Since its launch more than a year ago, legalized sports betting in Oregon has been under a microscope.
An inauspicious start with the Oregon Lottery Scoreboard betting app brought financial concern and speculation. The COVID-19 outbreak compounded concerns.
Since then, however, the state’s sports betting infrastructure has shown signs of life, lending credence to the idea that its best days lie ahead.
Oregon sports betting draws $20 million in 2020
It was at times a rocky year for Oregon’s Scoreboard app, in part due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.
But that doesn’t mean bettors stayed away.
More than 7.1 million bets were placed on Scoreboard in 2020, generating over $218.2 million in handle and $20 million in revenue. It resulted in a hold of 9.2%.
Remember, however, that the Oregon Lottery banned remote wagers on college sports. That decision has been criticized for hamstringing profits on a monopolized app that has faced controversy and questions about its profitability since launching in fall 2019.
Still, the latter months of 2020 gave reason for optimism – even if figures could have been higher with the inclusion of college sports betting on Scoreboard.
Final months of 2020 strong for Oregon sports betting
November, for instance, generated a record $4.1 million in revenue, up from the $2.7 million reported in October, which itself was a major boost over previous months.
Revenue in December dipped from November, falling to $3.05 million. Still, the state saw an uptick of nearly $2 million in handle to $26.98 million in the year’s final month.
Such figures make evident the ongoing recovery underway since Scoreboard’s uninspiring start. That said, its $23 million in revenue since October 2019 ranks near the bottom of eligible states.
Meanwhile, in the coming year, it appears possible that Oregon’s progress could include a shift from Scoreboard’s existing state-sponsored, monopolized app to the competitive marketplace seen in other states.
Strange 2020 includes wide buffet of betting
Like the rest of America, Oregon bettors gravitate toward basketball and football. However, their unique love of soccer makes it the state’s third-most-bet-on sport.
Strangely enough, table tennis – especially Russian competition whose veracity has since been questioned – became a go-to option for bettors during the first wave of COVID-19.
Table tennis generated the highest average bet amount ($51.54) of all sports in Oregon in 2020. By comparison, basketball had an average bet of $34.08, while football bettors landed at $27.79.
Here is a breakdown of each sport that received more than 400,000 bets on Scoreboard in 2020:
|Basketball||2.07 million||$70.6 million|
|Football||1.93 million||$53.8 million|
|Table tennis||409,000||$21.1 million|
Nearly 4.7 million pre-match bets were placed last year, compared to 2.44 million live wagers. Interestingly, bettors were much more likely to place large wagers when betting live. In-game bets averaged $43.66, while pre-match average sat at $23.81.