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 almost every type of gambler.
|Rank||Online Casino||What We Like||Deposit Bonus||Visit Casino|
300% up to $3,000
100% up to $1,000
200% up to $1,000
200% up to $1000
150% up to $3000
Chinook Winds Casino
Indian Head Casino
The Mill Casino Hotel
Seven Feathers Hotel & Casino Resort
Spirit Mountain Casino
Three Rivers Casino
Wildhorse Resort & Casino
Land-based gambling in Oregon is pretty much all about the local tribal casinos, which offer slots and classic table games such as baccarat, roulette or blackjack. Other than that, the state has pari-mutuel betting available at the designated facilities, charitable gambling events and a lottery. Oregon hasn’t regulated its online gambling market yet, so the local iGaming enthusiasts pursue their hobby using offshore internet gaming sites.
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.
Native American gaming is legal in the state of Oregon, and there are eight tribes currently operating nine casinos:
The state also has a number of small retailers that offer video lottery machines. All efforts to expand to commercial casinos have been met with stiff resistance from voters. The most recent effort to build a casino on the old Multnomah Greyhound Park was defeated by 71% of the vote.
You must be at least 21 years old to play at an Oregon casino.
Internet gambling, as laid out in Oregon Statute 167.109, is a Class C felony.
Through its state lottery, Oregon used to offer its residents the ability to bet on NFL and NBA three-team parlays. They retired that program in 2007 because the NCAA was no longer going to offer them college basketball tournament games.
Now that sports betting has opened nationwide, the expectation is the lottery will revive that program, with additional types of bets to give customers more options. In fact, there was talk the lottery would reactivate its old program in 2018.
Since tribal casinos want to get in on the sports betting action, and right now there is no regulatory or tax structure in place, it’s likely going to need legislative involvement. That, of course, will naturally slow the process.
While sports betting is not currently offered in Oregon, that is expected to change just as soon as lawmakers can legalize it.
In 2017, Oregon began discussions on HB 2549, a law that would have given the state regulatory power over daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators. Those regulations would include the requirement for operators to keep player funds separate from operational funds, as well as restrictions on how often players can engage in DFS games.
After making it through committee, the bill went nowhere. During the 2018 legislative session, it remained absent from the voting calendar.
It’s safe to assume at some point lawmakers will once again have DFS on their radar, but when that might be is anyone’s guess. Until then, all DFS sites are operating inside the state but without regulation.
Horse racing is legal in Oregon, and you can watch live thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing at Portland Meadows. The season there runs from September through February.
There is also a summer fair season of racing, with races rotating through these other venues:
That season runs from early June through early September.
Simulcast off-track betting (OTB) is also legal, and all OTB sites are operated by Portland Meadows. Along with six locations in Portland, OTB locations can be found in Bend, Medford, Springfield, Klamath Falls, and Rainer.
You must be at least 18 years old to place a wager live or at an OTB.
Greyhound racing left the state in 2004.
Poker is quite popular in Oregon, and poker rooms are rather easy to find. Along with the poker rooms available at the casinos above, there are many operating in Portland, Eugene, Salem, Bend, Albany, and Ontario.
There is also a poker room at Portland Meadows’ race track that has been the center of a legal battle between it and the Oregon Lottery. The issue is a jurisdictional conflict between state laws and city regulations. It’s an issue that could eventually change the fortunes of all of the state’s poker rooms, although Portland Meadows seems to be taking all the fire.
You must be at least 18 years old to play live poker. Online poker is illegal.
The Oregon Lottery was legalized in 1984 and began selling tickets in 1985. Along with scratch-off tickets, the lottery offers the following draw games:
An 8% state tax will be withheld on all wins over $1,500. If the win is $5,000 or more, withholdings will include 24% in federal taxes.
You must be at least 18 years old to play.
Bingo is legal in Oregon, and you can find bingo halls in more than 50 different cities. Several of the tribal casinos also offer bingo games.
Any nonprofit organization that has had tax-exempt status for at least one year can get a license to hold its own bingo or Monte Carlo event as a fundraiser.
License fees range from $20 to $300, depending on the type of license and expected handling of the activity.
If you are under 18 years of age, you can play bingo in Oregon as long as a parent or legal guardian is also present.
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.