DraftKings looks almost certain to launch in Oregon, and will replace the current State Lottery run app, Scoreboard.
Oregon is an unique betting state in America in that the State Lottery have a monopoly on sports betting. However, the Oregon Scoreboard app is powered by SBTech, which DraftKings acquired in April 2020.
Speaking on Friday, Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack said:
“In Scoreboard news, with all of the events over the last year, you may have missed that our Scoreboard platform partner SBTech was purchased by DraftKings. DraftKings is well-established in the US and this presents a lottery with opportunities, including benefitting from the economies of scale offered by the company.
“We are in initial discussions with them about a new contract to transition Scoreboard off the SBTech platform and onto the DraftKings platform, as well as any other potential products and services. It is likely I will be coming to you in the March meeting for approval of a major procurement for this purpose.”
A DraftKings spokesperson confirmed that they had discussed launching in Oregon, adding:
“Since acquiring SBTech in April 2020, DraftKings has had conversations in the ordinary course of business with the Oregon Lottery about how best to serve Oregonians who are passionate about sports betting.”
DraftKings Fourth Quarter Earnings Report on Friday also hinted at moving their sports betting app to SBTech in 2021 and stated that they would be testing in a ‘Single Betting State’ first. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that this will be done in Oregon and a successful launch there will see a new and improved DraftKings Sportsbook app across America.
Unfortunately for Oregonians, there is no suggestion that this will see a change in the approach to sports betting in the state. It seems that DraftKings will take over the technical operations of the State Lottery app and there will not be a free market for online sports betting in Oregon.
This keeps the state fairly low in the Wedge Index as a lack of choice means that the user experience overall is diminished. Oregon sports bettors do have access to legal online sports betting but they lose the value that other states have due to no competition in the market.
A monopoly on sports betting means that the Oregon Lottery can effectively set lines as they want, have no need for additional promotions and investment in product is not necessary. It seems that the state wants to do as little as possible for its residents and moving to DraftKings is effectively passing the responsibility on to them.
Oregon could improve their standing in the Wedge Index by opening this process of running the sportsbook apps up to other operators, which is what has worked successfully in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and the other top five states in the Index.