While much of the United States has seen a drop in sports betting handle and revenue since March, the opposite has been true in the state of Oregon. Total sports betting handle increased in Oregon for May, and that was actually the second straight month of growth.
The total sports betting handle was $27.8 million, a near 10 percent jump from the $25.3 million in April. The Oregon Lottery officially released these numbers on Friday, and it does give the sports betting industry some hope in the state.
The Oregon Lottery runs the only online sports betting option in the state, and that app has faced plenty of criticism since the industry launched. This has also kept the state from bringing in large handle and revenue numbers to keep up with the rest of the country.
The sports betting revenue for the month of May was just $2.4 million, which was a 13 percent drop from the $2.7 million in April. This dip in revenue hurt the amount of tax dollars that the state was able to generate from sports betting.
January 2021 set a new industry record for Oregon as the state saw more than $34.9 million in wagers to begin the year.
Basketball Bringing the Business
Betting on college sports is not offered through the Scoreboard app, and that is another reason that the state has seen limited growth. Basketball continues to be the most popular sport to bet on in the state, especially when it comes to the NBA.
For the month of May, basketball accounted for $16.1 million of the total wagers. Parlay betting was next on the list, with nearly $7 million brought in with this popular form of betting.
The rest of the top-five biggest betting markets were as follows:
- Baseball ($4.6 million)
- Soccer ($2.4 million)
- Hockey ($1.5 million)
- MMA ($750,194)
Decrease Could be Coming
Oregon could be facing a big decrease in the sports betting numbers in the coming months, especially as the NBA season begins to wind down. To make matters worse, the Portland Trail Blazers are now out of the playoffs, removing a top betting option.
Major League Baseball will become the top sports betting market near the beginning of July, but the summer months don’t bring in much action throughout the United States. September will likely be the next big month for the state, as that is when the 2021 NFL season will begin.
Legislation in Limbo
House Bill 2127 was introduced back in January, and it aimed to change the sports betting landscape in Oregon. This bill would remove the Oregon Lottery as the regulatory body and instead give the power to the Oregon Racing Commission.
The reason for this proposal is to allow new operators to enter the state of Oregon and make the industry more competitive. There appeared to be plenty of support for this bill at first, but that has since died out.
The bill is currently sitting in the House Committee on General Government, but it has been there since January 19 without any movement.