DraftKings will soon take over the monopolistic structure of Oregon sports betting after the lottery approved the switch before signing a contract.
On Thursday, the Oregon Lottery unanimously allowed the transition from the SBTech-powered Scoreboard app to the DraftKings’ platform. The Lottery has been running the Scoreboard app as the sole sports betting option since its launch.
The official decision comes months after the Lottery Director Barry Pack first indicated a potential transformation at a February meeting.
The decision of the five-member lottery commission will allow the Oregonians to have a new mobile sports betting provider after the two parties agree to a formal deal.
The Boston-based operator agreed to cease daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Oregon as part of the deal. The legality of DFS has been an undecided issue in Beaver State.
When Can the Switch Happen?
The Oregon Lottery did not provide a specific date after the five-member commission voted to switch its Scoreboard app to DraftKings Thursday.
The two sides had been in talks about the transformation since DraftKings acquired SBTech, according to Pack, who appears to see the transition as soon as possible. But the stakeholders seem to wrap up things to capitalize on most of the NFL and NBA seasons.
Pack said, “We want to make sure that we’re able to seize the right window when we have sufficient information to know what it’s going to take and how long it’s going to take to make the transition work.”
The stakes are high as the NFL generates some of the highest monthly sports betting handles each year, now less than two weeks away. Both NFL and NBA draw the most interest among US sports bettors.
The good news is that the lottery is keen to ensure the switch as soon as possible, as Pack suggested the commission to approve it before the contract is negotiated.
How Does the Switch Affect Oregon Bettors?
Though DraftKings acquired SBTech last year, the transition to DraftKings means the existing users with a Scoreboard account will have to register and sign up for the DK app to continue betting on sports in Oregon.
It will be like any simple registration for the new customers to make a new sports betting account.
Pack said the players would have to re-establish banking information from one platform to another. When asked by Commission Chair MardiLyn Saathoff to explain why the new registration was required, Pack said he wasn’t sure.
He said he didn’t have informed people on the team to explain that better, “but it’s about just physically moving the bank accounts and re-establishing banking … in the new platform.”
He said he believed the transition from one sports betting platform to another is not something that can just get transported over.
Oregon Lottery Approves a Non-Existent Contract
It’s interesting to note that the Oregon Lottery Commission approved a contract not yet signed. A lottery spokesperson confirmed that after the vote.
According to that spokesperson, the commission had authorized its director, Barry Pack, to enter into a contract with DraftKings. The lottery is still discussing a contract with DK to switch its sportsbook over to the new platform. “Assuming the negotiations are successful, Barry has the delegated authority from the commission to sign a contract and move forward with the transition.”
This departs from the traditional way and could be expensive if the new company asks for a bigger share in the revenue. The Oregon Lottery and SBTech had sought to conceal their last contract before the authority was legally forced to reveal its contents.
Under the SBTech deal, the lottery could be giving away as much as 51% of monthly revenue at maturity.
Once the Oregon Lottery and DraftKings agree to terms and sign the contract, the Oregon sports betting transition may begin.