Target is first week of October
The Oregonian’s John Canzano reported late last week that the Oregon Lottery’s online sports betting product is set to launch by October 7. In a tweet, Canzano said that app testing is complete, and that the final hurdle will be receiving approval from the Lottery’s banking partners.
Oregon’s sports betting app is called Scoreboard and its technical backend is powered by SBTech. It was intended to go live before the start of the NFL, but the Lottery will have to settle for the end of Week 5. Chuck Baumann, the Oregon Lottery’s Senior Public Affairs Officer, told Oregon Public Broadcasting that testing has simply taken longer than expected. He added:
This will be the first time we’ve offered a game — an Oregon lottery game — available online.”
SBTech impressed Oregon Lottery
The Oregon Lottery announced SBTech as its sports betting technology provider at a Commission Meeting on March 22. SBTech beat two other finalists: Playtech and Scientific Games Digital.
Those in charge of the selection process liked that SBTech was a sports betting-only company, and that it wasn’t looking to upsell other gaming products. SBTech’s product is specifically built to integrate with other vendors.
The Oregon Lottery appreciated the openness of the platform, with player data being easy to access and understand. SBTech also has strong responsible gaming tools to help predict if a player might be going down the wrong path. Additionally, the Lottery liked that SBTech was confident it could deliver in an accelerated time frame.
SBTech previously had a presence in the United States with Golden Nugget, Churchill Downs, and Resorts Casino.
Oregon has had sports betting before
Sports Action drew the ire of the sports leagues. The NFL said that Oregon would never get a team if sports betting continued, and the NBA sued the Oregon Lottery. The NCAA would not allow any March Madness games to be held in the state as long as Sports Action existed.
The Lottery took NBA games out of Sports Action in 1991, primarily because the games didn’t bring in much money. In 2005, the state legislature passed a bill to end Sports Action, and the game was halted after the 2006-2007 NFL season. Since then, men’s NCAA basketball tournament games have been played in Oregon.
State’s focus is on mobile betting
Oregon is doing things differently than other states. Most states start with brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and then launch on mobile, while others operate both simultaneously. Oregon is going with almost entirely online sports betting first, and it will then see retail sports betting get up and running.
The Lottery Commission knows that most of the revenue will come from its online platform, so it wanted to get that launched as soon as it could.
the Oregon Lottery and its Scoreboard app will be the only online option in the state
There is just one retail sportsbook currently taking bets in Oregon: the Chinook Winds Casino Resort, which opened for betting in August. There are nine other tribal casinos in the Beaver State, all of which are permitted to open sportsbooks. However, the Oregon Lottery and its Scoreboard app will be the only online option in the state.
Scoreboard will only take bets on professional sports. College wagers are prohibited.