• The Oregon State Lottery has chosen its sports wagering service partner in SBTech.
  • SBTech beat out a pair of high-profile international sports betting operators.
  • Sports wagering is scheduled to be offered before the 2019 NFL season.

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon State Lottery (OSL) has officially chosen a statewide sportsbook partner in SBTech. While the financials have not been publicized, there are many reasons behind this selection.

Thanks to its grandfathered status under the overturned Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), Oregon’s attempt to legalize sports wagering does not require congressional approval. Instead, like Delaware, Oregon can simply expand the state lottery’s role to cover sports wagering products.

SBTech was on the three-vendor shortlist to provide sports wagering services for the OSL, beating out Playtech and SG Digital. All three brands are major international operators in the industry, and it is unclear what specifically tilted the scales in SBTech’s favor.

However, in the OSL’s summary of the process (in which the “request for proposal” team unanimously chose SBTech), the main considerations seem to be based on the existing user experiences offered by SBTech.

What SBTech Brings To The Table For Oregon Sports Betting

According to the OSL, SBTech offers comprehensive knowledge bases for their products, including online videos, curated forums, and FAQs. They also have advanced tools for “predicting player behavior,” giving them an edge in detecting aberrant line action.

Further, SBTech has a “single user interface for all back-office tools,” making their products and services totally unified at the administrative level. The company “demonstrated confidence in meeting all lottery requirements and deadlines,” and they share the “initiatives and objectives” of the OSL.


Interestingly, in the lottery’s overview of its decision, the agency takes the time to point out that with SBTech’s assistance, the “OSL can compete with black market operators effectively…”

The ability to immediately launch a user-friendly, comprehensive sportsbook interface is critical when trying to wrest business back from an entrenched black market.

However, if the OSL thinks that SBTech will immediately give it a “convenience” edge over established offshore sportsbooks (though these are gray-market vendors rather than black-market vendors), that might be a taller order than the agency realizes. The offshore betting market has been maturing for nearly three decades, giving it a substantial head start.

Near-Term Outlook For OSL Sports Betting

Oregon Lottery spokesperson Matthew Shelby has made the rounds recently with news that the state intends the Oregon sports betting product to be live by the start of the 2019 NFL season.

As NFL betting is far and away the most popular form of the pastime in the US, this makes good sense. Further, unlike other states, Oregon intends to launch its wagering product on mobile first, with possible physical expansion to come later. This is the reverse of the tactics seen elsewhere in the wake of PASPA’s 2018 overturn.

Because of this rollout roadmap that favors mobile and sets the sports wagering age limit at just 18 years old, Oregon is poised to hit the ground running.

As such, the OSL is expected to generate revenue of $100 million statewide within a year of launch, with a mature market supporting state income of more than $120 million per year.

There is really just one unknown when it comes to sports wagering via the OSL: whether or not the service will support NCAA wagering. Because state universities receive direct funding from lottery revenue, this could be too much a conflict of interest.

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