Oregon sports betting could see a major change in 2021, and that would be a good thing for an industry that has struggled to take off. Governor Kate Brown has requested lawmakers to make a change to sports betting regulations, and one legislator has already submitted a new bill.
House Bill 2127 looks to make the Oregon Racing Commission the regulatory body of sports betting, which would take the power away from the Oregon State Lottery. This bill would also add new operators and would also offer retail sports betting if passed.
Currently, the Scoreboard app is the only sports betting option in the state, after it was awarded the lone license by the Oregon State Lottery. The lack of competition has created numerous problems for the industry in the state, and the numbers have been less than impressive.
If this new bill is passed, there would be no limit as to how many operators received a license in the state. Another major change is that betting on college sporting events could also be offered online.
Handle Up, Revenue Down
The month of December brought an increase in sports betting handle in Oregon but also saw a decrease in total revenue. Sports betting handle last month was $26.99 million, which was nearly an eight percent increase from November.
Unfortunately, sports betting revenue fell by nearly 26 percent to just $3.05 million in December. November was the biggest month in terms of revenue for the Oregon sports betting market.
Both of these numbers would see huge jumps if House Bill 2127 is passed.
Net Loss in First Year
Oregon set a sports betting industry record during its first full year of the industry, and it was the wrong kind of record. Oregon became the first state in the United States to suffer a loss during the first fiscal year with sports betting.
While other states throughout the country were seeing huge gains in revenue, the Oregon State Lottery announced that it lost more than $5 million. The Scoreboard app posted a net loss of $5.3 million from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, but it has done better since that time.
Montana and Washington D.C. are two other sports betting markets that have struggled with finding success in a lottery-run sports betting system.
West is Wide Open
The Western portion of the United States is extremely limited with sports betting options, and that could allow Oregon to see huge growth if a new bill is passed. Outside of Nevada and Colorado, Oregon is set to become the biggest market.
California attempted to legalize sports betting in 2020, but those efforts fell short and will now likely wait until 2022. South Dakota is expected to launch sports betting this year, but it will be on a very limited basis.
A few changes could prove to have a huge effect on Oregon sports betting, but there is still plenty of work left to be done.