Oregon is one of the better states to live in as a gambler. Gambling options in the state consist of sports betting, tribal casinos, one horse racing track, a state lottery, daily fantasy sports, online racing betting, social gambling and charitable games. Additionally, the state issues licenses to organizations wishing to host real money poker games.
Online sports betting debuted in October 2019 with a mobile sportsbook called Scoreboard managed by the Oregon Lottery. The Scoreboard app allows customers 21 or older to bet on pro sports via Android and iOS devices or from any desktop at the Oregon Lottery website.
Oregon is one of the few states other than Nevada to have ever offered sports betting in any form prior to the repeal of PASPA in 2018. The old Sports Action game that allowed parlay-style wagers on the NBA was shut down in 2007 was very limited, but that was enough to give the state lottery the authority to bring back full-scale sports betting with no need for additional legislation.
As far as online casinos and poker sites go, there are no active efforts at this time to legalize those activities. This does not necessarily mean Oregon is opposed to the idea forever. In 2013, lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann said the state lottery was taking a “wait and see” approach.
On the other side of the issue, Governor John Kitzhaber seems opposed to the idea. He stated in 2013 that he was against any expansion of online gambling. His words at the time indicated that he would use all levers available to him to say “no” to any lottery plans to legalize online poker or casino games.
Legal Betting Sites in Oregon
Horse and Greyhound Betting:
Overall, the state isn’t completely opposed to legalizing additional forms of online betting but it has some significant hurdles to clear before that happens. There are a number of active lawmakers on both sides of the issue so anything can happen in coming years. The direction Oregon takes will likely be influenced by how other states approach the issue.
Online gambling will probably be expanded in Oregon at some point. The state has a healthy relationship with the land-based gambling industry and is in fact one of the only states in the US that licenses and regulates online horse racing sites.
The state’s current approach to gambling indicates a certain level of comfort with the idea. In some states, gambling is treated as a vice that should be fought every step of the way. Oregon, on the other hand, has already proven that it doesn’t have any sort of innate aversion to gaming in any form.
Mobile Sports Betting in Oregon
Mobile betting is now live in Oregon. The State Lottery has launched a mobile betting app called Scoreboard for iOS and Android devices as well as online wagering at the Oregon Lottery website for desktop users.
The Oregon mobile betting app only accepts wagers on pro sports, but lottery officials have said they will consider college betting at a later date. Betting got underway through the Oregon Lottery app at first and will be followed by the launch of betting kiosks placed throughout the state.
Key things to know about Oregon online betting:
- Available through the Scoreboard app for iOS and Android devices
- Download the iOS version for iPhones and iPads from the App Store
- Visit the Oregon Lottery website for a direct download link for the Android app
- Desktop users can bet online at the Oregon Lottery website
- Open to customers 21+
- Customers must be located within Oregon but do not need to be state residents
- Oregon online betting will be restricted to pro sports for now; will consider adding college betting later
In-person sports betting is legal in Oregon. Tribal casinos now have the legal authority to open retail sportsbooks while the Oregon Lottery will be launching self-service betting kiosks in the near future. The Chinook Winds Casino was the first to commence in-person betting and additional sportsbooks are expected to follow suit.
Oregon Sports Betting Law
The Oregon Lottery is in a unique position to launch sports betting without having to wait for legislative action thanks to Oregon being one of the few states granted an exemption from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA).
Under PASPA, any form of sports betting already legal and being conducted during a stretch of time running from 1989 through 1991 was grandfathered in. At that time, the Oregon 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 shut down in 2007, but the law authorizing Sports Action was never formally repealed.
Thus, the Oregon Lottery did not have to wait for a new law to launch sports betting. Existing law already gives the lottery authorization to launch a mobile betting app, install betting kiosks and authorize in-person wagers at retail locations.
More recently, the Oregon Lottery reached an agreement with SBTech to launch a variety of sports betting products across the state. The contract with SBTech was met with some controversy, but the Oregon Lottery committed to the agreement and launched Scoreboard in October 2019.
