The state of Oregon is in an interesting spot when it comes to sports betting. While most states have lawmakers looking to legalize sports betting, Oregon has lawmakers trying to ban it. Senator Mark Hass (D-District 14) filed an amendment last week that would effectively ban sports betting on mobile devices. Senator Chuck Riley (D-District 15) has filed the other amendment.
Hass’ amendment doesn’t seem to be worrying the Oregon Lottery, which is currently developing regulations so that they can offer sports betting later this year. The Lottery has plans to offer legal sports betting in Oregon at both physical locations and on its mobile app. If Hass’ amendment passes, the Oregon Lottery will be limited to offering sports betting at physical locations only. This hasn’t slowed the Lottery down though, as they are continuing to work towards a September launch for their sports betting products.
“We continue to have strong support from the governor’s office, so as I sit here today we are moving forward for a Sept. 1 launch,” Lottery spokesman Matt Shelby told Sports Handle on Monday.
The Oregon Lottery is on pace to have those regulations out this summer. Regulations would be open to the public for comment before voting. If they are going to be ready to launch online in time for the start of NFL season, Shelby said they will adopt temporary regulations at first.
“We want to make sure that when the director signs off on the temporary rules, that there is clarity and transparency around that. That notion is that this is a new product line for us, and that will help guide the specificity of our guidelines,” said Shelby.
Taking Their Time
Despite being one of the four states grandfathered in to allow sports betting under PASPA, the state waited until after the Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 to move forward with sports betting. If either amendment is approved, mobile sports betting will be dead in Oregon. That would, of course, hinder sports betting revenue in the state. So it is a wonder why lawmakers are looking to prevent the state from bringing in that revenue.
The Lottery estimates that prohibiting mobile sports betting could decrease projected gaming revenue by as much as $63 million.
Mobile Key To Financial Success
California seems to be nowhere near the thought of legalizing sports betting. While California residents do have Nevada to the east, for some northern California residents, Oregon may be a closer option. Add in Washington state and Idaho, and Oregon has some options from all borders to attract out-of-state bettors.
We have already seen from the likes of New Jersey that mobile is key in the sports betting industry. States that neglect to offer mobile sports betting are only shooting themselves in the foot. If you are going to legalize a controversial topic like sports betting, why not go all out and maximize revenue?
The state legislature is set to adjourn at the end of June.