Oregon is one of 20 states where sports betting is currently legal in the United States.
History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Oregon
The history of sports betting in the state of Oregon goes back to 1989. That year, Oregon introduced a game called Sports Action. Sports Action was a parlay form of sports betting, which was part of the Oregon lottery.
Single-game bets were not allowed, and people could only parlay NFL games. People were able to bet the NBA in Sports Action briefly, but the league sued Oregon, which made the NFL the only league that the Oregon lottery could offer to players.
In 1992, national sports betting was deemed illegal when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed. PASPA prohibited state-sponsored betting, but the federal government didn’t force Oregon to stop Sports Action.
Oregon was one of four states that were exempt from the PASPA decision, so Sports Action continued. This was because the state had already started legal sports betting before the PASPA was discussed in Congress.
Sports Action was available for players to bet on until 2007. The state removed Sports Action because the NCAA threatened Oregon by stating that championship sports couldn’t take place in the state if sanctioned betting continued.
In 2018, in a 6-3 decision, the PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court. This allowed legal sports betting to grow in the United States. Oregon was quick to bring back sports betting because it never was truly illegal in the state.
The overturning of the PASPA just gave the state the ability to bring gaming back without repercussions.
In August of 2019, the state’s first land-locked sportsbook opened its doors at Chinook Winds Casino Resort. In September, the state government wanted to reap the financial benefits that legal sports betting brought to the state. The state launched a legal and regulated mobile sportsbook called Scoreboard for people in Oregon.
This state-sponsored mobile book took the state back to its uncharacteristic sports betting nature that was established with Sports Action in 1989.
Financial History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Oregon
Oregon realizes the financial benefits that legal sports betting can bring to a state. This is evident in its rich history of sports betting when it brought Sports Action to players in 1989.
Sports betting is a billion-dollar industry, but Oregon hasn’t been able to see much gain from sanctioned gambling as of late. In fact, Oregon is one state that’s losing money in the betting business.
Oregon projected that its legal sportsbook would bring in $6.3 million from sports betting in its first year running. This number would help the state in multiple areas of the economy, so everything looked good for Oregon in 2019.
But Oregon didn’t do its homework when it came to the Scoreboard sportsbook. Oregon outsources the sportsbook technology to SBTech. After reviewing the contracts and the expenses that came with the app, Oregon is expected to lose $5.3 million in the 2020 fiscal year.
Oregon believed that it would be making over $23 million in two years, but that figure is completely unrealistic. The app had issues, and there were a lot of expenses that the state didn’t project in the start-up process. Oregon is believed to have to pay $16 million in expenses, and it didn’t receive a generous financial proportion from SBTech.
In the 2019 fiscal year, nearly $67 million was wagered through Scoreboard, but the lottery only received $4.5 million in revenue. With its mountain of expenses, this amounts to pennies. A lot of people are playing on Scoreboard, but the state isn’t seeing the benefits in its economy.
Since January of 2020, the state has been generating a lot of revenue from sports betting. It was making over $1 million per month for a majority of the year.
The COVID-19 pandemic hurt numbers for a few months in the spring of 2020, but the state is rebounding its revenue. The major issue is that SBTech fees will make it tough to profit until at least the middle of the decade.
Sportsbook Apps in Oregon
There is only one legal sportsbook app in Oregon. Oregon is unique in the sense that it has a state-sanctioned mobile sportsbook in addition to offering private land-locked locations for people to bet on sports. Oregon may not be making a profit on the app, but it doesn’t mean that Scoreboard isn’t popular in the state.
Oregon hired SBTech to run its sportsbook, which created financial issues, as previously mentioned. It was up and running in October of 2019.
In the first weekend that the app launched, there were over 18,000 registrations and close to 56,000 bets placed. These bets amounted to over $1 million wagered. These numbers have only increased since the app’s launch date.
The NFL is where most wagers are made if you look at the app as a whole. Oregon has banned betting on college sports on the Scoreboard app, so this does cause it to lose money throughout the year. This still hasn’t stopped Oregonians from getting in on the action.
The app is available for iOS and Android devices. It’s very easy to set up and resembles many of the legal sportsbook apps in the country.
Players will never have to worry about security issues when funding accounts. The app accepts all different kinds of credit and debit cards as well as PayPal payments.
On the Scoreboard app, players are able to bet on traditional bets like the moneyline, spread, and over/under. Scoreboard also offers a ton of props and futures bets. It also has superior live betting, so players don’t need to lock in bets early to play.
Scoreboard may be a state-sanctioned app, but it’s just like all the other legal sports betting apps. SBTech does a great job giving players a solid betting experience on Scoreboard.
Oregon just hasn’t been able to experience the benefits of legal sports betting just yet. This will change with time as long as there is still a high demand for legal sports betting in Oregon.
Land-Locked Locations to Bet on Sports in Oregon
Oregon has a lot of tribal casinos in the state. Since the state sponsors a legal sportsbook, commercial casinos are unable to offer their own sportsbooks.
