Oregon Sports Betting Laws
Unlike many other states, Oregon has the distinction of being one of the few in the country that could, technically speaking, regulate its own sports betting industry. In fact, this was the case up until 2007, when the state legislature passed a bill ending Sports Action, a form of state-sanctioned parlay-style sports lottery. These days, sports betting activities based in the state, and possibly even accessing offshore legal Oregon sports betting sites, is governed by some very explicit gambling laws.
According to Oregon Revised Statutes Section 167.166, gambling is defined as any activity whereby a person “stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the control or influence of the person.” Provisions are carved out for social gambling with friends, charitable card games and so on, but sports gambling – even online at offshore websites – doesn’t get any such specific reassurances. Statute 167.019 clearly states that it is illegal for online gaming operators (presumably even ones based in foreign countries) to accept payment in the form of credit cards, checks, electronic fund transfers or “any other form of financial transaction that involves a financial institution as a payer or…intermediary.” Oregon’s Penal Code makes illegal gambling a class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and/or a fine of not more than $125,000.
Federal Laws That Impact Oregon Sports Betting
As we have already seen, Oregon had sport betting regulatory legislation on the books in time to be grandfathered into the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Though Oregon did away with its sports betting industry, the state legislature could, theoretically, reintroduce a sports lottery without violating PASPA, but it cannot expand sports betting beyond that in the way that Nevada can offer the full range of sports betting options, having legalized the process in the ‘40s.
Despite being exempt from the provisions of PASPA, Oregon is still beholden to federal laws like the Wire Act of 1961, which prohibits the interstate transmission of betting-related information, and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), which prohibits financial institutions from knowingly processing monetary transactions from gambling websites.
What Is PASPA?
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), also known as the Bradley Act after its primary sponsor, former Senator Bill Bradley, was designed to curtail not just the expansion of sports betting but the broader trend of gambling legalization going on around the country. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, there was a massive nationwide uptick in states seeking to legalize and regulate gambling, and one of the immediate effects of PASPA was to bring any attempt at passing sports betting regulatory legislation to an abrupt halt.
The intended result was that all but four states – Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon, the states that already had sports betting laws on the books – were preempted by this federal ban on creating their own laws to regulate gambling on sports. However, there were some unforeseen consequences of the passage of PASPA, including the creation of a constitutional violation on the grounds that the controversial law violates the equal sovereignty of the individual states by treating some differently than others. This is the root argument made by New Jersey in its one-two punch of a Supreme Court case to have the law struck down and the introduction of the Game Act, which would repeal PASPA by act of Congress.
What Is The GAME Act?
The Game Act, otherwise known as the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, is a piece of prospective legislation introduced by the New Jersey delegation during the last Congressional Session in May of 2017. The bill, sponsored by Representative Frank Pallone, is primarily intended to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), thus enabling all 50 states to pass their own laws legalizing and regulating the practice of sports betting if they so choose. Pallone introduced the bill after a yearlong review of federal and state anti-gambling laws and research into the sports gambling market worldwide, concluding that illegal gambling is out of control in the U.S. and that laws need to be updated to take into account modern betting practices.
The Game Act would help reign in the $400 billion illegal sports betting market by requiring transparency and consumer protections while better ensuring the integrity of sporting events. Currently only a “discussion draft,” passage of the Game Act has already been labeled as one of the American Gaming Association’s primary projects. The AGA is aiming to have a copy of the finalized bill ready for signing into law before the end of Donald Trump’s first presidential term.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Oregon?
Despite the myriad laws seemingly outlawing any conceivable means of legally betting on sports in Oregon and the hefty fines and lengthy jail sentences for violators found guilty, most online sports betting websites offering services to Oregonians don’t seem to mind. All of Oregon’s laws target operators rather than individual bettors. Therefore, even if it’s probably outside the law to make use of otherwise legal Oregon sports betting sites, the fact that these websites are literally outside the reach of the US legal system should give players confidence that they won’t run afoul of the law in any case.
What’s more, Statute 167.177’s definition of what constitutes an illegal gambling device doesn’t describe a smartphone or even a computer, so there’s probably enough of a gray area for this form of sports betting to go on without running in trouble with the law.
Mobile Sports Betting Apps For Oregon Bettors
All the best legal Oregon sports betting sites based overseas offer mobile betting apps for their users. These apps, which are available to be downloaded free of charge at either the Apple Store or Android’s Google Play store, offer a robust betting experience for users of the main website. In fact, the transition between the website as viewed on a desktop computer and a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet is so seamless that many users prefer the mobile app version due to its take-anywhere convenience.
