The Oregon Lottery on Wednesday officially launched its “Scoreboard” sports betting app, making it the first state in the West to offer state-wide mobile sports betting. The launch happened in the late afternoon, after more than a year of preparation.
The Scoreboard app allows bettors to wager on professional sports via mobile devices. Apple users can download the app at the App Store while Android users will be able to download through a direct link found on the Lottery website. Bettors can also access Scoreboard via computer or iPad through the Oregon Lottery website.
Response was more than the app or the Lottery could handle on Wednesday night.
Hey Sports fans! What a night! With so many folks jumping on the registration pages, performance bogged down (as you might expect). The good news is that registrations are coming through and people are placing their first bets. Now is a great time to ge…https://t.co/ztGQaObu3K pic.twitter.com/eqXR8AEPGc
— Oregon Lottery (@oregon_lottery) October 17, 2019
Oregon was one of four states grandfathered in under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, and did not need legislative action to bring this sports betting platform to fruition. The Lottery partnered with SB Tech to run its platform and has been slow and steady in development, looking to “get it right” rather than launch fast.
Tribal casino launched at physical site in August
While the Lottery launch makes Oregon the first state on the West Coast to offer live, legal mobile sports betting, those in the state have been able to place sports bets at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln about two hours southeast of Portland since August, making it the only place in the West outside of Nevada for people to legally bet on sports.
“We were allowed to (open) through our compact when a lot of the casinos weren’t,” Matthew Pond, the Assistant Operations Manager at Chinook Winds, told KOIN 6 News. “It is an amenity we have that nobody else has right now.”
Neighboring Washington appears also appears to be making earnest moves toward legal sports betting. One California lawmaker pitched a sports betting bill in 2018 and 2019, but it did not gain any traction and the Golden State has an enormous tribal gaming presence to negotiate with before considering legalizing. Representative Adam Gray refiled ACA 16, which would put sports betting on the ballot for voters to approve, earlier this year but it has not yet been referred to committee.
Lawmakers in Idaho, Oregon’s eastern neighbor, have taken no action on sports betting.
The Lottery hasn’t been “hair-on-fire” rushing to go live with Scoreboard mainly because the app will be the Lottery’s first experience with eCommerce, and the decision was made long ago to tweak and perfect it as much as possible prior to launch.
In early September, when it became clear that Scoreboard would not launch ahead of the NFL season, Shelby shared the Lottery’s bigger-picture perspective.
“We have an app, and we have the platform,” he said. “We’re testing for security and the usability of the app, but more important, we’re testing on the financial side of things. … We’re not just working with SB Tech (for sports betting), there are a number of vendors on the financial side, and we have to make sure all of those systems are integrated. We’re just kind of making sure that all of the functionality is there.”