The state of Oregon legalized sports gambling back on August 27 of this year. There are no privately owned casinos in Oregon but the state lottery has announced that it will launch a mobile app called Scoreboard in the second week of October.
Mobile Wagers Available Through Score
It looks like Oregon will have its first mobile legal sports betting option available as early as the second week of October. The Oregon Lottery had hoped to launch the mobile solution by August-September but it decided to take a more cautious approach. The state lottery chose a company by the name of SBTech as the sports betting provider. SBTech, a company based in Malta, already has a presence at five casinos in the U.S market at the moment. Their sports betting app, Scoreboard, will provide the platform for the lottery to start taking online wagers.
Their mobile app will accept bets on professional leagues only. That will be disappointing news for college football fans in Oregon. They are right in the middle of Pac-12 country and their college programs are heavily supported. Anyone wanting to wager on the Pac-12 will have to go in person to Chinook Winds.
It will be interesting to see if this mobile app has an effect on the tribal casinos. Chinook Winds Casino Resort was the first in-person sportsbook option on August 27th. They do not offer mobile wagering at the moment.
Reasons for Original Delay
The reason given for the original launch date being pushed back to mid-October was the testing involved between the betting platform and the e-commerce accounts. The state lottery has been busy integrating the off the shelf sports betting application developed by SB Tech. The lottery developed the e-commerce portion of the platform internally. The e-commerce platform will handle player registration and verification as well as payments and geofencing.
Meanwhile, the app will allow customers to play from anywhere within the state. The lottery is hoping the app, will attract business from Oregonians that are currently betting online with illegal offshore sites. The sports betting app will be available for Apple users through the app store. As for Android users, they will be able to download Scoreboard through a direct link provided by the state lottery.
Heavy Opposition to Off-Reservation Casinos
To understand the sportsbook market in Oregon, it's important to know who controls the casinos. The Oregon Constitution does not permit the operation of privately owned casinos within the state. Back in 2012, an amendment to the constitution was put forth in an attempt to open a new casino within the state. The plan was to build it in Wood Village which was the first problem.
The Grange, the name of the proposed casino would have been built in the most populated county in Oregon. That was met with immediate opposition from Oregon tribes who have a monopoly on casinos in the state. They have tried unsuccessfully for years to build off-reservation casinos near the Portland market. The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon even went as far as offering to build a stadium in 2003 to help the city of Portland attract a Major League Baseball team. In exchange for building the stadium, they wanted the right to open a casino in the area.
All of their attempts have been met with stiff opposition from state government officials.
That is the reason The Grange never got off the ground. There have been several other attempts to open privately owned casinos, all have been rejected.
Oregon is Hoping for Big Profits
The Oregon Lottery estimates that it will earn a net profit of $37 million on $1.6 billion in sports betting during the first three years after the app launch. Some of that money is slated to provide funds for public employers that make lump sum contributions to pension side accounts.
Oregon has a massive unfunded retirement liability. The legislature believes that the financial assistance would amount to a cut between 7 and 12.5% of educators' individual account programs. While the delays might annoy some Oregon sports bettors, it's better to get it right than to have a faulty application. The slight delays will soon be forgotten as it appears statewide sports betting will finally be available through Scoreboard's mobile platform.