Offenses Against General Welfare and Animals

ORS 167.162
Gambling device as public nuisance

  • defense
  • seizure and destruction


A gambling device is a public nuisance. Any peace officer shall summarily seize any such device that the peace officer finds and deliver it to the custody of the law enforcement agency that employs the officer, which shall hold it subject to the order of the court having jurisdiction.


Whenever it appears to the court that the gambling device has been possessed in violation of ORS 167.147 (Possession of a gambling device), the court shall adjudge forfeiture thereof and shall order the law enforcement agency holding the gambling device to destroy the device and to deliver any coins taken therefrom to the county treasurer, who shall deposit them to the general fund of the county. However, when the defense provided by ORS 167.147 (Possession of a gambling device) (3) is raised by the defendant, the gambling device or slot machine shall not be forfeited or destroyed until after a final judicial determination that the defense is not applicable. If the defense is applicable, the gambling device or slot machine shall be returned to its owner.


The seizure of the gambling device or operating part thereof constitutes sufficient notice to the owner or person in possession thereof. The law enforcement agency shall make return to the court showing that the law enforcement agency has complied with the court’s order.


Whenever, in any proceeding in court for the forfeiture of any gambling device except a slot machine seized for a violation of ORS 167.147 (Possession of a gambling device), a judgment for forfeiture is entered, the court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to remit or mitigate the forfeiture.


In any such proceeding the court shall not allow the claim of any claimant for remission or mitigation unless and until the claimant proves that the claimant:


Has an interest in the gambling device, as owner or otherwise, that the claimant acquired in good faith.


At no time had any knowledge or reason to believe that it was being or would be used in violation of law relating to gambling.


In any proceeding in court for the forfeiture of any gambling device except a slot machine seized for a violation of law relating to gambling, the court may in its discretion order delivery thereof to any claimant who shall establish the right to the immediate possession thereof, and shall execute, with one or more sureties, or by a surety company, approved by the court, and deliver to the court, a bond in such sum as the court shall determine, running to the State of Oregon, and conditioned to return such gambling device at the time of trial, and conditioned further that, if the gambling device be not returned at the time of trial, the bond may in the discretion of the court stand in lieu of and be forfeited in the same manner as such gambling device. [1971 c.743 §272; 1977 c.264 §2; 1999 c.59 §32; 2003 c.576 §391; 2005 c.22 §117; 2009 c.835 §9]

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute (Ors 167.555)

This section did not require that a machine be unlawful per se, but only that it be operated unlawfully. Smith v. One Super Wild Cat Console Mach., 10 Or App 587, 500 P2d 498 (1972), Sup Ct review denied

In General

Machines which are mechanically free play "amusement devices" but used as gambling devices under ORS 167.117 (4) are subject to seizure under this section. State v. Wright, 21 Or App 659, 537 P2d 130 (1975)

§§ 167.117 to 167.162

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Construing provisions against promotion of social gambling, (1971) Vol 35, p 1004

Chapter 167

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Exemption of nuisance laws from constitutional requirement for payments based on government regulations restricting use of property, (2001) Vol 49, p 284

Law Review Citations

51 OLR 427-637 (1972)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021