Oklahoma Betting Laws + Gambling Regulations
Although when most people think of the United States they imagine big cities lining the coast, the truth is that most of the country is closest to Oklahoma. Despite its location, the real reason this state is in the middle of what the rest of the country calls the “heartland” is that it’s where the lifeblood for the entire country comes from. Oklahoma is also susceptible to some of the country’s great emotions, which explains why so many residents have an interest in gambling that borders on a deep and thriving love. We encourage this interest but with a dose of knowlege about Oklahoma gambling laws.
However, despite the obvious interest that most prospective gamblers in Oklahoma show in the hobby, many do not participate. A lot of residents cite a belief that any gambling acts can land them in jail as the principle reason they do not gamble. Poor info and false assumptions about Oklahoma gambling laws like that are the reason OklahomaGamblingLaws exists. Our goal is to help guide Oklahoma residents through the cloudy legal landscape in their home state regarding gambling, and to help steer them in a proper direction that will allow them to enjoy a hobby gambling responsibly regularly, and as safely as possible with no fear of legal prosecution.
In accordance with federal law, all citizens of the US are within their rights to gamble. The only act that can be punished by federal law is taking part in the unsanctioned facilitation of gambling. Oklahoma law sticks to this model as a template, but this page will explore all the details regarding state legislation and gambling below just to ensure that any readers can leave this page as educated as possible.
Legality of Gambling in Oklahoma: Will I Get In Trouble?
The major difference between the stances on gambling in Oklahoma’s state legislature versus the federal stance is that Oklahoma indeed bothers to define and specify a punishment for “playing” in gambling games. Chapter 21-942 of the state constitution defines playing a gambling game as when one “bet or play at any games whatsoever, for money, property, checks, credits or other representatives of value with cards, dice or any other device which may be adapted to or used in playing any game of chance or in which chance is a material element.”
This is a comprehensive definition that rules out all traditional casino games as well as poker, however, further analysis of both the law and some background knowledge concerning how the law is enforced will reveal that all is not lost. One who is found guilty of “playing” in a gambling event will be guilty of a misdemeanor, and as such susceptible to a fine ranging from $25-$100 and a jail sentence of up to 30 days. If these penalties seem light, it’s because they are. This penalty for participating in gambling is a relic of old legislation, and the fact that the punishment is so minor is a good indicator of what a glance through Oklahoma’s legal history will already tell us. Never in the history of the state has any otherwise honest resident been put on trial for merely participating in gambling.
The spirit and the intent of these Oklahoma gambling laws has always been to attack organized crime and larger criminal syndicates, never to go after individuals who would merely like to place a bet or participate in a game of chance, therefore the state has never targeted individuals, only large illicit gambling operations.
However, this is not to say that anyone found guilty of a gambling offense in Oklahoma is safe from prosecution. If one is guilty of what the state would consider “conducting gambling” as outlined in chapter 21-941 of state legislation, they would be found guilty of a very serious felony. Not only is the punishment of a fine up to $2000 and ten years in prison much more severe, there is a much higher chance the act will be prosecuted. In fact, anyone found “conducting” gambling in the state of Oklahoma will surely be brought up on charges and charged with the felony.
The Difference Between “Playing” & “Conducting”
If an Oklahoma resident is concerned about conducting a gambling game rather than playing in one by accident, they should not worry about it. The acts are as distinctly different as the two punishments assigned to the crimes.
In order for anyone to gamble, two parties are usually required. Of course, a player is needed to place the bet on the future event or game of chance, but someone else is needed to take that bet and assume responsibility for paying out winnings or for operating the game in question. This second party will, under most circumstances be guilty of conducting gambling.
This should not be interpreted to mean that hosting a friendly poker game among friends or conducting a friendly office pool on the NCAA basketball tournament will instantly land someone in jail, for there is one more important component involved to “conducting” a gambling event. The game must be set up in such a way that the guilty party collects a profit through hosting the event. To be clear, this does not mean betting and wagering wisely so that the host comes out ahead, this means setting oneself up to turn a profit from a gambling event regardless as to whether they bet or wager at all.
Popular ways of doing this are through running a sportsbook which will take a cut of losing bets (these are usually reflected in the odds already and are referred to in the industry as “juice,” “vigorish,” or “vig”) charging admission for the privilege to play any game, operating a game as the “house” who, in traditional casino games always has the best chance to win, collecting “rake” (a small percentage of each pot given to the house as profit) from a poker game, or even simply charging for food or drink throughout the course of an event.
Just so long as Oklahoma players take caution to avoid these specific actions, as they relate to gambling in their home state, they can avoid the potential penalties outlined in Oklahoma gambling code, or any other unwanted attention.
Gambling Laws In Oklahoma
In a bizarre turn for a country normally so passionate about states’ rights, the federal government banned any sanctioned sports betting in 1992 in all but four states in the union. Unfortunately, Oklahoma was not one of the four. Therefore, no brick and mortar facilities in Oklahoma may offer sports betting to their clients. Since any syndicate that offers sports betting in a brick and mortar facility would have to be an illicit operation, seeking out land based sports betting in Oklahoma is not a wise option. Even if one ignores the risk to personal safety by associating with a criminal enterprise, it is definitely not a wise place for hard earned money.
