- Oregon previously had a NFL sports betting offering as per the grandfather rule
- This ended in 2007
- The Oregon Lottery plans to re-ignite this offering in time for the 2019 NFL season
- Initially, this will be for outright results and spread bets
History of gambling in Oregon
Hortse racing has been a mainstay for Oregon gambling over the years. The main track in the state is Portland Meadows, which opened in 1946. Oregon currently has 10 other facilities where people can place horse racing bets. There are regular three and four-day horse racing meetings in the various racetracks in the area.
Greyhound racing also took place from 1933 until 2004. However, poor attendance figures eventually led to the last of these tracks, the Multnomah Greyhound Park, to close its doors permanently in 2004.
Oregon was one of the first states to legalize betting hubs in 1997. There are 10 such hubs where you can place off-site bets. Charitable casino nights have been legal since 1971, with Texas hold ’em being allowable in these cases since 1995.
The state previously offered a form of sports betting called Sports Action. It ran from 1989 and gave bettors the ability to place wagers on NFL games.
Despite the 1992 federal ban on sports betting, Oregon has a grandfather clause that meant it could continue to offer this service to residents until it was ended in 2007.
A state lottery has been in play since 1984 following a public vote on the matter. Previously, a large number of Oregon residents would cross state lines into Washington to play the lottery.
There were widespread issues for some time with illegal video poker. These machines were found in bars and restaurants in particular. By 1989, estimates said that this industry was worth more than $100m each year.
In 1992, the lottery began to offer a legal variety of video poker games. The state next legalized slot machines in 2005.
Oregon relies heavily on the revenues generated by gambling and gaming. Currently, there are more than 13,000 active gaming machines in Oregon, bringing in almost $800m annually. At the moment, Oregon has eight tribal casinos. Regular attempts to legalize commercial casinos have been defeated.
Moves towards sports betting
Oregon released a new lottery app for residents in September 2018. There were indications that this app was also designed for offering sports betting in the future. The app is currently used by lottery players to check the winning numbers, and it offers many other features.
Now the Oregon Lottery is working to have sports betting in place by the start of the 2019 NFL season. Wagering will initially be through the mobile app. To start with, this offering will be only for selecting teams outright or versus the spOregon’s state lottery app will offer sports betting in time for the NFL 2019 season begins.Oregon’s state lottery app will offer sports betting in time for the NFL 2019 season begins.read in the given fixtures.
Eventually, sports betting will be available at kiosks in restaurants and bars, similar to how video lottery machines are currently on offer. Existing retailers for Oregon’s lottery products would likely be given the ability to also offer this type of sports betting, as well as offering their own types of betting markets.
There will be no betting on college sports. The state believes this would not be the best route to follow, especially because a lot of funding from the lottery goes toward the state colleges each year.
The lottery has no estimates as to what the likely revenues from sports betting will be. Nor has there been any indication as to how the revenues will be spent. There have been calls to increase funding for gambling addiction programs in light of this expansion.
Phillip Yassenoff, program manager for gambling addiction treatments at Cascadia Behavioural Healthcare, said: “Anytime you increase access to gambling, I think you may be increasing risk for some people. The target audience is going to be younger, than in the past with lottery machines. This will probably be folks who have an interest already in sports betting and now will have a legal means to go at that.”
He referred to the latest statistics, which show that between 2.5% and 3% of Oregon adults have a significant problem with gambling.