Oregon Sees 10% Growth in May Sports Betting Handle

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Oregon sports betting has seen the second consecutive month of growth, with May bringing $27.8 million in handle, representing a 9.7% increase month-over-over. Unlike most other states which reported steep declines in their April handles, Oregon sports betting had shown improvement in April handle ($25.3 million), which was a 5.3% rise from March’s $24.1 million.

According to the monthly figures released Friday by the Oregon Lottery, despite a decrease in handle, revenue in the Beaver State fell 13.9% to $2.4 million in May from $2.7 million reported in April.

Oregon sports betting was at its peak in January when it reported $34.9 million in handle, the highest ever in a month for the state. The two succeeding months were slow as February brought in $29.6 million, and March further shrank to $24.1 million.

Basketball, the Most Favorite Sport

Like the previous month, basketball again led the Oregonians’ choice who like to bet, who wagered $16.1 million on the sport. April had brought in $13.6 million in basketball bets.

Baseball was the second-most popular sport in Oregon, bringing in $4.6 million, while soccer drew in $2.4 million. Hockey ($1.5 million), and MMA ($760,194) secured the position among the top five.

Parlay bets took in $6.7 million, representing a slight increase from April’s $6.6 million.

Oregon’s Lottery Scoreboard – the state’s only mobile app – does not allow betting on college sports. The residents must drive to one of the two tribal establishments in the Beaver State to wager on college contests.

Much-criticized Oregon Sports Betting Model

Oregon sports betting is a single-source sports betting market operated by the state’s lottery. The Oregon Lottery runs its statewide online betting through the Scoreboard app, leaving bettors no other digital option to wager on sports in the state.

The much-criticized monopoly system in Oregon is in contrast with open market systems in most other states, all of which have been reporting swelling handles each month.

In January, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown backed a sports betting aimed at shifting the Oregon market to a competitive sports betting marketplace.

Unfortunately, there has been no action on House Bill 2127 nearly five months after it had received its first reading on Jan. 19. The bill would bring drastic changes in Oregon sports betting by replacing the lottery with the Oregon Racing Commission as the new regulator of sports betting. The bill would also pave the way for mobile sportsbooks to launch in the state, besides expanding retail sports betting beyond the tribes.

DraftKings Coming to Oregon, Anyway…

The state contracted an undisclosed deal with SBTech through which the state has been operating its Scoreboard app since Oct. 2019. The secret contract – or the so-called trade secret – was disclosed months later following a court battle, revealing the company had been extracting a much larger share of Oregon sports betting revenue than initially disclosed.

The contract has resulted in millions in losses for the state, owing to its direct payments to SBTech and other vendors.

Earlier this year, it was reported DraftKings is coming to Oregon sports betting horizon. In January, the Oregon Lottery said it would be moving to its existing system – the Scoreboard app – to one powered by DraftKings.

However, the Boston-based operator was already involved with the state’s lottery, indirectly. DraftKings had acquired SBTech in 2020.

But the bad news for Oregon sports betting is that the change does not mean the arrival of another sportsbook in an open marketplace. The monopoly will persist – now under DraftKings – unless HB 2127 becomes a legal reality.

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