Oregon Lottery Releases App, Plans for Sports Betting in November
Although legal sports betting in Oregon won’t be offered until later this fall, the Oregon Lottery recently released its mobile app in the App Store. Sports gambling is already technically legal in the state, but there are no regulations nor tax structure set up for it as of yet. This will potentially require legislature, and the current laws will need to be expanded to offer single-game sports betting.
In its initial launch, the app will see updates and changes. It is, however, available for iPOS users now, which allows users to check for winning numbers and track jackpots at present time. Lottery officials say the Android version will be available in November; at that point, marketing campaigns will begin. Phase two will allow users to play virtual sports games.
Luckily for Oregon, it was one of the states grandfathered in by PASPA, which was the federal ban on sports gambling outside of Nevada and a couple other states. State officials feel they won’t have to pass new legislation before sports betting will be allowed through the app.
As mentioned above, Oregon doesn’t have the regulations or tax structure to support sports betting yet, though, so some work will have to be done first.
Betting in Oregon
Oregon has 24 gaming locations, most of them between Medford and Portland on the I-5 corridor. These locations range from simple card rooms to largescale tribal casinos. There are also horse tracks, 11 OTB parlors, and a horse racing circuit in the summer. They have the ability to accept wagers on dog and horse racing from betters out of state. There are no commercial casinos.
The lottery is Oregon’s second-largest source of revenue, coming after personal income taxes. Gambling revenue brings in more than $650 a year for the state.
Lottery revenues dropped significantly when the state banned indoor smoking in 2008, and the gambling population, those who are most likely to play video lottery are an aging demographic. The state is desperate to bring in new sources of revenue. An electronic gaming platform will make a huge difference. In January, interested parties went to the Oregon Lottery Commission to move gambling in the state to expand to mobile and sports betting.
Tribal Casinos in Oregon
Tribal casinos aren’t covered by state law, but they have a pact with the state that defines key issues like taxation. There are nine tribes in Oregon.
Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, tribes will be allowed to offer sports betting once it’s offered by Oregon, but will have to renegotiate their compacts with the state.
Governor Kate Brown supports the lottery moving ahead with its plans to launch the app, with mobile sports betting to be available soon. She is also supportive of the tribal casinos and their operators. A spokesperson for the governor said in a statement to The Williamette Week:
“Governor Brown is open to exploring sports betting as part of the Oregon State Lottery portfolio, particularly in ways that partner with Oregon’s Tribes. The future of commerce is through mobile platforms, and the lottery needs to stay relevant in that world.”
We’ll have to wait and see what the timeline is for Oregon’s sports betting legislation and how it will open up the opportunity for visitors and residents of Oregon to place bets via an app.
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