Oregon State Lotteries Laws

Most states now operate an official state lottery, usually with the stated purpose of benefiting education or some other public purpose with broad appeal. Many state lottery laws stipulate that a certain percentage of lottery revenue must go toward that state purpose, but revenues often just go into the general fund. A typical state lottery consists of both instant win, scratch-off tickets and then number drawings with much higher potential winnings (but the odds of hitting a jackpot in any lottery are extremely low). Lotteries remain controversial, but an increasing number of states have embraced the practice as a way to balance the books.

The Oregon State Lottery at a Glance

Oregon voters approved a ballot initiative in 1984 to create an official state lottery, with the promise that it would help the economy. The law authorizing the lottery requires at least 84 percent of the total revenues to be returned to the public (at least 50 percent of that consisting of prizes). The Oregon Lottery's Website claims it has raised more than $8 billion for public education, state parks, watershed enhancement, and economic development in general.

The following chart provides additional details about the Oregon's state lottery laws.

Code Section 461.010, et seq.; Art. XV §4 Oregon Constitution
Distribution of Lottery Revenue 50% prizes; 16% expenses; 34% benefit public purpose (state lottery fund for jobs and economic development in Oregon)
Additional Purpose of Lottery To provide additional moneys for public purpose of creating jobs and furthering economic development in Oregon without additional or increased taxes. The Oregon Constitution states that lottery proceeds are for "financing public education in Oregon or restoring and protecting Oregon’s parks, beaches, watersheds and native fish and wildlife."
Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment On prizes in excess of $600, garnishment for person in arrears on child support obligation
Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition 1 year/remain property of lottery commission and be allocated to the benefit of the public purpose (may be exempt from 1 year redemption period if in active military service with evidence of possession of winning-then have 1 year after discharge to redeem
Prohibited Related Activities Sale at greater price; sale to minors; altered/forged tickets

Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through the passage of new legislation or precedents set by higher court decisions. Make sure you contact an Oregon gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Oregon State Lottery Laws: Related Resources

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