Written By JR Duren on January 24, 2022
Focusing on women in sports betting: a new strategy by FanDuel

FanDuel CEO Amy Howe isn’t mincing words: sportsbooks and fantasy sports platforms need to shift their marketing to women.

In an interview with Fortune, Howe said sports betting’s male-focused marketing needs to shift.

“If you look at the marketing, it’s been very male-centric,” Howe said in her interview. “I don’t think there has been an effort to appeal to a female audience.”

And with growing interest in legal sports betting in Oregon and across the country, focusing marketing efforts on women for a change could be a profitable strategy.

Industry experts hope to make sports betting more approachable for women

One of the issues that Howe mentioned as a microcosm of the gender disparity in sports betting is that online sports competitions – whether fantasy sports or sports betting – can be intimidating.

“For some women, setting up a fantasy sports league and participating in sports betting can be intimidating,” Howe said.

Jaymee Messler, the founder of gamification company Gaming Society, also spoke with Fortune about women and sports betting. She noted that betters of any gender can have a hard time finding betting lines on women’s sports.

Messler, who recently started Gaming Society, a sports betting and gaming startup for casual fans said:

“They need to be creating a more inclusive product across the board”. “The interest among women is there, but the barrier to entry is high.”

Solving the disparity in women’s sports lines and the intimidation factor that some women feel is a complex issue. But it has some practical solutions.

For example, FanDuel worked with female-focused sports media site The Gist to promote a FanDuel fantasy football league with a $2 buy-in and $2,000 in prizes.

The two sites have since run contests for NBA games and golf for followers of The Gist, known as “GISTers.”

And it may be partnerships between sportsbooks and female-focused sports media sites like The Gist that can help usher in a new generation of sports bettors that have been otherwise ignored.

In an interview with Comcast NBCUniversal’s LIFT Labs, The Gist Co-founder Roslyn McLarty drove that point home and said:

“We feel like we’re just scratching the surface in terms of the value we can provide our GISTers and partners”. “Our long-term vision is to become the go-to source for sports for underserved sports fans and we’re ready to double down on what’s been working well in order to get there faster.”

Women love sports as much as men, but few dive into sports betting

From a market perspective, the female demographic has a tremendous amount of sway in the sports world.

Women made up 38% of all football fans and 43% of all basketball fans in the U.S. in 2020, according to a study from Gemba Insights.

Yet when it comes to sports betting, women’s share of interest drastically decreases. A 2019 study from the American Gaming Association noted that 69% of core sports bettors are male.

The 69-31 split between men and women stands in stark contrast to two metrics offered in a Golden Nugget Online Gaming June 2020 investor presentation:

  • Women make up roughly half of all land-based casino players aged 50-55. And 45% of those who bet through online casinos.
  • Women make up just 5% of online sports bettors aged 30-35.

And this gap between younger, core sports bettors is something that Howe hopes to fix.

FanDuel’s female-focused strategy could prove to be another nudge to the growing rate of Oregon’s online sports bettors.

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Written By JR Duren on January 23, 2022
Dutch Bros. petition against ORC regarding approval of HHR terminals

Maybe it’s the coffee that’s making them fidgety.

Dutch Bros. Coffee has filed a petition against the Oregon Racing Commission (ORC), claiming that the commission is slow-playing the approval of historic horse racing (HHR) terminals. The culprit? Dutch Bros. CEO Travis Boersma said in a petition filed with Josephine County Circuit Court he believes the ORC is waiting on advice from the Department of Justice regarding legal claims set forth by Oregon tribes.

Boersma’s claims come as TMR Racing, a company backed by Dutch Bros., has plans to open The Flying Lark, a racing facility in Grants Pass.

Legal battle is more than just a squabble over HHR terminals

TMR plans to feature 225 HHR terminals in its yet-to-be-open Grants Pass property. The terminals provide players with the opportunity to bet on historical horse races. The terminals are legal under Oregon law but have drawn criticism from Oregons‘ Native American tribes.

