- The Oregon Lottery’s Scoreboard sports betting site has been taking bets in the state for exactly one year.
- Scoreboard is ineligible to take college wagers per state law, leaving an estimated 30%-50% of extra handle on the table.
SALEM, Ore. – Scoreboard, the one and only online Oregon sports betting platform, will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Friday.
Scoreboard is Oregon’s chosen mobile and internet sportsbook application and offers residents of the state everything the retail tribal establishments do, with the exception of collegiate wagers.
LegalSportsBetting spoke with Matt Shelby, Manager of Community & Corporate Engagement for the Oregon Lottery about Scoreboard and its first year of business.
Scoreboard- Past, Present, and Future
To date, Scoreboard has taken over six million wagers. Their GGR sits at $13,077,348 with a turnover of $182,029,448. These are all of the combined figures from the first 12 months that the platform has been open for business.
Those numbers could be much higher if collegiate wagers were available on the app and sports were not severely impacted by the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Since the return of games across major sports leagues, the app has seen a turnaround in activity.
“Scoreboard is doing actually quite well; we are in a much better spot than we were this time last year. We’ve learned a lot in our first year and with sports coming back and folks having something to actually wager on, we’ve seen it this first quarter actually turn a profit which is a great place to be in,” said Shelby.
A lot was learned in the first year as bumps in the road were seen from the start. The biggest issues were those involving SBTech and their high fees. However, DraftKings is now the provider for Scoreboard.
“SBTech was purchased by DraftKings in the spring so we’ve been working through that transition but we are very happy right now with where we are relative to our partnership with DraftKings. That’s also progressing from a trading standpoint as I think our traders are learning more about the market. The platform is doing actually quite well,” said Shelby.
The one problem with Scoreboard is the lack of collegiate sports betting. The current law does not allow them to offer it. Universities in the area have not been swayed to give the green light on the subject.
“Right now, we know that we are leaving money on the table through not offering collegiate wagering. It is probably the number one complaint or piece of customer feedback we hear. Especially in a state like Oregon, that doesn’t have a very robust professional sports network, there really is that kind of pro sport excitement around our two largest universities here,” said Shelby.
But sports bettors can bet on college games at Tribal sportsbooks in Oregon. This is the part the leaves people scratching their heads. How can it be legal and okay for one business to do it but not another? The integrity issue remains the same for both so how is one allowed and the other is not as the integrity of a game is still a factor no matter where a wager is being made.
“We were working with our universities, last spring during the legislative session to try to pass a bill that would put some sight on what collegiate sports wagering would look like for Scoreboard, but unfortunately that did not see the traction and it didn’t get much traction in the Legislature;” said Shelby. “We know the Tribal casinos that offer sports betting in Oregon do offer collegiate wagering so right now there is a bit of an imbalance in terms of offerings. But we are committed to continuing that conversation at a state level.”
“People in Oregon, right now, have the ability to wager on collegiate sports on their phone and they’ve had that ability for years through offshore sportsbooks,” said Shelby concluded.
The Old College Try
Scoreboard is getting more business since the comeback of sporting events. They expect to continue to see engagement on their platform as time goes on.
“In terms of new signups, it’s been pretty steady, I think this spring, for the most part, sports went away because of COVID, obviously the betting fell off dramatically but as sports have come back, so have the bets. We have seen signups remain fairly steady and the betting activity really follows the availability of sports so we’re really happy to see that,” said Shelby.
The biggest question still goes unanswered as we go into 2021. Shelby hopes to keep the conversation going so that the universities and policymakers will come to the conclusion that the addition of collegiate wagers to Scoreboard will make the sports betting market in Oregon a larger, more legal, regulated and transparent market. It’s the hope that those in charge learn more about how adding college sports betting to the platform will make the market safer, not the opposite, and student-athletes will not be harmed with problems involving the integrity of their games.
“There are lots of moving pieces and variables, and with all that’s happened this year, I think that it would be a real challenge to try and predict what will happen next year as far as allowing collegiate sports betting on Scoreboard. Our sportsbook right now is profitable with the current offerings that we have but with that being said, if we offered collegiate wagering it wouldn’t cost us much more money to do because the platform is already there to offer it and it would bring a fair amount in overall revenue so I think for us, it’s kind of a question for policymakers,” said Shelby. “If as a state we’re not going to offer legal regulated collegiate sports wagering through the Oregon Lottery, the state will not reap the benefits. It will continue to just be offered through Tribal providers in Oregon and then basically at that point the state has taken on all of the risks of collegiate wagering because it is actually available in the state but we get none of the rewards because it’s not offered through Scoreboard.”
How much money does Scoreboard lose by not having college betting on their menu? A substantial amount. The Oregon Lottery has researched the figures to better understand what they’re fighting for with lawmakers.
“What we’ve done is looked at other markets in the country where they have mobile sports betting and looked at the breakdowns of how much of their total handle is from collegiate sports wagering and tried to take those percentages and apply them to our operation. When we do that, we’re talking about anywhere from an additional 30%-50% in handle that we believe we’re leaving on the table by not offering collegiate wagering, so it’s a significant chunk that we’re missing out on,” said Shelby.
With any luck, the second anniversary of Scoreboard will have the addition of collegiate sports betting in Oregon to celebrate and Ducks’ fans statewide will be happy to see it.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.