The Oregon Lottery also estimates it will handle $330 million worth of wagers in the first year and $680 million by the second year despite plans not to accept wagers on college games.
Legal Online Gambling in Oregon
Oregon is open to a couple of forms of online betting. Any betting site that you see listed in this section is legally authorized to accept residents from Oregon. State gaming laws very clearly outlaw “unlawful” internet gambling but that does not include certain forms of gaming expressly authorized by the state.
Other forms of online gambling available in Oregon include:
Oregon Daily Fantasy Sports
State law does not specifically address daily fantasy sports but all major DFS operators are active in Oregon. Oregon is one of the few states in the Union with a law on the books that specifically prohibits online gambling, but its applicability to fantasy sports is questionable at best due to the high degree of skill involved in DFS contests.
ORS §167.117 defines “gambling” as risking something of value on “the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the control or influence of the person, upon an agreement or understanding that the person or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.”
An argument could be made that the statute applies to fantasy contests, but the outcome of such a case would be far from certain. Most states treat DFS as a game of skill and it seems Oregon agrees. To date, the state has never moved to take action against fantasy sports providers.
Thus, major providers such as DraftKings and FanDuel operate openly in Oregon with no trouble from the state. Lawmakers attempted to clarify the issue in 2017 with the introduction of two competing bills.
One (HB 2761) sought to include fantasy sports in the state’s definition of “gambling.” This would most likely have resulted in the end of daily fantasy sports as we know them in Oregon.
The other (HB 2549) wanted to instead authorize the Oregon State Lottery Commission to regulate the industry and issue licenses to DFS sites. HB 2549 did not offer many details on its own apart from standard rules such as a minimum age of 18, segregation of players’ funds from operational funds and prohibit participation of users who may have conflicts of interest. The Lottery Commission would have been tasked with filling in the details.
However, both bills failed to advance and the status quo remains in effect to this day.
Oregon Horse Racing Betting
Oregon is quite accepting of horse racing betting in all its forms. The Racing Commission oversees all live racing, simulcasting racing betting and even online wagering. Several of the largest horse betting sites in the country operate under a license from the state’s racing commission.
A bill signed in 1997 made Oregon one of the first and only states to regulate horse wagering websites. This is the state from which TwinSpires, TVG and other big names in the industry operate legally. Thus, it should be no surprise that you suffer from no lack of options when it comes to placing horse wagers over the internet. The commission currently licenses 9 betting companies that operate dozens of individual racing betting sites.
Racing websites licensed in other US jurisdictions (such as North Dakota) are also permitted to accept wagers from Oregon residents. You can see our full reviews of each site here:
Oregon Race Tracks
Live horse racing does happen in Oregon, but only a handful of races are run each year. Grants Pass Downs is the only venue authorized to host commercial horse races and even there live races only ran on nine days last year.
- Live racing in June/July
- Simulcast wagering
1459 Fairgrounds Road
Grants Pass, OR 97528
- Live racing and wagering in June
760 E Delta
Union, OR 97883
- Live racing and wagering in July
1120 S Main Street
Prineville, OR 97754
- Live racing and wagering in August
4603 E 3rd Street
Tillamook, OR 97141
- Live racing and wagering in September
69660 S Egan Street
Burns, OR 97720
Off-Track Betting Locations in Oregon
In addition to live racing, Oregon is home to eight off-track betting parlors (OTBs) in bars and lounges.
1712 NE 223rd Ave
Fairview, OR 97024
1486 Hawthorne Avenue NE
Salem, Oregon 97301
1555 NE Forbes Road
Bend, OR 97701
2980 Crater Lake Highway
Medford, OR 97504
529 SW 4th Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
15680 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035
16065 SE McLoughlin Boulevard
Milwaukie, OR 97267
3871 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97202
The Oregon Lottery was authorized in 1984 and established the following year. Since then, it has raised more than $11 billion for a variety of state programs such as education, economic development, state parks, watershed enhancement, veteran services and much more.