The tribes are the only groups allowed to operate casinos in the state. HHRs present a threat to the nine casinos that operate in the state, as HHRs can attract slots players that would normally gamble at tribal casinos.

Boersma argued in his petition that the ORC shouldn’t be dragging its feet. When another TMR property, Portland Meadows, applied for 150 HHR terminals over a four-year stretch, the ORC obliged. Why does Boersma believe tribes are to blame for the ORC’s slow approval? It may go back to letters between tribes and Oregon’s governor.

Tribes plead with governor to take action on influx of HHRs

This past October, six of the state’s nine federally recognized tribes wrote a letter to Gov. Kate Brown regarding The Flying Lark. In the letter, the tribes expressed their concern over the emergence of HHRs.

“We are at a critical moment where the state is about to approve the largest expansion of state-regulated gambling in decades without public or legislative input,” the letter stated. “If something isn’t done, HHRs will arrive in Oregon without any serious discussion of their impacts on the state, on tribes, and the citizens of both.”

Along with the letter, the tribes sent a pair of studies that indicated the new facility would pull $6 million in yearly revenue from the tribal casinos and another $13 million in tax revenue for the Oregon Lottery.

According to reports, the letter swayed Brown, who asked the ORC to pause its consideration of the HHR terminals.

“Although it is not my role as Governor to weigh in on agency licensing decisions, it is nonetheless my expectation that, as part of its regulatory licensing function, the Oregon Racing Commission will satisfy its statutory obligation to meaningfully consult with tribal governments,” Brown wrote. “That obligation includes consultation before any significant change to gaming activity that may affect the Tribes.”

Looking ahead to possible outcomes

It’s hard to say how the legal proceedings will resolve. Boersma seems set on getting approval for The Flying Lark’s 225 HHR machines. Understandably so, as the ORC approved similar requests in the past. However, the tribe seems to have the governor’s ear. That could go a long way in protecting the tribe against HHR-induced lost revenue.

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Written By JR Duren on January 19, 2022
Farewell To OSU Reser Stadium

It’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s a little easier to do it when you know good things are ahead.

This past week, demolition crews at Oregon State University imploded the west side of Reser Stadium, Corvallis’ iconic home of the Beavers football team.

The demolition is an early step in the college’s $153 million renovations of the stadium. The implosion marked the first major step in dismantling the stadium, which debuted in 1953.

Cheers rose up after bleachers, press box fell

The west wing of Reser Stadium was a relic of the past. Its brusque angles, black-tinted press-box windows, and white bleachers held in their fibers decades of heartbreak, gridiron hallelujahs, and countless memories shared between hundreds of thousands of ticketholders.

The stadium saw its first game on November 14, when the Beavers downed the Washington State Cougars 7-0. That day, halfback Chuck Brackett barreled across the goal line on a one-yard run for the first touchdown at Reser.

The stadium’s first passing touchdown came nearly a year later when quarterback Douglas Bradley threw a TD to John Hermann.

Video from the implosion reveals a bluish-grey overcast sky slathered over the horizon. Reser’s west wing was motionless. Then, a series of bright orange explosions raced across the faded orange pillars supporting the structure. The bleachers above the explosions fell immediately.

The press box followed, lurching backward in a graceful fall. A few seconds later, the back of the press box slammed against the grown. Cheers rose from the crowd, no doubt fueled by sentiment and anticipation.

Renovation will take two years

With the first big step in the renovation underway, OSU students and staff, and Corvallis residents will watch the stadium undergo a striking transformation.

“This is a game-changer for our football program,” OSU head coach Jonathan Smith noted on the stadium’s renovation website. “We want to show our recruits that Reser Stadium is intertwined within our community and campus every day of the year. As we bring families and recruits to campus, they will see the construction of the stadium and see the momentum of this program.”


Though the entire renovation is scheduled to finish in the summer of 2023, the university notes that the Beavers will play in the stadium next year.

