Oregon looks to be next on the docket to join the world of sports betting, and seems to have a partner to conduct operations.
The Oregon Lottery is working on selecting a sports betting provider to bring sports betting to the state. It’s the hope of the state lottery that sports betting can be implemented by the beginning of the fall sports season.
Oregon does appear to have found a dance partner for implementing sports betting. According to Oregon Live, the state has a tentative agreement with SBTech.
They’ll need to pass an ongoing background check from the Oregon State Police before SBTech will be able to start offering betting to the public. The company is already operating in Mississippi and New Jersey.
Specifically, SBTech is operating out of Golden Nugget and Resorts Atlantic City, as well as Churchill Downs. Other bids included Scientific Games, which is still lobbying with Oregon officials to change their decision.
The Oregon market likely won’t catch New Jersey or Nevada. But lottery officials have predicted that the Oregon market will produce a $330 million handle in its first year of operation. The lottery revenue for the state was $1.3 billion in 2018, so it’s not unrealistic to think Oregon likes its gambling.
Per Farshad Allahdadi, the Oregon Lottery’s chief gaming officer: “We have about 3 million eligible players in Oregon, many of whom bet illegally now. Our challenge is to create a compelling product that can draw a portion of those illegal betters and attract a whole new group of customers.”
It would be the first time in 12 years that Oregon saw any sort of sports betting. Back in 2007, Oregon had a game called Sports Action that allowed players to place wagers on the NFL in 3-game parlay wagers. The NBA had been involved when originally introduced in 1989, but sued to remove themselves.
In 2007, Oregon removed Sports Action when it ran afoul of the NCAA’s anti-betting stance when bidding for a chance to host the NCAA basketball tournament. The whole thing was listed as an exemption to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act. PASPA, struck down by the Supreme Court last year, was implemented in 1992; Sports Action began in 1989.
Oregon’s exemption under PASPA is now being translated to overall sports betting. The ambiguity of the sports betting laws in Oregon means that they can move forward reasonably confidently once the required regulations are in place.
As it stands, Oregon is planning on going counter to the established order of operations. They plan to establish online sports betting over the summer, knowing that most sports betting action in New Jersey is now online and on mobile devices.
From there, they’ll start installing physical kiosks next year in restaurants and retailers that sell lottery games already. Lottery officials are hoping to begin getting that going in 2020.
For as much of a rush Oregon officials claim to be in, they’re making sure to take their time and get it right. Oregon looks like it should be ready for legal sports betting in time for the fall football season.