Oregon Legal poker Sites

Oregon StateOregon is a poker friendly State, at least when it comes to live poker games. They have more than 20 live card rooms, both at Tribal Casinos and unique ‘members clubs’ which run by not profiting directly from the games. Home games and charity casino nights are also permitted. Oregon is one of only a handful of States to have directly outlawed internet gambling games including poker.

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This article gives you a complete run-through of the types of poker game you can and can’t play in the State of Oregon. First of all the live casino card rooms are looked at, including the unique members clubs here. After that social poker is covered, including home and charity games. Next up online poker is the focus, including information on what the ban means at a practical level. At the end of the page, you’ll find quotes and analysis of the OR statutes – along with a high level summary of the current and future situation.

Live Poker Game Options In Oregon

There are few States with as many poker rooms as Oregon. The usual casino card rooms run at tribal venues around the State, many offering mid-sized rooms in luxury surroundings. Other rooms take advantage of a quirk in the law which makes profiting directly from the games the criminal offense. This means that charging an entry fee to the venue, or profiting from selling food and drink while returning the money bet to players is not illegal here. This means that members club type card rooms are very common – and offer some great games for Oregon residents.

There are even more options in neighboring States, including the popular card rooms of Washington and California to the north and south respectively.

Are Home Games Legal In Oregon?

You can enjoy a home-game in Oregon under the same carve-out from the law which enables the members club card rooms to run. Nobody can make a profit from the game itself – either via rake from the pots or tournament entry fees. Charity poker nights can also be held here, the prizes for these events are often donated by sponsors rather than being taken from the buy-ins. Bar poker leagues are massive in OR. Again it is the same law which the members clubs and home-games stay legal with – as long as there is no profit from the game, then you can run legally.

Oregon Online Poker Games

Despite their open attitude when it comes to live poker games, Oregon is one of the few States to explicitly ban gambling and poker over the internet. This law is aimed squarely at the operators of online poker games, and it is not clear at all whether it would even apply to an individual wishing to play poker online. Even with this ban in place, there is no reason that the OR government should not look into regulated online poker games at some point in the future. The tipping point for this will probably be once steady revenue has been proven in several other States.

Some offshore poker site operators continue to offer their games to Oregonians – even with the State law banning them. These sites argue that freedom of trade laws mean that they can accept US traffic to their tax havens in the Caribbean. Thousands of Americans enjoy these games every single day. If you choose to play from OR then I recommend you become familiar with the specific laws and make an informed decision on the risks involved.

What Do The Oregon Gambling Statutes Say?

The law books in Oregon are very strict in their definitions of illegal gambling activity as well as in the penalties incurred for transgressing them.  There are twin definitions designed to catch all types of gambling in a blanket ban. This ban is then used as a basis for the individual carve-outs. Interestingly this is one of only 4 States which was grandfathered out of a country-wide ban on pro-sports betting.

Arguing the poker is a skill game would not work here for two reasons. First the element of skill is included in the definitions of illegal betting. Second poker is named in a list of illegal gambling games.

Here is the contest of chance definition, from section 167, 116:

“Contest of chance” means any contest, game, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein…

Oregon Poker – Summing It Up

This State are poker friendly when it comes to live games, but decidedly unfriendly when it comes to residents wanting to play poker over the internet. With tribal casinos and members-club card rooms offering plenty of action, plus social poker widely available too – this is one of the best States to live in from a poker fans perspective.

Oregon does have an existing ban on internet poker games. Should regulated poker prove a success elsewhere, there is no reason to think that this State would not join them at some point down the line.