Today, the Oregon Lottery is one of the more comprehensive state lotteries with a wide offering of games. Customers can purchase tickets to multi-state drawings such as Powerball and Mega Millions, state-level games such as Megabucks and Win for Life and scratch-off tickets.
The lottery also maintains a network of video lottery terminals throughout the state. These games closely resemble slots – and for all intents and purposes basically are slots – but work based on different internal mechanics. From the player’s point of view, the difference is minimal. Oregon video lottery games come in all different themes, feature spinning reels, accept various bet sizes and issue random payouts just like slots.
The Oregon Lottery has for a long time taken an open-minded approach to gaming. For instance, the Oregon Lottery was one of just several state lotteries to offer sports betting games before and during the federal sports betting prohibition.
After the Supreme Court ended the federal sports betting prohibition in 2018, the Oregon Lottery took advantage of the situation and began drawing up plans to authorize full-on sports betting.
Oregon Online Lottery
The Oregon Lottery itself does not sell tickets or scratch-off games online, but it did authorize third-party lottery courier service Jackpocket.com to purchase tickets on behalf of customers beginning in April 2020.
Jackpocket is licensed and approved by the Oregon Lottery and operates in a handful of states. Through the Jackpocket app, customers can order tickets from anywhere inside Oregon and the company will purchase real tickets on their behalf and send an e-mail verifying the purchase, including the ticket’s serial number.
Winnings up to $600 are automatically credited to customers’ online accounts and can be withdrawn electronically. Winnings over $600 prompt Jackpocket to deliver the actual ticket to the customer, who can then claim the prize as normal.
Oregon Gambling Laws
The gaming laws of Oregon permit most forms of land-based gambling provided they are hosted by licensed individuals or institutions. Social gambling is also permitted as long as the house does not profit by charging fees or running games with odds that benefit the house.
Section 167.116 of the State Statutes defines gambling as follows:
“Gambling” means that a person stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the control or influence of the person, upon an agreement or understanding that the person or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.
The law includes a few exceptions that aren’t considered gambling. Certain games that are played for tokens, games run by charitable, fraternal and religious organizations and social games are all considered not gambling under the law.
A little further down in that same section, the law explains that “unlawful gambling” is defined as any gambling game not specifically authorized by Oregon law. Section 167.122 makes it a Class A misdemeanor crime to participate as a player in any form of unlawful gambling. The punishment for Class A misdemeanors in Oregon includes a jail term of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $6250.
Section 167.127 makes it a Class C felony to knowingly promote or profit from unlawful gambling. This is the crime you would be charged with if you were to run an underground casino that earned an income from gamblers. The punishment for this crime could get you up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $125,000.
Laws Pertaining to the Internet
All of the above crimes could also be applied to the internet due to Oregon’s classification of “unlawful gambling” as anything not specifically authorized by the state. Fortunately for those who play at offshore poker sites and casinos, this law has never been used to charge a person for online gambling.
Oregon also has laws on the books that specifically address internet gambling. SB 755 passed in 2001 outlines the penalties for processing payments for unlawful online gambling activities. Section 2 makes it a Class C felony to process financial transactions for unregulated gaming sites with the following text:
(1) A person engaged in an Internet gambling business may not knowingly accept, in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful gambling using the Internet:
(a) Credit, or the proceeds of credit, extended to or on behalf of such other person, including credit extended through the use of a credit card;
(b) An electronic funds transfer or funds transmitted by or through a money transmission business, or the proceeds of an electronic funds transfer or money transmission service, from or on behalf of the other person;
(c) Any check, draft or similar instrument that is drawn by or on behalf of the other person and is drawn on or payable at or through any financial institution; or
(d) The proceeds of any other form of financial transaction that involves a financial institution as a payor or financial intermediary on behalf of or for the benefit of the other person.
(2) Violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class C felony.
In summary, Oregon doesn’t overly restrict gambling compared to most states. The state allows most forms of real-world gambling in addition to a few forms of online betting. However, the state comes down hard on anyone involved in unlawful gambling. Your best bet here is to stick with what’s legal and avoid the legal risks associated with unlicensed gaming.