The stadium complex will be more than just a home to the OSU Beavers football program. It will include a student welcome center that will boast various exhibits highlighting OSU’s academic and athletic strengths. The center will also provide meeting spaces for faculty, staff, and students.

Additionally, the complex will house a wellness clinic on the southeast side of the stadium. It will be a four-story, 32,000-square-foot building. The university’s student health services department will be housed on the third and fourth floors of the clinic.

“By completing Reser now we ensure the long-term financial sustainability for the OSU Athletics Department and all student-athletes,” OSU Director of Athletics Scott Barnes noted. “Increased revenue will provide financial stability throughout OSU Athletics where 70% of the revenues required to operate 17 women and men’s varsity sports are generated from football and Reser Stadium activities.”

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Written By Marian Rosin on December 7, 2021
Oregon Horse Betting Terminal on Hold in Grants Pass

The Oregon Racing Commission is honoring a request from Governor Kate Brown to pause its consideration of an application from the Flying Lark in Grants Pass to install 225 betting terminals offering Historic Horse Racing (HHR). Commission director Jack McGrail removed the items from the November 18 agenda and deferred it, according to the Willamette Week.

The governor requested the pause in response to a disagreement between the owners and Oregon’s nine indigenous tribes. Does the Flying Lark qualify as a casino or as a “destination resort”; the category proposed by the property owners? The debate appears to hinge on that definition. And changes in Historic Horse Racing machines, which would be available at the betting terminals, further complicate the decision.

Betting terminal technology outpaces legislation

Grants Pass native and Dutch Bros Coffee magnate, Travis Boerma, owns both the Flying Lark and Grants Pass Downs. He bases his stance on a 2013 law that permits historic horse racing machine betting.

Historical horse racing machines use footage of old, unidentifiable horse races. Players wager on the outcome. The law was designed when HHR machines met the statutory definition of pari-mutuel betting, where bets go into a “pool” of other wagers.

In newer machines, bettors wager against the house. The tribes say this change makes HHRs “glorified slot machines,” and their presence would qualify Flying Lark as a casino. And the Oregon Constitution bans off-reservation casinos. That prohibition passed in 1984 and has resisted attempts to overturn it. Most recently, voters rejected a 2012 prohibition measure by 72% to 28%.

Governor’s letter prompts delay

Gov. Brown sent a letter to Racing Commission Chair Diego Conde and McGrail about the lack of regard for the tribes’ objections. In the letter, which the Willamette Week inquiry may have prompted, Brown wrote:

“Although it is not my role as governor to weigh in on agency licensing decisions, it is nonetheless my expectation that, as part of its regulatory licensing function, the Oregon Racing Commission will satisfy its statutory obligation to meaningfully consult with tribal governments. That obligation includes consultation before any significant change to gaming activity that may affect the Tribes.”

“As a legislator, I helped to pass Senate Bill 770, the bill that became ORS 182.162-168, Oregon’s tribal consultation statutes. This law enshrines our shared commitment to strong government-to-government relations between the state and the nine sovereign, federally recognized Tribes that inhabit the land now known as Oregon. Robust consultation is a critical element of the working relationship between our governments, and an obligation that all agencies, boards, and commissions must satisfy.”

The tribes say the commission was apparently moving forward without formal review, debate, or public input prior to the governor’s letter.

Several state officials, including Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek, also expressed concerns regarding the previously quick pace at which the matter was moving.

Zero-sum game? 

Studies provided by Boerma’s team project the Flying Lark/Grants Pass Downs will generate over $10.7 billion within 30 years. Mike Thiessen, president of the venue, said the Flying Lark is “committed to paying a living wage in Southern Oregon.”

But studies commissioned by the tribes show reasons for concern. An ECONorthwest shows that the tribes and Oregon State Lottery would lose $20 million per year if the Flying Lark goes forward. The other study also projects losses. The tribes rely on casino income for the sustenance and well-being of their combined 29,000 members.

Legislators already lowered Flying Lark’s taxes. This change already allows the property to pay a fixed rate in taxes instead of a percentage of its revenues.

