Oregon Gets 2021 Off to Good Start with Record January Handle

Oregon Gets 2021 Off to Good Start with Record January Handle
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Oregon sports betting made significant gains to start the new year, recording its highest handle in January to date.

The January sports betting handle in Oregon was $34.9 million, according to figures released Wednesday by the Oregon Lottery. This is an increase of 29.5% from December (just under $27 million). The January total handle and revenue were the highest figures for a month since Oregon launched sports betting in October 2019.

January sports betting revenue (GGR) made a significant leap to $3.9 million, up 26.9% from December ($3 million) and just shy from its record of just over $4.1 million in November.

For 2020, the first full year of Oregon sports betting, the total handle was $218.2 million and the total revenue was $20.1 million. The hold for the year was 9.2%.

Oregon’s top 5 sports in January handle: Basketball $17.4 million, football $10.3 million, soccer $2.5 million, table tennis $1.7 million and hockey $1.1 million. Parlay bets accounted for $8.1 million. The basketball figure is not surprising considering the popularity of the Portland Trail Blazers.

All states with legal sports betting have reported their December figures except for Illinois. When Illinois does report December, it’s expected that the total U.S. handle for December will top $3.5 billion. Oregon is the first state to report January figures.

Oregon Sports Betting Revenue & Handle, January vs December

January$34.936M $3.873M
December$26.987M $3.051M
ChangeUp 29.5%Up 26.9%

New House Bill Could Help

House Bill 2127 was filed in mid-January at the request of Gov. Kate Brown and would make the Oregon Racing Commission the new regulator of sports betting, increase the number of operators and allow for mobile and retail sports betting in Oregon.

The new bill does not necessarily eliminate the ScoreBoard app, but it does indicate the switch in regulators. Opening the market to more operators would be a huge improvement over Oregon’s current situation.

The increase in January handle and the strong revenue figure are somewhat surprising because of Oregon’s single-source sports betting market. And you can’t bet on college sports on the lottery’s app. College wagers have to be placed at sportsbooks on-location at two tribal casinos.

States with lottery-run sports betting operations and just one option for consumers, like Oregon, have had issues with poor odds and technical difficulties. SBTech has a partnership with the Oregon Lottery.