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Feb-25-2020 11:31printcomments

Is Oregon Ready for Online Casinos?

Out of state businesses benefit from Oregon's restrictions.

online gaming
Online casinos have grown in popularity along with other technology.

(SALEM, Ore.) - In recent years, the online casino realm has enjoyed massive growth as a recreational activity, driven by digital expansion. However, while Oregon has long opened its doors to land-based casinos, online counterparts are still deemed illegal.

Despite this, now seems to be a perfect moment for the state to revise its laws around online casinos and embrace what is a growing form of entertainment.

Interestingly, Oregon has often been a trailblazer when it comes to embracing legislation that legalizes betting. The state was one of the first to allow sports betting after the federal government made it legal last year. This market is growing in Oregon but sports betting online is much easier and has been happening in the state for years. In fact, online casinos are playable in Oregon, albeit through something of a legal loophole. Specifically, while online casinos are illegal, the law only takes into account sites that are within the state.

In other words, users can sign up to and use online casinos that are hosted outside of Oregon. It is hoped a general movement towards allowing online casinos across the country will spur Oregon legislators into legalizing them fully.

Now certainly seems to be as good time as any considering the boom the online casino industry is experiencing. Over the last five years, online casinos have become increasingly popular and are now viewed as full mainstream forms of entertainment. This expansion has been driven by casinos arriving on mobile phones and becoming more accessible.

Before mobile phones became smart, the only way to play an online casino was through a PC. Younger generations were typically not part of the online casino demographics in a meaningful way. Since casino games arrived on smartphones, millennials have increasingly embraced the games as a recreational activity.

Versatility has also helped because online casinos allow users to play for money or for free (just for fun). This means people who want the reality of the high stakes casino experience can get it, while those who just want a gaming environment to pass time are also satisfied.

This shift in popularity means Oregon would be tapping into an expanding market by legalizing the use of online casinos. If the state could monetize the legalization, then it could bring a boost to the local economy.

There is also the simple argument of why not? As mentioned, while Oregon has a legal ban on online casinos held in the state, it does nothing about out-of-state online venues.

If Oregonians can already play online casinos if they want, which they can, would there be much of a difference if they were officially legalized? It is this logical argument that advocates of the legalization point too.

Furthermore, Oregon’s relationship with bricks and mortar casinos is well documented and shows the state’s ability to legislate and regulate a casino environment.

Transitioning that framework into the online casino realm seems something that is likely to happen in the coming years. However, until that happens Oregonians will have to keep heading out-of-state for their online casino fun.

Source: Special Features Dept.


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