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Marian Rosin is a freelance writer who has been published in Upnest and Psychology Today. Rosin brings experience in the gambling sector as the senior copywriter for Isle of Capri casinos.

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Written By JR Duren on November 30, 2021
The NFL kickoff in September brought boost to sports betting in Oregon

Thank god for the NFL.

The premier sports league in the United States kicked off its 101st season in September, bringing with it a more than 40% boost in online sports betting handle in Oregon compared to August, according to the Oregon Lottery’s monthly sports betting activity report.

September marked only the second time since sports betting launched in May that handle exceeded $25 million.

Breaking down the numbers: Registrations, handle, and gross gaming revenue jump

The start of the NFL season was a huge draw for the state’s online sports bettors. According to the lottery’s report, the number of new registrations rose more than 300%, from 928 in August to 3,208 in September.

In fact, the number of registrations was at least 1,500 higher than any other month this year. Because of that, the state had more bettors participate in sports betting than any other month, too.

The lottery saw its handle increase from $17.69 million in August to $25.07 million, representing a 41.75% increase. The jump in handle was yet another record for the state’s new sports betting industry.

Past months have generated more handle than September, but this was the first time handle increased month-on-month since sports betting launched.

As for gross gaming revenue (GGR), September brought a boost to the lottery’s coffers. The state’s GGR was $1.26 million, which was more than a $200,000 increase over August.

Other data of note:

  • The average bet amount dropped from $38.61 in August to $32.80 in September
  • The lottery’s margin dropped from 6.01% in August to 5.02% in September

Football, baseball betting lead the way in sport-by-sport handle

The significance of the start of the NFL season is best expressed in the increase in handle between August and September: $1.05 million to a staggering $9.70 million, which was higher than any other sport.

The increase in handle proved efficient for the lottery’s margin, too. It cleared a 5.55% margin. Of the six sports that brought in at least $1 million in bets, only tennis and soccer had a higher margin.

Baseball bets accounted for the second-highest handle in September, totaling $6.78 million. The total represented a more than 10% drop month-on-month. The remaining sports that pulled in at least $1 million in bets in September:

  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Table Tennis

Big September a preview of things to come?

As the NFL season moves along, it’s likely that the Oregon Lottery will see an increase in football handle. The roughly $8 million increase in football bets from August to September may not be matched in October, but it’s likely that the lottery will see another jump.

The start of the NBA season will no doubt bring a big boost to Oregon online sports betting, too. While the historical data for NBA betting in Oregon is thin, it’s likely that handle will eclipse $5-$6 million.

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Written By Jamie Park on November 23, 2021
Oregon Gambling and Historical Horse Racing Machines Questioned by Tribes

Six Tribal Nations have petitioned Governor Kate Brown with concerns about a new generation of historical horse racing machines (HHRs). The petition comes ahead of the Flying Lark, a proposed Oregon gambling and entertainment center in Grants Pass. The Tribes expressly say that a comprehensive review is overdue for the state’s gambling laws, last updated 25 years ago.

What are Historical Horse Racing Machines?

Historical horse racing is gambling that lets players bet on replays of horse races.

Also known as “instant racing,” HHRs look and operate much like slot machines. But unlike slot machines, HHRs use game math based on the results of past horse races, rather than bingo math or random number generators.

Oregon’s horse racing exception

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed in 1988 by the United States Congress to regulate gaming on Indian Lands. In Oregon, the Tribes have exclusivity on slots and casino gaming, except for horse tracks

In states like Oregon, where casinos are restricted by exclusivity, the industry developed HHR machines to help qualify for the historical exception granted to track owners.

Enter the Flying Lark gambling center

One horse track is moving forward with HHRs. If successful, off-track betting operators may petition policymakers to install HHRs at their facilities, too. 

