The state of Oregon has had a rocky start in the sports betting industry, but the end of 2020 was a strong finish. Total sports betting handle in December increased by nearly eight percent after the state saw a decrease in November.
Unfortunately, revenue dropped nearly 26 percent after a record-setting month in November. Still, more wagers coming in is seen as a good sign for the current sportsbooks in the state.
Sports betting handle came in at $26.99 million for December, which was an increase of almost $2 million. Revenue was still over $3 million, but that was a sharp decrease from the previous record of $4.1 million.
These numbers are expected to continue to rise in 2021 and beyond, but Oregon will never be one of the top sports betting markets in the United States. The size and structure of the industry will continue to hold the state back from tremendous growth.
Football Driving Sports Betting
It comes as no surprise that football was the most popular sport to bet on in Oregon during the month of December. Just over 50 percent of all the wagers made last month were on football, but that was actually a slight decrease from the November totals.
The return of the NBA also helped drive sports betting in Oregon, as there was more than $8 million in basketball wagers placed in December. The NBA season didn’t start until Dec. 22, but college basketball also helped bring in some bets.
Soccer and tennis were the third and fourth most popular sports to bet on during the month of December. Football and basketball are expected to dominate the market once again in January, but that will change when the NFL season ends.
Other Betting Figures
The majority of bets made during the month of December were placed pre-game, but there were plenty of live bets made as well. Of the 843,235 bets, 572,284 were made before the start of a game or event.
The remaining 270,951 bets were made in-play as a live betting option. Overall, the average size of a bet was $32, which was a slight increase from the November average.
The entire sports betting handle during 2020 totaled $218,239,661, which was an impressive figure for the first full year of sports betting. There is just one online sports betting option in the state, and that has kept Oregon from keeping up with some of the other top markets.
More Competition Coming?
The Western portion of the United States does not have a strong presence in the sports betting industry, but that could be changing in 2021. Colorado and Nevada are both much bigger sports betting markets than Oregon, but other states could create even more competition.
South Dakota has legalized sports betting, and it is expected to launch at some point this year. That could take away some business from Oregon, depending on the rules and regulations that are in place.
California will also look to legalize sports betting again in 2021 after those efforts failed in 2020. California could become a huge sports betting market, and that would slow the growth in the state of Oregon.