When the ease of use of these smooth running apps is considered alongside the mobile download exclusive bonuses (and all the usual new sign-up and new deposit bonuses as well as multipliers on winnings) offered by the top sites like Bovada an BetOnline, it’s little wonder why this form of sports betting is really taking off.
What Is The Legal Age To Gambling In Oregon?
Oregon has two legal minimum gambling ages, one for the state-approved lottery (which used to include a sports betting option, but not since 2007) and one for the state’s seven tribal casinos. The minimum age you’ll be allowed to purchase lottery ticks or lay bets on the ponies at a race track or offsite wagering kiosk is 18, whereas the tribal casinos will need you to be 21 or older to get through the door.
Because casinos require a minimum age of 21, it is advisable that Oregonians interested in placing bets on legal sports betting sites wait until they are 21 before doing so. There is no need to expose oneself to extra risk when the legality of wagering online, even at legal offshore sports betting websites, is a fuzzy issue according to state law.
Betting On Horse Racing In Oregon
Horse racing is one of the few legalized forms of sports betting allowed in Oregon, and it has been for a long time. First passed in 1933, the state’s Pari-Mutuel Wagering Act actually legalized both horse and dog racing, though greyhound racing ceased in the Beaver State in 2004 due to a general decline in interest for the flagging industry. Horse racing, however, remains a popular form of gambling for Oregonians at online racebooks.
The state boasts four racing facilities: the Crooked River Roundup, Grants Pass Downs, the Harney County Fairgrounds and Portland Meadows, the most prestigious of them all and one of the region’s top-tier horse tracks. Oregon also offers offsite pari-mutuel betting at businesses located all around the state. Portland Meadows, technically a “racino,” offers both horse racing betting and table games and slots.
The Status Of Daily Fantasy Sports In Oregon
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) are a popular and profitable pastime for the millions of Americans and likely tens of thousands of Beaver State residents who play them every day. DFS industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel both offer their services unrestricted to Oregonians as of this writing. So far, Oregon’s attorney general’s office hasn’t gone on the record with an official stance on the legality of DFS, but a recent piece of prospective legislation could change that.
HB 2459, introduced during the 2017 legislative session, would have authorized the Oregon State Lottery Commission to issue registrations to fantasy contest operators before they would legally permitted to organize or continue offering fantasy sports contests. This bill survived initial committee meetings and made its way through a public hearing but ultimately died in committee in June 2017. There is no indication that the bill will be revisited anytime in the near future, but the fact remains that its out in the wild now. What the future holds for the bill and the future legality of DFS in Oregon remains to be seen, but the industry is worth several million in tax revenues if regulated, which could force the legislature’s hand.
Oregon Sports Betting FAQs
Are online sportsbooks safe to use if you live in Oregon?
Online sportsbooks like the ones we recommend you use are models of safety and security. Because these sportsbooks are based overseas, but are fully licensed and regulated by their home countries, users of these legal Oregon sports betting sites can rest assured that the money they deposit in their accounts is safe and that they will get paid for any bets they win. Oregonians who use these offshore sports betting websites probably won’t run into legal trouble either – or if anyone did, it would be the first time – because sites like Bovada, 5Dimes, SportsBetting and BetOnline are all based in foreign countries and aren’t subject to federal law, much less Oregon law.
Has any been arrested for sports betting in Oregon?
While there have doubtlessly been arrests made in Oregon for sports betting generally, that doesn’t appear to be the case for online sports betting, or really any kind of online gambling at all. Oregon doesn’t have any laws on the book that specifically say it’s illegal to place wagers over the internet, so most offshore sports betting websites – and their users – continue to engage in legal sports betting all the time with no legal repercussion. That’s despite the legal prohibition on winning a prize or money for playing games of skill or chance online.
Ultimately, this could be interpreted as being more of an enforcement issue than anything – the state isn’t actively hunting for offenders because there is no way to catch them all. Furthermore, Oregon has never pursued legal action against an offshore gambling website, unlike Kentucky and Maryland, both of which have aggressively gone after overseas-based sports betting sites.
What should I do if my bank didn't process my credit or debit card deposit?
Unfortunately, federal law has made it difficult if not impossible for even a casual bettor to use his or her credit card or debit card to make a deposit into or get paid out of their online gambling account. Not even offshore legal sports betting sites are immune to this, even though they’re licensed and fully regulated in their own home countries, and therefore are utterly secure from a financial standpoint. Bovada, SportsBetting and BetOnline all accept VISA cards in spite of the federal prohibition, though prepaid debit cards or gift cards are usually the best way to go, as the funds are guaranteed versus using a credit card, which could be over the limit.
