Since New Jersey legalized sports betting in a successful challenge at the Supreme Court in May 2018, numerous states have queued up to follow suit. Now that regulation of sports betting is in the hands of the state legislators there is no reason why any state can’t pass a bill in favor, and there are many reasons why they are eager to do so. Massive revenues coming into state funds are all the more attractive after the toll the COVID pandemic has wreaked on economies across the country, and the need for funds may well overrule traditional anti-gambling lobbyists.
Although sports betting was officially regulated in 2019, with some limitations, and Oregon became the 12th state with legal sports betting and just the eighth with a state-wide mobile and online platform, there is still much bettors can learn about. Let’s take a closer look at the legislation concerning sports betting in Oregon.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Oregon?
Yes, it is. After New Jersey began regulating sports betting in 2018, many states began the same legislative process, tempted by the huge tax revenues due to the massive explosion of online betting in the Garden State.
Oregon officially legalized sports betting in August 2019, and a month later, the first official sportsbook was opened at Chinook Winds tribal gaming facility – this remains the only legal brick-and-mortar place in the state to bet on sports.
Oregonians who wanted to place bets online can only do so via the Scorecard app, although this looks set to change with a new bill to switch from a state-sponsored app to a more competitive sports betting market.
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Oregon Governor Kate Brown has backed a new bill that will throw the online sports betting wide open, taking away the monopoly Scorecard currently enjoys. Under the bill, it would be possible for an unlimited number of operators to apply for a bookmaker’s license, and would likely see the big hitters from the wider world of online sports betting enter the market, as well as Oregon-based establishments such as casinos, racetracks and more.
Strangely, the bill doesn’t contain a taxation rate and only a vague fee structure but would move regulation away from the Oregon Lottery and put it in the hands of the Oregon Racing Commission – who would be expected to clarify the fees and taxes that the bill omits to mention.
More about the Oregon Sports Betting Bill
Many sports fans enjoy collegiate football as much, if not more than the NFL. And fans love to bet on the games, which is catered for by many sports betting sites and apps around the United States. But when sports betting was regulated in Oregon in 2019, the legislation stipulated that betting on college sports was prohibited. The new bill will lift that ban, which could draw in even more business, and therefore government revenue.
Other factors that the bill takes into account include the annual license fee capped at $50,000, mandated use of official league data to grade in-play wagers (making odds more realistic), and allowing leagues and colleges to request bans on a range of bet types.
Luckily, there are also online resources, like WSN, that can help bettors stay up to date with the latest news and changes in the gambling and betting regulations and find the best places to bet on sports in Oregon. This way, anyone who likes to place a wager is able to stay up to date with all the relevant information.
What about Scorecard?
As mentioned, when sports betting was legalized, the Oregon Lottery was given control, and they chose to collaborate with SBTech, who received a highly coveted contract. Although the Oregon Lottery had a total monopoly over sports betting in the state, the contract with SBTech proved disastrous with the sports betting industry performing extremely poorly – losses of $2 million with a revenue of $6 million over the first six months.
This has led to the introduction of the bill as outlined above, but also the switch from SBTech to DraftKings, a massive presence on the sports betting and fantasy sports scene.
To complicate matters, Boston-based DraftKings actually bought Bulgaria-based SBTech at the end of 2019 – and to complicate matters further DraftKings are under federal investigation over short-seller reports, and in contact with the IRS over taxes for the last three years.
What will Sports Betting be Like in Oregon?
If the rest of the country is anything to go by, sports betting will grow rapidly in Oregon over the coming months and years. Sports betting has brought in enormous revenues via state taxes across the country, and with wagers being placed on all major leagues such as the NFL, NBA, and MLB. It has brought in a whole new demographic, some of whom may never have set foot in brick-and-mortar bookies or race tracks.
Oregon looks set to open up its sports betting market – and it looks as though it will have become more competitive by October, in time for football season!
Top Photo by Jeremy Bishop
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