Oregon has had their hand in gambling of different sorts for many years, but in 2019 it was able to offer legal sports betting to its residents finally. This is our guide to everything you need to know about sports betting in Oregon – where you can place a bet, the types of bets that are available, and everything in between.
A brief history of legalized sports betting in the stat
What many people outside Oregon may not realize is that the state had a sports betting game available for play before PASPA was even enacted. The game was called Sports Action and was essentially a parlay-based lottery game that allowed players to select the winners of multiple NFL games hoping to win if all their selections were correct.
Sports Action was spared when PASPA was put in place, as the game was lobbied to be considered a lottery-style game versus actual sports wagering. As the game grew in popularity, more sports were added to the mix, including many college sports. This is where the trouble began for the lottery. Finally, after much complaining by sports leagues and the NCAA, Sports Action was taken off the market in 2007.
However, the popularity of the game made it clear that Oregon residents loved sports and to have a gamble on them, however, far-fetched a win might be in Sports Action. When PASPA was repealed in 2018, Oregon was ready to be one of the first states to launch regulated sports betting.
Rather than passing new laws to allow for competitive online sports betting, the state believed it already had those regulations in place from its old lottery game. Therefore, the state believed it could simply launch online sports betting administered by the lottery, so that is what it did. The Scoreboard mobile app launched in October 2019, making Oregon the first state to offer mobile betting before any form of a land-based sportsbook. The next steps in the plan for the rollout of legal sports betting in the state include the addition of kiosks to lottery retailers for sports betting and the return of a lottery-style game like Sports Action. There is no timeline for either of these, but we can assume they will have launched by the end of 2020.
To keep the peace with the NCAA, there is no betting on college sports currently allowed on the Scoreboard app. With the popularity of college sports in Oregon, it is hard to believe this is a rule that will last long as all it will do is drive players to other online sports betting solutions.
Where you can make online sports bets in Oregon
For now, the only place that you are able to make online sports bets is through the Scoreboard app offered by the Oregon Lottery. We don’t see a scenario where more competition is allowed into the landscape unless there is pressure to do so placed upon the state government.
The lottery announced that in the first weekend of operation, almost 20,000 accounts were created on the Scoreboard app, confirming that Oregon residents are as ready as ever to place wagers on their favorite sports.
What types of bets you can make in Oregon
The good news is that even though there is only one place to make legal online sports bets, you can access a full slate of bet types in the Scoreboard app. For those of you who may be new to sports betting, here is a primer on the bets you can make.
Money Line bets are the easiest to understand for any gambler. You are simply picking the outright winner of a game or event, and you are paid based on the money line odds provided by the site. If you are betting on a favorite, you will have to wager a premium to win back money, while underdog bets offer you a generous payout on your wager.
Betting point spreads is very popular in the U.S. especially when betting on sports like football and basketball, where a lot of points are scored. In these sports, where there can be two very mismatched teams based on performance, a way to level the betting playing field is to assign a handicap to the better team. This way, when you are betting, you do not have to pay the premium as you do with a money line bet. However, in order to win your bet, the favored team has to win the game by more than the point spread assigned to them by the oddsmaker. Here is an example to work with:
Cleveland Browns +9.5
Seattle Seahawks -9.5
In the above example, oddsmakers believe that Seattle is far better than Cleveland and have added a 9.5 point handicap to them. This means if you want to bet Seattle to win on the point spread, they must win the game by 10 or more points for your bet to be a winner. Conversely, all Cleveland has to do is keep the game closer than 10 points for you to be a winner even if they don’t win the game outright.
Are you a huge Seahawks fan who thinks they are going to win it all at the beginning of the season? If so, you can make a future bet on the team to win the championship. These bets take some time to complete, of course, but they are great bets for fans to make on their favorite teams.
Proposition Bets (Props)
If you have ever been to a Superbowl party and made picks on how long the anthem would be or the color of the hair of the halftime singer, you have been making prop bets! These bets are answers to propositions on individual events within the game itself. They are very popular as social bets, as they typically match the arguments being had at sports bars such as “How many touchdown passes will Russell Wilson have today” or “which team will score first.” Some online sportsbooks offer dozens of props on each game, and famously the Superbowl has the most prop bets, with some European sportsbooks offering almost 1,000 different bets on the game.
The old Sports Action game offered by the Oregon Lottery was a parlay-based game, albeit with worse odds than actual parlay bets. A parlay is a wager where you have to string together two or more correct selections, and your payout odds increase as a result of the lower probability of being correct. Most sportsbooks allow up to 10 team parlays, which pay winning wagers according to the table below:
2 Team Parlay 2.6 to 1
3 Team Parlay 6 to 1
4 Team Parlay 11 to 1
5 Team Parlay 22 to 1
6 Team Parlay 45 to 1
7 Team Parlay 90 to 1
8 Team Parlay 180 to 1
9 Team Parlay 360 to 1
10 Team Parlay 720 to 1
Of course, getting all ten games right in a parlay is very difficult, so while the payout looks amazing, you are smart to make only a small wager on a ticket that large.
A teaser bet is somewhat similar to a parlay in that to win requires making multiple correct selections. However, you can “tease” the point spreads in this type of bet to make them easier to win. Teaser bets are only available in basketball and football as they require point spreads to work.
If you want to bet on your favorite team but don’t open the app in time to get your bet in before the game, you no longer have to be disappointed. In-play betting, which allows you to bet on the team that is going to win the game after the game has started, is now growing in popularity in the United States. The odds are constantly changing as the game ticks on, and you can see the live odds feed in your sports betting app.
Payments to and from online sports betting sites in Oregon
As Oregon is the only state to currently offer mobile betting without a land-based option, the types of payment methods are increasingly important. Thankfully, there is a full suite of payment options for deposits and withdrawals, and you can find the full list at the Scoreboard site. With the legalization of sports betting across the U.S., the following methods have become the most popular:
- Credit Cards
- Debit Cards
- ACH (E-check)
Please note that not all banks currently approve online gambling transactions (fallout from the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006), so you may not be able to use your credit or debit cards on the app for now.
Oregon Sports Betting FAQ
Are offshore betting sites illegal in Oregon?
They are not technically illegal, but they are not legal like the Scoreboard app. You will find offshore-based sites offering sports betting odds to Oregon residents. We do not recommend these sites as they are not monitored by any American agency. The inherent risk of sending your money to a site based in Latin America exists, but we know that some bettors, including those looking to bet on college sports, may be tempted to seek out these sites. We suggest you limit your activity on these sites as you never know when one might walk away with your money.
Are there any sports I can’t bet on in Oregon?
As mentioned, the Oregon lottery faced a lot of backlash in the past from the NCAA which in part caused them to shut down their Sports Action lottery game. When legal sports betting came back around, the Lottery decided to keep college sports off the betting table in the Scoreboard app. However, we expect that given what is taking place in other states regarding betting on NCAA sports, there will be some more leniency on the topic in the coming years.
When will other sportsbooks be allowed in Oregon?
We don’t see this happening anytime soon. The Lottery has a stranglehold on the business today, and it would fight very hard to maintain this monopoly in the face of new competition. The Scoreboard app is excellent and very user-friendly, so there is no reason for Oregon bettors to look for alternatives.