This is why hundreds of thousands of Oklahoma residents have turned to legal online sportsbooks for everyday use and why more continue to sign up every day. A quick bet on the Sooners can easily be placed online with no legal or financial risk outside the nature of betting and wagering.
While the State technically does not sanction any form of gaming in the Oklahoma gambling laws, they have allowed several Native American tribes to allow gambling under federal exemption. As home to more reservations per capita than almost any other state in the country, there are several tribal casinos to choose from and Oklahoma residents can pick from a great many facilities when deciding to make a trip out to a casino for the weekend. These casinos offer all varieties of traditional table games as well as several video machines in which players can wager real money.
If the casinos are too far of a drive or not convenient to visit often, any Oklahoma resident is free to join the thousands who are already members of legal online casinos which can deliver all the excitement of slots and table games right into their living rooms or on their mobile phones.
By far the most popular means of gambling is playing in poker games. The high quantity of tribal casinos in Oklahoma all offer poker tables, meaning there is ample opportunity for anyone in the state to sign up for a guaranteed cash poker tournament or sit at a table for a couple hands in hopes of getting hot and scoring a quick profit.
Oklahoma also refrains from legislating or interfering with the sacred rite of passage that is the home game.
Whether it is through Friday night cards and beers amongst buddies from the office, or a game played via a legal online poker room in the comfort of a resident’s own home, Oklahoma has a deep love of poker. As long as players are not doing business with illicit and unregulated gambling rings, they should have nothing to fear from the player standpoint.
Oklahoma Minimum Gambling Ages
While it may be easier to gamble without risking any legal ramifications than earlier thought possible, there is definitely no reason to want to make the issue any more complicated. Waiting until one is of the appropriate age to gamble cannot be recommended strongly enough, because that is a surefire way to take an already confusing situation and make it impossible to navigate. Luckily, Oklahoma gambling laws says residents need only wait until they are 18 to legally gamble, however they should be aware that different land-based casinos require different ages to play despite what is specified in Oklahoma gambling code. In some cases, casinos require patrons to be at least 21 years old...take a few minutes to check before going.
Violating this simple statute will not only result in fines being handed down from the state, but the facility in which the offender is caught gambling underage with will certainly institute a ban that will span several years, as well as seizing any funds associated with the guilty party’s account, including winnings. Underage gambling is simply not worth it, and should be avoided at all costs.
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Where to Gamble in Oklahoma
On-Land: Anyone living in Oklahoma who is passionate about gambling in a brick and mortar casino environment should be incredibly thankful that their home state houses so many Native American reservations, because it is by this virtue alone that the state of Oklahoma houses any legal casinos. While no one may confuse these facilities for the ones available in Las Vegas, they are a pleasant alternative to gambling in a scummy alleyway, and can provide a weekend of great fun for all residents who decide to drop in and pay a visit.
Still, in a state as geographically large as Oklahoma, these casinos can be a little too few and far between for some avid gambling fans, but as wise men say, some options are better than none.
Online/Web-Based: It seems like this entire page has been hammering home that while the simple act of participating in gambling will not be prosecuted in Oklahoma, anyone who attempts to facilitate it for a profit will be promptly put under arrest and charged for a felony. How can there possibly be gambling sites that are ok for Oklahoma players? It is because of where legal Oklahoma gambling sites are physically located. All the gambling sites indexed on this OklahomaGamblingLaws are located in foreign territories, putting them well outside of any US jurisdiction, meaning there is no threat of any legal agencies shutting them down.
Anyone nervous about gambling with foreign entities should take all the positives of investing in a legal and legitimate business into account. Firstly, in order to continue to operate legally in their native countries, these networks need to adhere to strict regulations regarding payouts and fair play. This insures all the money deposited into accounts and guarantees that players have just as good if not better odds to win online as they do at land based casinos. Secondly, only legal operations have access to the secure internet connections that guarantee financial security. These websites have all been in operation for over ten years and have never been hacked.
Top Gambling Sites For Oklahoma Players
#1 Site For Betting On Cowboys & Sooners Football
Of all the legal gambling sites that welcome Oklahoma residents out there, there is one that stands out over the rest of them and that is Bovada. After serving US residents for well over 20 years, the Bovada name has practically redefined legitimacy and legality in online gambling, and certainly set the standard for what legal gambling networks can be. Boasting one of the world’s most complete sportsbooks, liveliest poker rooms and most cutting edge online casinos, you’ll never have to choose which Bovada service suits you best – they are all excellent choices.
In addition to a superior product and top notch customer service, Bovada offers one more fantastic feature – total freedom. Through the use of Bovada’s mobile app, you can take your casino with you wherever you go. A trip on the subway or a layover in the airport need never feel hopeless again – with a casino, poker room, and sportsbook constantly at your disposal, any time spent with your mobile device could be time earning profits!
List of Trusted OK Betting Sites
Have More Questions? Here's Our Suggestion...
Making the decision to risk real money on games, also known as gambling, is one you must be comfortable with in order to be successful. Gambling in Oklahoma is certainly a complex subject and we might not have answered all of your questions. If that's the case, it's ok because there other resources that can help fill in the blanks. Above all, the two best solutions are to either visit Oklahoma legal code online in order to read and decipher Oklahoma gambling laws for yourself (follow the previous link), or contact a qualified legal professional who is licensed to practice law in the Sooner State. Good luck and godspeed!