Through the state of Oklahoma, you'll find many casinos and bingo halls run by various Indian tribes. While these operations fully comply with the law of the land, you may be surprised to know that there are also a whole host of illegal operators out there who attempt to skirt around the law. For this reason, the state of Oklahoma has a wide array of laws and statutes on the books.
Some of these affect the casual player, while most are in place to help protect the public from con artists and other illegal operations. If you're thinking of visiting Oklahoma on a gambling trip (to somewhere like, say, Hominy, Chickasha, El Reno, or Pocola) then you might find it interesting to read up on a few of these laws.
Stat 21-944 - Slot Machines - Misdemeanor - Any person who sets up or operates a slot machine in his or her place of business will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, they will face a fine of not less than $ 25 and not more that $ 100, or a term of imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 30 days (or both a fine and imprimentment).
Statute 21-945 - Buildings - Use for Gambling - Felony - It is illegal for the owner of any building or piece of real estate to knowingly permitting gambling to take place on the concessions. Doing so will lead to a fine of not less than $ 100 and not more than $ 1000. Every day that illegal operations go on counts as a separate offense, so what seems to be a fairly mild penalty can quickly add up. If the offender can not pay the fine, the offending property will be designated.
Statute 21946 - Illegal Use of Building - Nuisance - Felony - Any home or room where illegal gambling takes place is guilty of a felony. The owner of the house or room, along with anyone who helps operate it, will be considered guilty of a felony and fined no less than $ 500 and no more than $ 10,000. Another option is imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term not less than 1 year and not more than 10 years.
Statue 21-954 - Three Card Monte, Swindle or Confidence Games - Felony - Any person who deals, plays, or practices the swindle known as the three-card monte, and any other swindle or confidence game, will be found guilty of a felony and punished by a fine of not less than $ 1000 and not more than $ 5000, or by confinement in the State Penitentiary for a term of not less than 1 year and not more than 5 years.
Statue 21-969 - Sale or Possession of Slot Machines or Punch Boards - Misdemeanor - It is unlawful for anyone to have in their possession any slot machine or punch board, or to sell or lease such items. The only exceptions are for slot machines older than 25 years or slot machines used for the purposes of teaching slot machine repair. Persons in violation will be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than $ 50 and not more than $ 150, or imprisoned in the county jail for not more than 60 days (or both).
Statute 21-971 - Operating Punch Boards - Misdemeanor - Any person who sets up or operates a punch board (unless covered by the Charity Gaming Act) will be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of not less than $ 50 and not more than $ 100, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than 30 days (or both).
Statute 21-987 - Dissemination of Gambling Information - Felony - Gambling information is defined as transmitting or receiving information used in making or settling bets. This does not apply to licensed radio or television stations or newspapers who are reporting the odds of a legally staged sporting event. Any person found guilty of promulgating such information will be guilty of a felony and be punished by imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or a fine of not more than $ 25,000 (or both).
Luckily, the average citizen should never be in danger of violating any of these laws. Still, it's an interesting look into the legal system of the state of Oklahoma. Just stay away from illegal slot parlors set up in trailer parks and you should be just fine.