If for whatever reason your deposit is declined because you decided to use a credit card, don’t worry – there are several alternative options available to make add money to your account. Best of all, there’s no need to fear that you’re suddenly being watched by law enforcement, as the applicable laws only impact financial institutions and not the people using credit cards for online betting.
What is the best way to fund your sports betting account?
Given the restrictions placed on financial institutions processing gambling-related credit card transactions, the best ways to fund you sports betting account is going to be whatever is the most reliable. Getting paid for making a winning bet is the name of the game, after all, and you have to have something in your bankroll before you can place wagers.
Some methods of making deposits in your legal Oregon sports betting site account include person-to-person (P2P) transfers from one bank account directly to another. Usually, each betting site is going to have different procedures for this deposit method, so it would probably help to contact their customer service reps directly if this is your choice. Other options include the tried-and-true (but slow) method of sending a check or money order via the mail and, the speediest method of all, using Bitcoin. The internet-only cryptocurrency is not tied to any real-world currency and boasts some of the most secure financial transactions known to man. Check with your betting site for details if you decide to go that route.
Do Online Sports Betting Sites Have Odds On Basketball, Soccer and Football?
Oregon only has two professional major sports team in the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA and the Portland Timbers in the MLS, but the Oregon State Beavers and Oregon Ducks NCAA Division 1 football programs scratch the state’s itch for gridiron action. All these teams are well-represented among the betting options available at the top offshore legal Oregon sports betting sites we’ve discussed previously, and for good reason.
The Trail Blazers have fallen on a rough patch in recent years but reclaimed some of their success from the ‘70s with a Western Conference semifinals run in the 2016 season, falling only to the eventual NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors. Portland’s pro soccer fortunes have been better, as the Timber FC won its first MLS cup just five years after returning to the league. The Oregon Ducks are a rising force in college football, as they rallied behind Heisman Trophy Winner Marcus Mariota to earn the school’s first ever trip to the CFP National Championship in 2015, though they fell to Ohio State. The Oregon State Beavers have also risen in prominence in the past few seasons, especially in baseball, where they reached the College World Series six times, as recently as 2017.
What is live betting?
Live betting is a new form of sports betting made possible by rise of the internet as the preferred means of placing wagers on sports. Essentially, live betting, or “in-play” betting as it is also known, is an alternative or supplement to the traditional form of fixed-odds sports gambling in that the odds offered on a given contest are constantly changing throughout the game in accordance with the on-field action. Additional features of live betting include ongoing prop bets that only become available as conditions of the game change, for instance, whether a surprise turnover on downs will result in a touchdown for the team now in control of the ball.
Live betting is an increasingly popular option for users of legal Oregon sports betting sites thanks to their smooth-running mobile apps, advanced odds-calculating algorithms, enticing bonus incentives and reliable payment methods. If you think you’re pretty good at reading the ebb and flow of a game under fast-paced conditions, you should give live betting a try.
Do legal Oregon online sportsbooks have live betting?
As we discussed above, the best legal betting sites all offer live betting options to their users. Some, like Bovada and BetOnline, are generally acknowledged to have the best live betting systems based on their fast turn-around times when it comes to recalculating odds in the middle of the action on the field or the court. These websites are the most established players in the segment and are backed up by bigger budgets than some competitors, so their live betting operations can afford to be that little bit more sophisticated and dependable.
Live betting generally rewards players that are good at out-guessing the computer in terms of what a given athlete might do in certain unexpected situations. This works in principle because the algorithms that govern the odds-making process in live betting take a look at aggregated statistics from all past events the system has on file. The human element is something that a computer will have a harder time cracking, which is how a savvy user can “beat the house” in live betting.
Can I have more than one online sportsbook account?
Keeping up with more than one online sportsbook account might seem like a lot of work, but it is really the only way to go if you are serious about making money from your sports betting hobby. That’s because different sportsbooks typically don’t offer the same odds or the same prop bets on the same sporting event, so one site might be more advantageous to you than another – it just depends on a case by case basis. Fortunately, the easy-to-use nature of all the top legal Oregon sports betting websites makes managing multiple accounts a relatively simple task.
Further sweetening the deal is that each sports betting service has its own set of bonus incentives for signing up, making new deposits and winning bets. When you factor in what amounts to free money the online sportsbooks are willing to pay out, it makes a ton of sense to use multiple services. If nothing else, having more than one account enables the user to spread out some of the risk inherent in gambling.
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