If everything goes according to plan, Oregon will have sports gambling before this September. To make it happen, the Oregon State Lottery (OSL) has teamed up with SBTech to power the retail and mobile sportsbooks for the entity. There’s a lot of logistical issues to be tweaked quickly if Oregon hopes to get the sportsbooks up and running before September, which marks the beginning of the regular NFL season.
Oregon is also planning on introducing betting kiosks, which could come as early as the first quarter of next year. This will give bettors more flexibility and options when placing their wagers, and a spokesperson for the OSL states, “We’re excited about sports betting in general because it allows us to generate additional revenue for state programs without asking players of our current games to play or wager more.”
The Oregon Lottery Commission (OLC) looked at several offers last year in determining who would be best to lead the sports gambling charge. Among those reviewed were Playtech and Scientific Games; however only SBTech was determined to be able to comply with the deadlines established for the sports gambling rollout.
The OLC wanted to make sure it covered all its bases when it investigated the companies – either that or the commission members just wanted a field trip. They visited Sofia, Bulgaria and SBTech’s headquarters there.
SBTech is one of the largest sports gambling platforms in the world. This is why it has been able to secure several major multi-year deals, including this one in Oregon and another with Cherry-subsidiary ComeOn, a business-to-consumer gaming operator in Sweden. ComeOn and SBTech have been connected for about a decade and have been exploring new options to fortify their relationship.
Mobile sports gambling in Oregon most likely won’t be ready before the start of the upcoming NFL season. A delay was already expected back in January, but a new wrinkle has surfaced that could add another bump in the road. Last Friday, Oregon Senator Mark Hass brought to light an amendment that, if approved, would restrict sports gambling ticket sales. The text reads, in part, “The Oregon State Lottery Commission may not offer a sports betting game unless tickets or shares for the game maybe [sic] purchased solely via equipment that is owned or leased by the Oregon State Lottery.”
However, Hass isn’t confident the amendment will survive. He asserts that regulators are convinced that mobile sports gambling is an integral part of the state’s industry and to deny it would be to cut off a potentially valuable source of revenue.