Billionaire Travis Boerma, Dutch Bros. Coffee founder and owner of the Grants Pass Downs racetrack, hopes the Flying Lark gambling center will become a national epicenter of racing. The proposed center, named after a famous Oregon thoroughbred, will be adjacent to the track. Specifically, the Flying Lark plan includes:

  • 250 historic horse racing machines
  • Sports bar
  • Family restaurant
  • Banquet area 

Mike Thiessen, president of the Flying Lark, said:

“We are committed to paying a living wage in southern Oregon, which will have nothing but a positive impact in peoples’ lives.”

Tribal casino revenues at stake

The Tribes, however, feel strongly that this will simultaneously attract business away from Tribal casinos and the Oregon State Lottery. Ultimately, they say, it paves the way for more gambling venues on other tracks in the state.

An ECONorthwest study estimated that, given the number of racetracks and OTB facilities in Oregon, the new HHR machines will likely alter the competitive landscape. Finally, the study suggests that money earned from HHRs will come at the expense of the Oregon Lottery and Tribes, unless new ventures can increase the number of gamblers and how much Oregonians gamble.

As a result, the threat to Tribal casino revenues is a valid concern.

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Written By George Myers on February 10, 2021Last Updated on October 26, 2021

Betting on the Super Bowl is a growing trend across America. And Oregon is no exception.

The Oregon Lottery Scoreboard sports betting app saw widespread growth in bets, handle and revenue for Super Bowl LV compared to betting during last year’s game.

It is good news for a state working to boost its lagging sports betting industry.

Super Bowl betting generates nearly $700K in state revenue

Overall, more than 150,000 Super Bowl wagers were placed via Scoreboard. The average bet was $23, according to the Oregon Lottery, as bettors combined for nearly $3.5 million in handle.

Information released by the Lottery showed that over 23,000 unique bettors placed wagers. That included nearly 1,500 new registrations on Super Bowl Sunday.

“Players took home the largest share of dollars wagered,” Tony Gallenbeck, the lottery’s sportsbook product manager, said in a release, “translating to nearly $700,000 in revenue generated by Scoreboard.”

How did Super Bowl prop betting do in Oregon?

Like other legal sportsbooks around the country, Scoreboard offered a variety of Super Bowl props and novelty bets. And Oregon bettors took advantage.

More than 3,500 bets were placed on the coin toss, while over 4,000 wagers came in on the color of the celebratory Gatorade shower. The correct choices: heads (pregame -105) and blue (+800).

“With the pandemic, it’s been a challenging year for all of us,” Barry Pack, director of the Oregon Lottery, said in a statement.

“Events like the Super Bowl provide not only a fun distraction, but also keeps sports betting dollars in Oregon for important state programs.”

Super Bowl betting a major boost for Oregon

Scoreboard’s betting totals for Super Bowl LV were a major bump over the previous year’s figures.

In 2020, more than 90,000 wagers were placed on Super Bowl LIV, accounting for nearly $2 million in handle and an average wager of around $21. Some 18,000 unique players took part, while the online sportsbook recorded 2,700 new registrations.

Gross gaming revenue amounted to just $150,000, or more than four times less than the total generated this past Sunday.

The increases in the recent Super Bowl betting are a welcome development for a regulated sports betting industry many believe has failed to capitalize on the financial opportunities presented by sports betting.

Jurisdictions with regulated wagering have seen similar spikes across the nation.

More than $420 million has already been reported in handle from Super Bowl LV. Last year’s big-game handle finished at around $300 million.

Despite signs of life, revenue in Oregon lags behind

Adding to the good news for Scoreboard this month was the release of its January figures.

Last month, the app generated nearly $35 million in handle (a record for Scoreboard) and $3.87 million in revenue (second-highest total).

Basketball led the way in January with $17.3 million in handle, followed by football at $10.2 million.

Despite such growth, Oregon still has a ways to go before being considered a top-notch betting state.

Through January, Oregon has generated less than $27 million in revenue since going live in October 2019. Oregon, in fact, has fallen severely behind most US states that have legalized sports betting.

Ideas have emerged on how to boost the state’s sports betting income. That includes a bill proposed by Gov. Kate Brown, which would allow wagering on college sports and broadening sportsbook availability.

