How Will Oregon Sports Betting Change with DraftKings' Takeover?
Since the end of the summer, Oregon bettors knew DraftKings Sportsbook would be coming to its state. During a commission meeting in August, the Oregon Lottery approved the transition from the current SBTech Scoreboard app and website to the well-known DraftKings Sportsbook.
Still, an official date for the move to take place never came. For the rest of 2021, there were no updates about DraftKings’ plans to enter Oregon. It wasn’t until Wednesday that DraftKings announced it would finally be coming to Oregon on Jan. 18.
“DraftKings is thrilled to embark on this journey with the Oregon Lottery as we build out a coast-to-coast presence with our top-rated online sportsbook for these fans to experience ahead of the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl,” Paul Liberman, co-founder and President Global Technology and Product, said in a media release. “The Oregon Lottery shares our innovative spirit as one of the most progressive organizations in the real-money gaming sector, and together we look forward to delivering the exceptional online sportsbook products that Oregonians have been anticipating.”
The current Scoreboard app will remain operational until DraftKings goes live on Jan. 18. After the move to DraftKings, most of the functionality of Scoreboard will be removed, except for bettors’ access to transaction histories, account information and the withdrawal facility for six months post-transition. Open bets in Scoreboard accounts will remain until settled.
“We’re excited about the improved experience for our players – including the ability to make same game parlay bets. DraftKings is a premier provider in the US,” Barry Pack, Director, Oregon Lottery, said in a media release. “We see benefits for Lottery too, as the shift to DraftKings means fewer third-party service providers and a simpler financial structure for player accounts.”
DraftKings Impact for Oregon
Oregon will be the second state where DraftKings has an exclusive lottery agreement to operate its sportsbook. The company made a deal with the New Hampshire Lottery in 2019.
DraftKings has seen the benefits of being the sole operator in New Hampshire, with the state producing record-high handles in September and October. The October handle of $98.1 million was 44.1% higher than the previous record of $68.1 million in September and was a 108.7% increase from the $47 million posted in October 2020.
Year-over-year growth has been evident in New Hampshire this fall. The November handle of $83.2 million was 78.8% higher than November 2020’s $38.9 million.
Perhaps a DraftKings takeover can boost Oregon’s sports betting numbers, which pale in comparison to New Hampshire despite having a population that’s nearly four times larger. Oregon’s estimated population is 4.25 million, while New Hampshire's is 1.4 million.
In November, New Hampshire posted a handle of $83.2 million and set a monthly record of $98.1 million in October. By comparison, Oregon recorded handles of just $32.7 million in November and $33.7 million in December. Like New Hampshire, Oregon managed to set a sports betting handle record in October, but the total came to only $37.6 million.
One key difference between the states is New Hampshire does allow wagering on college sports, except for on games with in-state teams. The Scoreboard app in Oregon does not take any college bets at all, meaning residents are forced to use an offshore book to wager on college games online.
Perhaps DraftKings can bolster the sports betting handle figures in Oregon. During the August meeting when discussing the move to DraftKings, Pack saw the DraftKings brand as an opportunity to gain new customers through one of the more popular brands in online gaming.
“We may see some players who choose not to make that transition (from SBTech to DraftKings),” he said, “but I think that will probably be offset by the improved customer experience and the additional wagering options that the DraftKings platform will offer.
“The DraftKings platform is a lot more familiar to regular U.S. sports bettors. The SBTech platform was more of a European design.”
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