Current Sports Betting Status: Legal but not yet operational
There may not have been any legal sports betting in the state of Oregon since 2006 but looks all set to change in 2019, perhaps as early as September, thanks to recent changes in the sports betting laws in the United States.
The Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, ruling the 1992 federal ban on sports betting in most states violated their rights, paving a way for Oregon to once again offer legal sports betting in the state.
It was the Oregon Lottery, which pulls in $1 billion a year in revenues for the state, that introduced Sports Action in 1989. Gamblers could place wagers on a NFL parlay card, with NBA added the following year in 1990. This move caused huge controversy among the sports league, particularly basketball with the NCAA stopping tournaments in Oregon even though it was not possible to bet on these games.
The NBA cards only lasted 12 months because the NBA filed a lawsuit and the lottery settled. The NFL parlay cards were discontinued in 2006 and Spots Action ended in 2007, despite Oregon being one of the four states grandfathered in under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act; Nevada, Delaware and Montana are the other three.
Legal Sports Betting Could Come to Oregon By September 2019
The repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has resulted in some major developments in regards to sports betting returning to Oregon. Oregon’s lottery officials are of the understanding that the lottery has broad authority to reintroduce sports betting to the Beaver State.
Matthew Shelby, a spokesperson for the Oregon Lottery, has gone on record to say “We are working internally through various options, but we still have a goal of rolling southing out to Oregonians in time for the 2019 NFL season; the 2019 NFL season commences on September 5th“.
Officials for the Oregon Lottery estimate legalized sports betting in the state could generate $35.5 million of revenue in its first year, rising to more than $120 million once the industry was established.
Could Oregon’s Sports Betting Go Mobile?
It is believed Oregon Lottery officials are looking into the possibility of using a mobile app to launch its sports betting business as this would be the quickest way to get its product out to residents of Oregon. It is likely, if this route is taken, that they will partner with an already established software provider and use their platform for all sports betting activities.
SBTech is the company rumored to be the frontrunners for Oregon’s sports betting business. People will also be able to place wagers at lottery retailers so the state can driver traffic to those retailers and not see lottery revenues suffer.
In January 2019, Shelby spoke to Katu News and indicated the early sports bets available to Oregon residents will be simply choosing winners and almost certainly only for professional sports. Shelby also hinted that in-game wagering will become available in bars and restaurants.