Oregon Lottery Gets the Short End of the Stick in Revenue Partnership

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Oregon Lottery Sign SBTech logo

After months of legal fighting and public questioning, Oregonians finally have their answers in regards to the deal between the Oregon Lottery and SBTech.

This contract came under fire last month when it appeared the state was going to lose money from their sports betting venture. From there, questions arose and legal battles ensued over how Oregon could lose money so soon. This led to the public and the critics finally getting the answers they were looking for.

Unfortunately, those answers shed an unfavorable light on the deal between the Oregon Lottery and SBTech that now has many critics up in arms.

Court Battle Reveals the True Nature of the Partnership

The only reason that the true nature of the partnership is coming to light is due to a fierce court battle that resulted in the revealing of the original contract signed by the Oregon Lottery and SBTech. Otherwise, both parties would’ve kept the deal a secret.

To recap, SBTech is responsible for the state’s sports betting Scoreboard app, which was launched back in October 2019. Since that time, direct payments have been made to SBTech that have totaled at least $2.9 million to date.

Revenue during this time has netted almost $6 million, so between the cut that SBTech has been taking and the expenses, this is why the Oregon Lottery is in the hole nearly $2 million.

The court battle began when a public record petition was filed by The Oregonian and Legal Sports Report asking for the details of the public contract. SBTech fought the petition the entire way, not wanting to make the details public.

Eventually, an order from the Department of Justice and a Superior Court ruling by Judge David Leith was made to reveal the details of this contract.

It’s More than Just a Contract Issue

While the contract with SBTech is certainly alarming, there is more to the story than that. There is also the fact that the entire sports betting industry in Oregon is underperforming in comparison to initial projections.

Many argue it is due to the fact that one operator is a monopoly. There is no competition, no desire to spark any sort of change, and no reason to make things better for those wishing to bet on sports.

When there is only one company offering sports betting, they pretty much have a blank ticket to do as they please. In the end, bettors don’t thrive in this scenario.

Then there is the argument that the actual sports betting app is far from user friendly. This is making players not want to get involved and place bets, simply because the app is too difficult and cumbersome to navigate.

Again, not an ideal situation to put people in. Many feel the app was rushed in order to launch in time for the NFL season. Hurrying to release it meant that corners were cut and the end result just isn’t up to par.

For now, it seems that sports betting in Oregon is nowhere near the raging revenue success that the experts had predicted. Only time will tell if the state is able to turn things around and offer a more enjoyable betting experience.

As for the contract with SBTech, Oregon has put themselves in a deep hole that could seriously backfire. State lawmakers might have to re-examine this relationship and other sports betting laws like prohibiting legal wagers on college sports.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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