Oregon Online Poker Laws

Oregon is a hotbed for live poker with casinos, cardrooms and social games spread across the state. Unfortunately for online poker players in the Beaver state, it’s not as friendly to online poker and other forms of online gambling, with anti-online gambling laws on the books.

Is Oregon Online Poker Legal or Illegal?

All forms of online gambling, including online poker are currently illegal in Oregon. In 2011 Oregon launched state laws that prohibit companies from offering any form of online gambling in the state. The most recent versions of the laws were updated in 2017 and are listed under ORG 167.109.

These laws make it illegal for anyone to accept money to gamble online in the state of Oregon. What it does not do is make it a crime for residents of Oregon to gamble online. The illegal act, according to Oregon law is that accepting of money for the purpose of gambling.

Is Any Gambling Legal in Oregon?

Yes. Oregon is actually very friendly to live gambling, including live poker. In the early 1990s compacts were signed with native tribes in Oregon to allow tribes to offer gambling in tribal operated casinos. Later in the decade nine casinos were licensed to offer tables games, such as Blackjack, slots and poker. Oregon also allows betting on horse racing, sports betting, lotteries, bingo and charitable and social gambling.

By definition under Oregon law casino games include “any of the traditional gambling-based games commonly known as dice, faro, monte, roulette, fan-tan, twenty-one, blackjack, Texas hold-’em, seven-and-a-half, big injun, klondike, craps, poker, chuck-a-luck, Chinese chuck-a-luck (dai shu), wheel of fortune, chemin de fer, baccarat, pai gow, beat the banker, panquinqui, red dog, acey-deucey, or any other gambling-based game similar in form or content.”  These games can only be offered in tribal casinos.

While Oregon has strict laws against online gambling they have very relaxed laws around social gambling. Under Oregon law, social poker games are legal as long as the house or any individual running the game is not profiting by running them.

This allows Oregon residents to hold poker nights at home, and it also allows poker clubs to exist. These poker clubs generally make a profit by charging cover to get in or from food and drink in the club. They are not allowed to charge a rake on cash games or fees for entering tournaments.

Oregon Laws Pertinent to Online Poker

Oregon enacted laws to outlaw online gambling in the state in 2011. These laws found under ORS 167.109 make it illegal for any person or business to accept money for the purpose of gambling online. Doing so is a felony in Oregon.

The exact wording of ORS 167.109 is as follows.

  • 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.

These laws effectively make it illegal for anyone to accept money for online gambling in the state of Oregon. However, they do not make it illegal for residents of Oregon to gamble online. In Oregon there are no laws on the books that make it illegal for residents to gamble online. The laws in Oregon go after the gambling suppliers not the Oregon residents doing the gambling.

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