More Delays on Oregon Sports Betting App
The opening date for unveiling the Oregon Lottery’s “Scoreboard” sports betting app keeps getting pushed back. Holding things up is the testing process for the mobile sportsbook and the state lottery’s first eCommerce platform.
The Oregon Lottery has insisted from the get-go that it wouldn’t release its sports betting app until testing was completed. That’s still the case, and because the lottery wants to get it right, bettors will probably have to wait until mid-October before they can put down sportsbook wagers.
The hoped-for rollout of Oregon Lottery Scoreboard before the NFL season obviously slipped by several weeks ago. Now it looks like it won’t happen until the end of September or the beginning of October and—given the number of times the rollout’s been postponed—even later.
The lottery is testing two things: the mobile sportsbook and the lottery’s first eCommerce platform, which will allow the creation of player accounts. Earlier in the month, Oregon State Lottery spokesman Matt Shelby told Global Gaming Business News, “We want to make sure the sports betting works as it should, but that the player account syncs with the mobile sports book and the current claims and payment system.”
That has turned out to be a “mountainous task,” as lottery staff members told the Oregon Lottery Commission last week.
Shelby said last week that the lottery is merging its vendor SBTech’s sports betting application with the eCommerce platform developed in-house by the state agency. That platform will accept player registration, verify ID, process payments and perform geofencing, which is required to ensure that only persons within Oregon state lines are making wagers on the app.
Shelby told reporters, “We have an app. We know that works.” He added, “What we’re testing is the integration of the various systems that need to talk to one another. It’s going well but we’re still a few weeks from actually having an app available in the Apple store.”
He concluded, “We set a goal internally of the beginning of the NFL season, knowing full well that the testing and the product itself would drive the launch date.”
The Oregon Lottery has already been literally beaten to the punch by the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, which opened a sports betting lounge about a month ago. But the casino’s brick-and-mortar operation will be dwarfed by the state’s app, where bettors can put down wagers from anywhere in the state.
Lottery staff believe that most of those who initially sign up will be transitioning from illegal, under-the-radar sportsbook that has flourished for years without regulation.
The lottery hopes to earn a net profit of $37 million from about estimated (and hoped-for) $1.6 billion in sports wagering the first three years after Oregon Lottery Scoreboard goes live.
The money the state makes from sports betting will be earmarked for matching funds for state employee pension contributions.