Oklahoma Online Poker Sites & Laws
Last Updated December 31, 2018
Oklahoma and online poker have more in common than alphabetic proximity. The region has long been a proving ground for poker players, especially the road gamblers of the mid-1900s.
Today’s Oklahoma gamblers are still proving themselves at the tables, but most have swapped the long drives and backroom games for a simpler, safer proposition: Online poker. Learn more about the ins and outs of online poker in the state with our Oklahoma Guide to Playing Poker Online.
Oklahoma and Online Poker
Let’s play some online poker – easy, right? Except then you start trying to choose a site, and you notice that it’s impossible to tell if they even take players from Oklahoma. If you can figure that out, it’s impossible to really know what the differences between two given sites are – after all, online poker sites are tough to tell apart.
When you don’t know, you ask someone who has been there – and we’ve been there. After thousands of hours at online poker tables, we know what poker rooms are best for Oklahomans, and we’ve collected them into a simple list:
|Bovada||$500 Bonus||3-4 Day Payouts||Accepts Visa, Bitcoin, Wires|
|Ignition||$2000 Bonus||3-4 Day Payouts||Accepts Visa, Bitcoin, Wires|
|Intertops||$600 Bonus||5 Day Payouts||Accepts Visa, Wires|
|BetOnline||$2500 Bonus||5-7 Day Payouts||Accepts Visa, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Wires|
|Sportsbetting||$2500 Bonus||5-7 Day Payouts||Accepts Visa, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Wires|
Can Oklahoma Poker Players Play For Real Money?
Yes. All of the sites on our picks for the best Oklahoma poker sites obviously accept players from Oklahoma (there wouldn’t be much sense in putting them on the list if the opposite were true). While we strongly suggest that players from Oklahoma choose one of our suggested sites, there are several sites that didn’t make the list where poker-playing Oklahomans are also welcome.
Recent Updates Through 2019
As the law stands in Oklahoma, there is little to no chance that the state’s lawmakers will give serious consideration to legal online poker anytime soon.
However, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma fought for the right to offer internet poker and won its case in the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma several years ago. The ruling for the tribe and against the Oklahoma Gambling Compliance Unit gave the Iowa Tribe the right to offer some online gaming – with restrictions – per its gaming compact with the state.
The tribe then decided to establish PokerTribe, a website dedicated to online poker for international players and those in American states that had legalized online poker, as well as airline and cruise ship passengers. But software problems and licensing issues plagued their plans for years, leading up to a deal with Universal Entertainment Group and an online gaming license from the Isle of Man that was contingent upon meeting some unspecified terms.
In May of 2018, news emerged that the PokerTribe website had changed into Grey Snow Poker, a name more synonymous with the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma’s history and message. The site appeared to be in the beta-testing stage in early June, but it lacked players and any information about the software used or a potential launch date.
All of that changed before the year ended, though. Grey Snow Poker officially launched on November 5. The Oklahoma-based site offered real-money online poker for players outside of the United States. The original plan to offer games to people on airplanes and cruise ships has not come to fruition, but the site is running and offering bonuses, promotions, and daily and weekly tournaments, some with guaranteed prize pools.
|State Code Section(s)||3A.200-282; 3A.401-735; 21.941-993; 21.1051|
|Definition of Gambling Prohibitions||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. Any person who bets or plays at any of said prohibited games, or who shall 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, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.|
|Definition of Bet||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.|
|Online Poker/Gambling||No serious efforts to legalize online poker or other casino games has been launched in the Oklahoma legislature.|
|Live Poker||Many of the tribal casinos in Oklahoma offer live poker, including cash games and tournaments.|
|Casinos||The federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 authorized states and Native American tribes to form compacts for gambling on tribal lands. More than two dozen tribes did so, and there are more than 80 facilities open across the state.|
|Sports Betting||There is a pending bill in both houses of the legislature to allow tribal casinos to offer sports betting, but details remain unclear as compacts must be amended along with legislation passing.|
|DFS||A proposal to legalize daily fantasy sports in 2016 did not pass.|
|Other Forms of Gambling||Horse racing pari-mutuel wagering; charitable gambling, lottery.|
Online Poker: It is Legal in Oklahoma?
You’ve likely come across other pages like ours that proclaim things like “online gambling is completely legal in Oklahoma.” Those pages aren’t necessarily telling the absolute truth on the matter. The fact is that gambling law in every US state – Oklahoma included – is a complicated thing that requires professional guidance.
That’s why we don’t pretend to offer an answer to the question of whether online poker is legal to play in Oklahoma. Instead, we’re going to provide you with some information that should serve as a starting point to finding an honest, accurate response to that query. We’ll start by listing some of the salient parts of Oklahoma gambling law, and then we’ll give you more information about how you can review Oklahoma statutes personally.
The definition of “bet” in Oklahoma law is unique in that it requires only the perception of chance on the part of one participant. As found in Section 21-981(1):
” 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.”
The de facto definition for “gambling” is found in the charge of Opening, conducting or carrying on gambling game (Section 21-941):
“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”
Oklahoma law reserves a lesser charge for those who are just playing in the game. That’s a misdemeanor, although by the letter of the law you could still spend up to 30 days in jail (Section 21-941).
While that penalty sounds harsh, it pales in comparison to what Oklahoma has in store for those in the business of illegal gambling. There are nearly a dozen unique charges surrounding such activity, with Commercial gambling (Section 21-982) carrying perhaps the biggest stick:
“a felony charge that could bring up to 10 years in jail.”
It’s also a felony to spread “information to be used in making or settling bets” (Section 21-987), although the ultimate reach of this aspect of Oklahoma law in unclear.
To continue your research, here is a link to the online version of the Oklahoma state statutes.
Oklahoma Gambling Facts
There is a surprising amount of regulated gambling available in Oklahoma. Like nearly all US states, Oklahoma operates a state lottery. Oklahoma is also home to pari-mutuel wagering, and tracks in the state are also allowed to offer players a limited selection of casino-type offerings. If you’re looking for a more Vegas-style gambling experience, there are a number of tribal casinos providing the full range of popular gaming choices. Should your tastes run a bit tamer, the state’s flourishing charitable bingo games provide a lower-stakes, more casual way to bet a few bucks.
Oklahoma Gambling Research: Reliable Sources
Choctaw Casinos. Everything you need to know about the undisputed king of Oklahoma’s gambling industry. Operator of 8 in-state casinos, the Choctaw casino website provides access to information about all affiliated properties in one central location.
Oklahoma Gaming Compliance Unit. Explore tribal gambling from the other side of the fence with this set of resources concerning the state’s gambling compact with Oklahoma tribes.
OAPCG.org . A 24-hour hotline, links to a variety of related sites and resources, direct access to counselors and information about the responsibilities of operators to combat problem gambling are all available at the website for the Oklahoma Association for Problem and Compulsive Gambling.
Understanding Oklahoma’s Place in Poker History
There must be something in the water down in Oklahoma. How else to you explain the steadily remarkable stream of top-flight poker players coming from the state?
We’re talking about some of the biggest names of poker past, present and future here; start with “Oklahoma” Johnny Hale, who is always quick with an engaging story from poker games gone by. How about Bobby Baldwin, the man many believe to be largely responsible for the modern status of poker as a global game? He hails from Tulsa, as does young poker gun Ben Lamb who made his mark with a deep, deep run in the 2011 WSOP Main Event.