Despite this, tribal casinos have different compacts and regulations, so they’re able to offer sports betting. Sports betting isn’t as popular in land-locked locations because of the state’s mobile app. It’s very easy to bet on your phone instead of going to a casino.
Oregon tribal casinos use sports betting as an additional way to attract people to their properties. It isn’t a headlining area that casinos showcase, but many of the tribes offer bettors a great experience when wagering on sports.
Currently, eight tribal casinos offer sports betting in the state.
- Chinook Winds Casino
- Indian Head Casino
- Kla-Mo-Ya Casino
- Seven Feathers Hotel & Casino Resort
- Spirit Mountain Casino
- Three Rivers Casino Florence
- Three Rivers Casino Coos Bay
- Wildhorse Resort & Casino
Chinook Winds Casino was the first venue that offered visitors a land-locked sportsbook. Since then, seven additional casinos have jumped on board. There are 10 total tribal casinos in the state.
Most of these casinos offer a similar betting experience. They have betting windows as well as kiosks for people to place bets. All of the casinos have televisions and bars in their sports betting lounges, but they don’t emphasize this like their other gambling options because of the Scoreboard app.
The casinos provide the state of Oregon with over $100 million in taxes every year.
One thing to look for as sports betting continues to develop in the state is wagering at bars. Oregon law states that any place that offers some aspect of the lottery will be able to offer sports betting.
This is because the Oregon lottery runs the state’s legal sports betting business. It’s unknown how many businesses will offer sports betting, but it’s an option just like it is for the tribal casinos.
Sports Teams to Bet on in Oregon
People in Portland are unable to bet on all college sports. This immediately takes the University of Oregon and Oregon State University out from the betting equation. Still, Oregon is home to multiple professional sports franchises.
The first professional sports team that comes to people’s minds when they hear Oregon is the Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers are in the NBA’s Western Conference in the Northwest Division. The Trail Blazers entered the NBA as an expansion team in 1970 and are the only NBA team in the Pacific Northwest.
The Trail Blazers are coached by Terry Stotts and owned by the Estate of Paul Allen. They have won one NBA title in 1977 as well as three Western Conference titles. Their most recent Western Conference championship came in 1992.
One interesting fact about the Trail Blazers is that from 1983 through 2003, they made the playoffs 21 straight times. This is tied for the second-longest such streak in NBA history.
They’re third in career playoff appearances behind the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs since they came into the league in 1970.
In the 2018-19 season, the Trail Blazers were under .500, but in the two years prior, they posted first- and second-place finishes in the Northwest Division. The Trail Blazers are loved by residents of Oregon as well as by fans all over the country.
Oregon also is home to the Portland Timbers, who are a part of the Western Conference in Major League Soccer (MLS). The Timbers were founded in 2009 and are owned by Peregrine Sports LLC.
They’re coached by Giovanni Savarese, who has been leading the team since 2018. He has one MLS Cup appearance but lost 2-0 to Atlanta United.
The Timbers provide Oregon residents with a lot of excitement during soccer season. MLS isn’t one of the four major sports leagues in America, but people are still able to get in on the action through betting.
FAQ for Betting in Oregon
Is sports betting legal in Oregon?
Yes, in fact, sports betting was never illegal. Oregon was able to offer Sports Action, an NFL parlay game, through the PASPA decision. It only removed the game because of a potential NCAA lawsuit. Once PASPA was deemed unconstitutional, Oregon was quick to return to its roots of sports betting.
Is there a mobile betting option in the state of Oregon?
Yes, there is a state-sponsored mobile betting app called Scoreboard. It’s a legal app that offers players a great gaming experience and superior security. It’s the only legal app in the state.
How old do you need to be to bet on sports in Oregon?
To bet on sports, you must be 21 years of age.
Are there any land-locked sportsbook locations?
Yes, there are eight land-locked sportsbooks in the state. The only places that can offer physical sportsbooks are tribal casinos. Commercial casinos are unable to offer sports betting in the state. The sportsbooks in tribal casinos launched before the Scoreboard app.
Can you bet on college sports teams in Oregon?
No, Oregon is very strict when it comes to betting on college sports. You’re unable to bet on all NCAA competitions. Many states just don’t let bettors wager on in-state schools, but Oregon takes it one step further.
Is sports betting in Oregon safe?
Yes, sports betting in Oregon is very safe. Since betting is state-sanctioned, Oregon has made sure that security is a top priority with its Scoreboard app.
Never bet with illegal offshore books. These are what have given betting a reputation of security issues. This won’t be a problem with legal betting in Oregon.
Do you need to be an Oregon resident to bet on Scoreboard?
No, anyone can utilize Scoreboard to bet. The only restriction is that you must be located in the state of Oregon when you place your bet.
You can create an account outside of the state, but betting will be disabled until you cross state lines. This is why Scoreboard appeals to Oregon residents, but it doesn’t restrict outsiders from participating as well.