a level never experienced before for Native American people living on Tribal lands.
  • The majority of casino employment in Oregon are in areas outside Portland or Salem, thereby providing much needed employment in regional areas.

Gambling History in Oregon

 1933; Oregon Law allows for legal betting on horse racing and greyhounds.

1973; Charitable gambling legalized.

1985; Oregon State Lottery created.

1989; ‘Sports Action’ approved in Oregon, creating the exemption clause of Oregon from PASPA.

1994; First Tribal Casino opens its doors in Oregon.

1997; Online Horse Racing Betting legalized.

2017-to-Present; DFS legalization under debate in Oregon’s State House

September 2018; Mobile ticket-checking app launched by the Oregon Lottery that could eventually lead to, and be adopted for online sports betting.



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