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Sports betting is legal in Oregon
Although it does have sanctioned race tracks, a state lottery and legal charitable/social gaming events, Oregon State does not offer legal sports betting either live or online. Fortunately for gamblers that could soon change thanks to the landmark US Supreme Court decision of 2018.
There’s talk of expanding the state’s lottery app to include sports betting and if that succeeds, Oregonians will be making legal sports wagers as early as the end of 2019.
If you haven’t heard, the Supreme Court lifted a decades-old federal ban on sports betting and has given each state, including Oregon, the authority to write their own laws on the matter.
On this page, we’ll explore the history and current legal climate of sports gambling in Oregon and we’ll also explain the Supreme Court decision in more detail plus what it means for the future of betting on sports in the Beaver State.
This is your number one resource if you’re asking the question: Is online sports betting legal in Oregon?
Also, make sure to bookmark this page and check back often if you live in the state and want the most up-to-date news on any major developments affecting the situation.
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As we mentioned already, the Supreme Court recently overturned a federal law that banned sports gambling everywhere in the US except Nevada. It’s hard to overstate how significant this is for the US sports betting industry. It’s an absolute game-changer and it’s opened the door for every state to offer safe, secure and legal betting on sports.
The original ban, called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), was introduced in 1992 and for more than two decades made it impossible for sports lovers to place a legal bet anywhere in the US except Nevada.
For sports betting enthusiasts in the Beaver state, while it is still not legal to place domestic sports bets, things are not all doom and gloom as the tides of change might soon gain momentum.
Like we touched on earlier, discussions are already underway for the state lottery to expand its mobile app to include sports betting. The aim, if seen through, is to have the app work with sports betting within as little as a year.
For that to happen it’s likely the state would introduce new pro-sports betting legislation which could open the door to more betting options online and in land-based sportsbooks at the many casinos already operating in the state.
Oregon’s an interesting case because the state already had a partial exemption from PASPA which they used to offer sports betting in the past through the state-sponsored lottery.
In 1989, three years before PASPA came into play, Oregon’s lottery added an NFL-based betting option called Sports Action that let locals bet on four to 14 weekly games (against a point spread) to win a pooled pot of money. This is an example of the sports pool betting that has been available in a small number of other states over the last couple of decades.
When congress introduced PASPA, Oregon was able to grandfather in their NFL Sports Action game and maintain it for several more years until, in 2007, they agreed to pull the game in exchange for the ability to host the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament.
Oregon’s history of gambling on sports extends even further back than the 1980s, however.
As far back as 1933, Oregon opened its first greyhound racing stadium and soon after followed suit with a horse racing venue in 1946. In fact, in 1977 Oregon set a historical national record as they became the first state to take out-of-state dog and horse racing bets, electronically, from bettors across the country.
In 1971 Oregon legalized charitable gambling events and in 1973 also allowed social gaming events with gambling. Shortly after those milestones, residents voted in favor of a state lottery which ran its first draw in 1985.
As it stands, at the time of this writing, online sports gambling is not available within the state of Oregon but if things progress with their state lottery’s intentions of introducing sports gambling to their already working app, things are likely to change in the next year or two.
In about a year we may have a specific list to answer this question. As it stands to date, there are no legal betting sites within the state of Oregon. It is strictly prohibited for anyone or any website to operate any kind of sportsbook or take any wagers.
There are offshore betting sites that accept players from Oregon but we caution against using them. Since the sites aren’t based in the US and they don’t have to follow US laws or regulations, it can lead to a lot of headaches and potentially lost money if you run into problems.
Potential risks range from a lost withdrawal all the way to the worst-case scenario: a sportsbook going out of business and failing to pay back players.
We advise you to wait for 100% safe and legal options, especially if you live in Oregon. The outlook is very bright for legal sports betting to arrive in as little as a year, at which time you can check back here for a comprehensive list of the best betting options.
When legal sports betting comes to Oregon, gamblers will be able to wager on basically any sport or team you can imagine. From betting on major US sports like the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL to betting on less popular non-marquee sports like NASCAR, soccer, golf and tennis, people in Oregon will have a lot of options.
As we see in other states that now have legal betting, a lot of the action tends to focus on local teams. Oregon’s only major pro sports franchise is the Portland Trail Blazers who play in the NBA. You can bet they will attract a ton of action.
In terms of minor league teams, Oregon has a lot of loyalty to the Oregon Ducks collegiate football squad who play in Eugene and the Timbers FC which competes in MLS soccer.
While smaller in market size and attendance numbers, residents of Portland also proudly support their Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League and their baseball teams the Portland Pickles and the Hillsboro Hops.
If you’re into daily fantasy sports and you live in Oregon, you are in luck. Thanks to a federal ruling that playing fantasy sports for real money is a skill-based activity, it has been exempted from the ban on sports gambling. Since it is given its own category in the eyes of the law each state is able to proceed via their own determination.
Oregon is one of several states that have passed legislation to allow legal DFS activity.
FanDuel and DraftKings are the two major players that Oregonians use to get their fantasy sports fix and the hope is that this revenue stream, and the subsequent data analytics, will help to persuade politicians and lawmakers to allow legal sports betting within the state as well.
Either way, DFS betting is 100% safe and legal in Oregon.
At the moment, since there is no way to place a legal online bet within the state of Oregon, there are no promotional deposit offers to speak of. That being said, if the state lottery does take on sports betting with their app, as they have plans to do, then they will most likely offer residents valuable bonus promotions similar to what we’re used to seeing in other markets.
If we’re lucky, that will include no deposit bonuses that let you make real money bets with no deposit and no risk.
It’s likely that these promotions if they are offered, will come with similar conditions and strings attached we see in other places. The most common rule is that you can only withdraw the profits you make on your bets, not the original free stake.
Projections looking at the next 12-18 months tell us that sports betting is on its way to Oregon via the sanctioned state lottery and its already functioning app. The exact details are still up in the air but experts are optimistic.
Lottery officials have said that the fall or winter of 2019 is the current tentative timeline for launching the expanded app with sports betting. Since there are already nine tribal casinos operating in the state, it’s not a stretch to predict that land-based sports betting options will soon follow.
With a history that includes decades of dog and horse race gambling and one of the country’s only PASPA-exempt sports betting platforms, Oregon is a prime candidate for developing a thriving sports betting industry in years to come.
Check back on this page for updates on major developments to sports betting in Oregon which will be posted as they happen.
To find out more about the current laws around sports betting in other parts of the country, check out our state by state guides to US sports betting laws.
After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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