Oregon is in an interesting state when it comes to sports betting. Due to unique language in state laws, sports betting is technically legal through the state’s lottery. However, there isn’t currently a way for interested bettors to place a wager. With September just a few weeks away, the clock is ticking for the Oregon Lottery to provide a solution before football season.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that they will have anything ready in time. The lottery has created an industry for sports betting called the Oregon Lottery Scorecard. This will be launched over a period of time, but it will initially include a digital sportsbook for all major sports leagues like the NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL.
Anyone wishing to place a bet does need to be 21 or older and physically located within the state at the time of betting and are not on tribal lands. This is even going to be protected with geo-fencing. The second phase of launching sports betting will include installing physical kiosks for betting in establishments operated by the Oregon Lottery. While the state’s lottery had originally intended to have something ready by opening day for the NFL, that definitely seems to be out of the question as August winds to a close.
Not to worry though, because tribal groups within Oregon are beginning to show their interest in sports betting. The Chinook Winds Casino Resort is one such example. The resort has added sports betting to the list of games on their website. Despite this, the casino hasn’t yet added an official date for when they will be ready to accept wagers. For now, their only announcement has been to say that it will be ready soon.
The reason why tribal casinos are allowed to offer sports betting is because they have gambling compacts with the state. In particular, all of these compacts have a very distinct clause that tribal casinos can offer the same gambling options that the lottery can.
Outside or Oregon, tribes in other states are also looking to open up sportsbooks to accept wagers. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians was the first outside of Nevada to accept wagers. In New Mexico, there are four tribes working towards a solution. Tribes of New York are doing the same. Washington state has several tribes, but even Washington’s gambling commissioner has mentioned that there isn’t a priority for legal sports betting.
For now there’s no guarantee that Chinook Winds Casino Resort or the Oregon Lottery will be ready for football season, but at least there’s a great amount of interest from multiple parties.