Whilst Oregon is not one of the big 3 sports betting states like New Jersey, Nevada or Pennsylvania, nor even one of the next rung down like Colorado, Illinois or Indiana. However, as one of the original 4 ‘grandfathered states’ that were never included in the Federal sports wagering ban, Oregon’s sports betting industry is an important one to continue to follow watching as trends develop over time.
In January 2021, Oregon recorded its best-ever sports betting handle since sports wagering was rebooted there in October 2019, of $34.9 million, according to the official report.
Oregon Sports Betting Following the Upwards Nationwide Trend
Unlike many of the larger sports betting states, Oregon only has a single state government sponsored online sportsbook, Scoreboard. That may change in the future after Oregon State Governor Kate Brown recently opened a new bill, HB 2127, to move Oregon away from its single state-sponsored sportsbook monopoly to an open marketplace like New Jersey or Colorado. However, for the time being, it is interesting to see Oregon’s development and follow its legal sports betting story and it means that some much-needed online sports betting provider competition could be coming soon to the state of Oregon.
Breaking Down the Oregon Numbers
Looking at the Oregon Lottery numbers, that $34.9 million in legal bets taken in during January was an increase of 29.5% from December when about $27 million in sports betting handle was reported. The January 2021 result was easily a record for the state of Oregon. Oregon’s Gross Gaming Revenues came in at $3.9 million representing yet another impressive increase – 26.9% over December’s $3 million. As good as January’s revenues were in Oregon, they still fell short of the record $4.1 million in revenues reported in November 2020.
Being the first state to report in 2021, Oregon’s figures are an interesting insight as to what could be coming. Some states are further behind in their reporting, like Illinois for example, only recently releasing November figures.
How the Different Sports Fared in Oregon in January 2021
Oregon’s top 5 sports in the January 2021 sports betting handle results unfolded as follows;
- Basketball (buoyed by the popularity and great form of the local NBA franchise, the Portland Trail Blazers) at $17.4 million.
- The Football figure of $10.3 million in bets boosted by college football’s Bowl Games and the NFL play-offs.
- Soccer at $2.5 million.
- The pandemic favorite, table tennis’ $1.7 million and;
- Hockey at $1.1 million following the launch of the 2020/21 NHL
In a category all of their own, parlay wagers accounted for $8.1 million of the betting handle.
What More Sports Betting Operators Might Mean For Oregon
Despite Oregon setting a sports betting handle record in January 2021, the state still lingers towards the tail of all legal sports betting states in terms of yearly handle and revenues since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA. A mere $263 million in legal wagers has been reported since October 2019 with less than $23 million in sports betting revenues making into state coffers to fund welfare, education and infrastructure programs over that span.
The Governor’s sports betting bill if passed, would be a game changer for the way legal sports betting is regulated in Oregon.
If it is given the green light, the new bill would allow for the Oregon Racing Commission would take control of the legal sports betting platform in Oregon and invite competitive new operators into the marketplace. Bringing choice to Oregon bettors, would allow for the very best high-profile and attractive providers, ones like FanDuel and 888Sport, that Oregon bettors have been missing out on since their own state-sponsored platform went live.