The state of Oregon has always been known for being more liberal than most. As such, it should come as no surprise that the state hosts a handful of casinos, and that those casinos did not face fierce competition when they were first proposed. Even though you may think of places like Arizona and Nevada when you think of gambling on the West Coast, you would be remiss to leave Oregon out of that conversation.
To be fair, there is only one type of casino located in Oregon, but thanks to a Federal law passed in the late 1980s, this single type of casino is more than capable of fulfilling the wants and needs of most every type of gambler.
Chinook Winds Casino
Indian Head Casino
The Mill Casino Hotel
Seven Feathers Hotel & Casino Resort
Spirit Mountain Casino
Three Rivers Casino
Wildhorse Resort & Casino
Native American/Tribal Casinos
In the state of Oregon, you will find that every single casino has one thing in common—they are all owned and operated by Native Americans. Oregon is not the only state where this is the case, so this landscape should not be so foreign to most gamblers.
Some of these establishments are standalone casinos while others exist as casino resorts or casinos with hotels. Nowadays, and as the casino competition in the state grows increasingly fierce, casinos are doing everything they can to attract customers. What this means for you is that many of these sites feature restaurants, spas, shopping, shows, and so much more in addition to the casino floor.
Gambling History of Oregon
The history of legitimate, legal gambling in Oregon is something that stretches back a few decades. All the way back in the 1940s, the state of Oregon allowed both on and off-track betting at the many horse and dog tracks across the state. This was not atypical, but what happened during the 1970s, by many accounts, is.
During the early 1970s, Oregon lawmakers approved two different measures that allowed casino-style gambling to exist and be played in the state. First was in 1971 when charitable gaming was approved. Charitable organizations, or organizations who were hosting charitable events, were able to host casino games so long as the prizes were not cash. In 1973, the law loosened a little bit to allow for social gaming. This meant that gaming could exist at most events such as fundraisers and reunions so long as the site hosting the event did not take a cut of the profit. This meant that at your 10-year high school reunion, you were able to play blackjack for real money so long as it was being offered.
The 1980s saw the casino landscape and the laws surrounding it change once more, though this was on a Federal level and had nothing to do with state law, per se. in 1988, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act made it legal for tribes and Native American groups to offer casino gambling on their lands so long as the state did not have any laws against it.
The passing of this act prompted all 9 Oregon tribes to pursue gambling in one form or another. Though there were a few holdouts, by the mid-1990s all 9 Oregon tribes had a casino to their name. Many of these casinos are in operation to this day. Apart from Native American casinos, however, there has been little progress as far as other privately-owned casinos are concerned. At this point in time it seems as though tribal gaming is going to be your only option for the foreseeable future. With that said, it is not such a bad option at all.