State officials would be smart to consider them.

Photo by AP / Chris Carlson
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George Myers is a writer with extensive experience in both news and sports reporting. He has primarily covered baseball and football, along with the intersection of sports and lawmaking.

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Written By Derek Helling on March 1, 2021Last Updated on October 26, 2021

What might New Hampshire and Oregon soon have in common, other than the population of both states sitting at exactly 50.4% female?

Each state could essentially offer identical legal online sports betting landscapes. That is if the Oregon Lottery is successful in establishing a DraftKings Sportsbook in the Beaver State.

In a lottery commission meeting last week, news emerged of ongoing negotiations with DraftKings to take over the operation of the state’s lone online sports betting platform, Oregon Lottery Scoreboard.

This could be great news for Oregon bettors for several reasons.

Might there really be a DraftKings Sportsbook in Oregon soon?

While the details remain fuzzy at the moment, this plan appears well underway. Barry Pack, executive director of the Oregon Lottery, spoke to the rest of the commission about the situation, noting that negotiations with DraftKings are currently happening. He also gave his perspective on the deal.

“This provides the lottery with many opportunities, including benefitting from the economies of scales with the company. We are in initial discussions with them [DraftKings] to transition Scoreboard from the SBTech platform to 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.”

There’s a lot to unpack in that statement. First, it’s uncertain exactly how far along initial the discussions have gone. However, Pack’s characterization of needing approval for spending on this matter as soon as next month suggests there is some degree of finality.

The transition from Scoreboard is self-explanatory. At some point, the Scoreboard logo and name and all the other design elements will go away. Instead, Oregonians will access the DraftKings app and website courtesy of the state lottery, just as New Hampshire bettors do. DraftKings is also the sole sportsbook operator in the Granite State thanks to a contract with the lottery.

This should be a huge improvement for Oregon bettors in terms of functionality. The Scoreboard app has been unreliable at times and also failed to offer a competitive amount of markets and promotions. It might be good for Oregonians in another way.

Lottery might be able to negotiate friendlier terms

One of the worst-kept secrets in the sports betting industry was that the existing contract between the lottery and SBTech was heavily skewed toward the latter. A scrutiny of the contract revealed that over the first five months of the deal, the state lost almost $2 million.

Meanwhile, SBTech did quite well during that same period, getting a big share of nearly $3 million. DraftKings owns SBTech, so you could call this move more of a rebranding than a takeover. However, a new contract means an opportunity to get on more equal footing.

Conversations along these lines appear to have been happening for quite some time, according to a statement from DraftKings.

“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.”

Working out a more mutually beneficial arrangement is probably part of the ongoing talks between the two parties. Another item of interest to Oregon bettors is probably wagering on college sports.

Is college sports betting coming to Oregon, too?

There’s nothing in Oregon state law that forbids college sports betting. The lottery simply decided not to offer it when it launched Scoreboard in 2019. Therefore, it could just as easily reverse course on that decision at any time.

There’s reason to doubt that the lottery will suddenly do so, however. When it elected not to offer college sports betting, the lottery cited wanting to protect the interests of in-state universities. But, technically, now is an opportunity to change this policy. DraftKings offers a robust array of markets for college football and men’s basketball in other jurisdictions.

This deal would obviously mean an easier and quicker path into the state for DraftKings. It may prove the only way to do so for quite some time. Gov. Kate Brown proposed a bill to shift the legal framework to allow multiple operators under the lottery’s supervision. That legislation, though, has stalled in the state legislature.

There’s no telling how quickly the DraftKings transition will take place should the lottery reach a deal. However, at some point in the future, Oregonians may join the throng of people able to wager on events like drone racing and the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Photo by AP / Charles Krupa
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Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. 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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Written By George Myers on March 9, 2021Last Updated on October 26, 2021

Spring training is underway. Fans are in the stands. And the usual 162 games are on the regular-season MLB schedule.

Baseball is back. And while things aren’t completely back to normal, the light is at the end of the tunnel.

