Spirit Mountain Casino Opens BetMGM Retail Sportsbook With College Sports Betting

Posted on September 2, 2020

It’s only operating on a brick-and-mortar basis right now, but it already presents a serious threat to the Oregon Lottery sports betting app.

The new BetMGM Sportsbook at Spirit Mountain Casino is open and looking to capture a significant share of handle in the Oregon sports betting market.

It can do so with better odds and a wider selection of markets than its competitors. One area specifically could make it immensely more popular than the Scoreboard app.

Details on the now-open Spirit Mountain Casino sportsbook

If you’re in the Grand Ronde area and want to check out the gaming action, you can now. The casino is about a 75 minute drive southwest from Portland, or a half-hour from the Oregon Coast.

Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the casino requires all guests to wear face masks correctly, and also screen guests for body temperatures before entry.

Additionally, the casino is operating on a reduced schedule to allow for sanitization. Whenever the casino is open, so is the sportsbook.

Currently, the hours at Spirit Mountain are:

  • 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays
  • 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays

At the Oregon sportsbook, you will find many of the aesthetic elements you would expect.

That includes multiple TVs and comfortable seats; however, seating is reduced and spaced out to abide by social distancing protocols. To further limit contact, the sportsbook also features eight betting kiosks.

Guests can access beverage and food options at the adjacent Peak Bar. Also, smoking isn’t permitted inside the property.

While the BetMGM Oregon app and website aren’t live yet, that should change later this year. However, when the BetMGM online sportsbook does launch, it will only be accessible on the Spirit Mountain Casino property for the foreseeable future.

The retail-only option may be an inconvenience for Oregon BetMGM bettors as opposed to Scoreboard. However, it can make up for that in the actual betting markets.

College sports wagering, better odds help BetMGM compete

Although it won’t be a big deal in the short term — as the Pac-12 has postponed all fall sports — the fact that Oregon sports bettors can wager on college sports at the Spirit Mountain sportsbook should be an advantage in the long run.

Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers athletics are popular among the populace.

As Scoreboard does not offer any college sports markets, it’s essentially punting that entire category. Even betting on other local teams like the Portland Thorns FC, Portland Timbers and Trail Blazers; however, Spirit Mountain’s product could be superior.

BetMGM is a national brand that knows how to compete for both in terms of the variety of markets and competitive odds.

For example, BetMGM offers a variety of promos for the ongoing US Open tennis tournament.

Scoreboard, on the other hand, has been criticized for its comparative lack of markets and unfriendly odds. The criticism asserts that because it has a legal “monopoly  for online sports betting in the state, there is no pressure to compete.

BetMGM’s launch via the Spirit Mountain Casino sportsbook may provide some of that pressure, even though it’s only a retail book at the moment.

Given the better markets, Oregonians might decide that making the trip to the Grande Ronde casino is worth it.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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