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Oklahoma State Gambling Laws

Oklahoma Poker LawsPoker has a long history in the state of Oklahoma. Up until the 1990s most of the poker play in the state had to be kept fairly quiet because there were no legal places to play poker. In the 1990s the state approved Indian Casino, and these casinos offer poker.

Oklahoma has a long list of complicated laws when it comes to gambling. Poker is included in these laws. The state does not directly mention online poker in their laws, so this issue is still a grey area in the state.

Can Players From Oklahoma Play Poker Online?

Yes! Many Oklahoma residents play poker online. There are several sites that accept players from Oklahoma. In fact, all sites that still accept players from the United States also accept players from Oklahoma. It just takes a few minutes to register for an account, make a deposit, and start playing poker online.

Is it Legal to Play Online Poker in Oklahoma?

The majority of the states in the United States have not made a stand on the legality of playing poker online. Unfortunately, Oklahoma is one of these states. We can’t tell you if playing poker online in Oklahoma is legal or illegal. We can review some of the laws that we found that may pertain to playing poker online. You can see these below:

  • Oklahoma statutes defines a bet as A “bet” is a bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance, or in which one of the parties to the transaction has valid reason to believe that it is dependent upon chance, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement (Section 21-981)
  • Oklahoma statutes goes on to define a gambling device as A “gambling device” is a contrivance designed primarily for gambling purposes which for a consideration affords the player an opportunity to obtain something of value, the award of which is determined by chance, or any token, chip, paper, receipt or other document which evidences, purports to evidence or is designed to evidence participation in a lottery or the making of a bet. The fact that the prize is not automatically paid by the device does not affect its character as a gambling device (Section 21-981)
  • Since computers, mobile phones, and tablets are not designed primarily for gambling, I don’t think that they would qualify as gambling devices.
  • The strictest penalties seem to be for those operating illegal gambling operations.
  • Persons that gamble illegally can be fined in Oklahoma.
  • We have found no instance where an individual has been charged for playing poker online in Oklahoma.
  • Home poker games seem to be illegal under the following statute Except as provided in the Oklahoma Charity Games Act, every person who opens, or causes to be opened, or who conducts, whether for hire or not, or carries on either poker, roulette, craps or any banking or percentage, or any gambling game played with dice, cards or any device, for money, checks, credits, or any representatives of value, or who either as owner or employee, whether for hire or not, deals for those engaged in any such game, shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), nor more than Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00), and by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term of not less than one (1) year nor more than ten (10) years. (Section 21-941) [1]

The laws pertaining to gambling in Oklahoma are very complex. You will need a professional to decipher these laws. We are not lawyers or any kind of professional when it comes to law. Please contact an attorney if you are concerned with the legality of playing poker online in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Gambling History

Gambling has a very rich history in Oklahoma. The Indians that first arrived in Oklahoma bet on the horse races. In the 1800s when people traveling through the state of Oklahoma and the ones that decided to reside in Oklahoma also liked to gamble. Poker games and roulette games in saloons were common. The gambling went on well into the 1900s when several opponents to gambling settled in the area. Eventually, Oklahoma cracked down on gambling and put strict regulations into place.

Almost one-third of the nation’s American Indian population resides in Oklahoma. You would think that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 would benefit the Indians in Oklahoma the most. However, Oklahoma refused to sign a compact with the Tribes allowing them to open casinos. For many years the Tribes operated high stakes bingo halls and continued to fight for their rights to open casinos.

Finally in 2004, the government agreed to sign compacts with the Tribes. This enabled them to open casinos. Almost 100 casinos were opened within 4 years of the ruling. The casinos in Oklahoma are over a $2 Billion a year industry.

The voters in Oklahoma also approved a state lottery in 2004 by a 64% vote. The proceeds of the lottery are used for the state’s education. In 2007, the gambling was extended in Oklahoma to include pari-mutuel betting on horse races. [2]

Legalized Gambling Options in Oklahoma

Today, you will find a wide selection of legalized gambling options in Oklahoma. There are casinos spread around the state that offer most casino games available in any other casino around the United States. Poker is very popular in these casinos.

High stakes bingo is very popular in Oklahoma and can be played in several locations around the state. Lottery tickets are sold in almost all convenience stores. The most recent legalization of gambling in Oklahoma was pari-mutuel betting on horse races.

Will Oklahoma Legalize Online Poker in the Future?

Oklahoma has made no move to legalize online gambling in any form. It is likely that the Indian casinos will fight against any legislation to legalize online poker because they would fear that it will take funds from them. I do not think Oklahoma will legalize online poker in the near future, but I could be wrong.

References:

  1. Jump up ^ Oklahoma Gambling Statutes
  2. Jump up ^ Oklahoma Casino History
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