Sports betting in Oregon has been legal since August of 2021. However, the state took a unique approach to its regulatory system.
In Oregon, there is only one retail sportsbook in operation. This book operates at the Chinook Winds tribal gaming facility.
In October of 2019, online sports betting made its debut. Instead of opening the market to commercial US operators, the Oregon Lottery was the only source. All legal online sports bets had to go through the Scoreboard app which was powered by the SBTech sports betting platform.
Oregon lagged behind in both its sports betting handle (volume) and revenue. The Oregon Lottery had numerous issues with its sports betting app and system in general. Earlier this year, the Oregon Lottery Commission (OLC) knew it was time for a change.
As the director, Barry Pack first mentioned a possible changeover at a February meeting. At the end of August, the OLC unanimously approved the changeover to the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
Interestingly enough, DraftKings acquired SBTech last year. This obviously laid the groundwork to become the sole operator in the state.
Despite the connection between DraftKings and SBTech, sports bettors in Oregon will be starting from scratch. The Scoreboard app will be scrapped for the DraftKings app. This means that all current users will have to create a new online betting account.
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While this will be a minor convenience for current users, it is a change for the best. Behind the DraftKings name, Oregon has a chance to rapidly grow its legal sports betting industry.
The Oregon Lottery is looking to do its part as well by facilitating a quick turnover. The OLC approved the changeover before DraftKings had even finalized the contract.
Both sides had been negotiating a deal since DraftKings acquired SBTech. The two sides worked through some legal issues during those talks.
As a sign of good faith, DraftKings agreed to drop its daily fantasy sports (DFS) site in the state. The legality of DFS sites in Oregon has often come into question.
Recently, Pack released the following comments regarding the transition:
“The reason I’m bringing this to you today is one of the factors we’re going to have to work on soon is how to fit a transition from one platform to the other while still heading into the busy season of professional sports, both NFL and NBA coming up here really soon.
So we want to make sure that we’re able to seize the right window when we have enough information to know what it’s going to take and how long it’s going to take to make the transition work.”
There are still questions as to why the changeover requires a whole new platform. This is in light of DraftKings ownership of SBTech.
One issue at hand is the actual design of the Scoreboard app by SBTech. This was based more on a European design. The DraftKings app is geared towards the legal US sports betting market.
DraftKings also has widescale appeal as the second-biggest legal sportsbook in the US industry based on market share.