The Oregon Lottery is laying the groundwork to roll out Oregon sports betting with mobile/online functionality. The first iteration of the app, which will allow players to see if they hold a winning lottery ticket, is planned for later this summer.
“The fact of the matter is that when our app launches, there won’t be any ability to buy any of our products,” Oregon Lottery Senior Public Affairs Officer Chuck Baumann told Sports Handle Monday. “It will simply be that players will have ability to check tickets to see if they are winners, as well as get other information, like jackpot alerts, a look at where (lottery) money goes, and there will be a retailer finder. At some point in time, and we’re not sure what that’s going to look like, we will offer games and some sort of sports betting.”
Oregon is one of four states that was grandfathered in under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which prohibited sports betting in most states. The Supreme Court struck down the act on May 14, and Oregon already has language on the books that would allow for sports betting, so no new legislation needs to be passed before the state can offer sports betting.
The Oregon Lottery Will Roll Out a Mobile App Later This Summer, and Eventually Plans to Have Legal Mobile OR Sports Betting.
Baumann was careful to say that the timetable, even for the initial version of the app, is fluid, though he expects it to be available this summer. Sports betting and other features will follow in phases, though Baumann said exactly what the app will look like – whether it will have a dropdown menu or if patrons will click through icons – isn’t settled yet. The immediate goal is to get the first version of the app into the hands of the public.
Oregon is no novice when it comes to gambling – or to being on the cutting edge of gambling. The state has nine tribal casinos, a horse racetrack and 11 OTB locations. In addition, the state also has a summer weekend horse racing circuit and is one of a handful of states that has a “hub” system to accept wagers on horse and dog racing from out-of-state bettors.
Oregon Has 9 Tribal Casinos, All of Which Will Be Able to Offer Legal OR Mobile Sports Betting if the Lottery Does, According to a Lottery Spokesman.
Those nine tribal casinos are very much on the lottery’s mind – as are state lawmakers and the governor – as it moves forward with its new app. As is the case in other states, the tribal casinos are located on federal land and are governed by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, not state law. But there is a pact between the state and the tribes in place, which lays a framework for taxation and other issues.
[Also See: Mailbag Mythbusting: The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and Sports Betting]
“The pact that the state has with the tribal casinos is that any games that the state lottery offers, they can offer,” Baumann said. “So, if we can all work together … that would be better.”
As the lottery prepares to move forward with its app, it’s likely that state lawmakers will also get involved in the process, as Oregon does not currently have a regulatory framework or tax hierarchy in place for mobile gaming or sports betting.