With that start comes a full slate of betting options, from MVP futures to over/under win totals.

And it can all be found on the Oregon Lottery Scoreboard sports betting app.

Dodgers, Padres highlight West Coast futures

Some of the best baseball is being played on the West Coast. So is some of the worst, however, as outlined in over/under win totals for the season:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers: 101.5
  • San Diego Padres: 95.5
  • Oakland Athletics: 86.5
  • Los Angeles Angels: 83.5
  • San Francisco Giants: 76.5
  • Seattle Mariners: 73.5

Leading the conversation, of course, is the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers, who enter 2021 with the shortest odds (+190) of any team to win the National League and as the favorites (+350) to win the World Series.

The Dodgers made the biggest splash of the MLB offseason, signing reigning NL Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer to a three-year, $102 million contract. Bauer, listed at +800 to repeat as Cy Young winner, solidifies a rotation that already includes young star Walker Buehler (+1000) and veterans Clayton Kershaw (+2300) and David Price (+7500).

Making even more noise, however, were the Padres, who enter the season at +375 to win the NL pennant and +750 to take the Series.

San Diego not only locked up one of the game’s most exciting young stars – signing Fernando Tatis Jr. to a 14-year extension – but also signed two of the game’s best starting pitchers in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish. Darvish sits at +1100 to win the NL Cy Young, with Snell at +1300.

What about the rest of the MLB West?

The rest of the West Coast is expected to range from Wild Card position to the depths of their own divisions.

Long gone are the San Francisco Giants of the early 2010s. Here is a squad with talent in the bullpen but a cohort of aging stars unlikely to make a playoff push, evidenced by their +5000 odds to win the NL West.

In even worse shape are the Mariners, whose biggest offseason accomplishment was angering the entire Players Association.

That said, the Mariners have an enticing young nucleus on the verge of making Major League noise, although that talent is unlikely to cash on +3000 odds to win the AL West this year.

Trout enters as favorite for American League MVP

Call them the hidden heroics of Mike Trout.

The Angels outfielder could retire tomorrow and go down as one of the game’s greatest players ever. Still, his significance lacks appreciation from many casual fans, caused largely by limited exposure and little playoff success.

But one group is paying attention: sportsbooks.

Scoreboard has Trout at +200 to win the AL MVP award, positioning him as a heavy favorite to win the prize for the fourth time.

Here is how other top stars in the American League stack up:

  • Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman: +1000
  • New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge: +1200
  • Cleveland Indians’ Jose Ramirez: +1500
  • Los Angeles Angels’ Anthony Rendon: +1800
  • Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman: +2000

Want a real long shot? Mariners fan-favorite Kyle Seager sits at +12500.

Betts leads the favorites for National League MVP

Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is positioned at +800 to win the NL MVP. He is tied with Nationals slugger Juan Soto with the shortest odds to win the award.

Betts finished second in the NL MVP race in 2020, behind the Braves’ Freddie Freeman. The Dodgers outfielder could become just the second player in MLB history to win the MVP award in both leagues, joining legend Frank Robinson.

The competition will be stiff, with heavyweights on his own team and in the same state:

  • Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna: +900
  • San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr.: +950
  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger: +1000
  • Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman: +1100
  • Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich: +1200

Dodgers SS Corey Seager, meanwhile, sits at +2000 to win the award. Just behind: the Padres’ Manny Machado, last year’s third-place finisher, at +2500.

The only Giants player to receive National League MVP odds is OF Mike Yastrzemski, at +10000.

Gonzales a dark-horse Cy Young candidate

Soft-throwing, crafty Mariners starter Marco Gonzales is not a household name.

But after a strong showing in the shortened 2020 campaign, including a 3.10 ERA and a WHIP below one, Gonzales has emerged as a dark-horse candidate for the AL Cy Young award.

One of the most consistent starters in 2020, Gonzales heads a young, somewhat experimental staff in Seattle. And he hopes to prove his recent success was no fluke.

Surprisingly, the 29-year-old lefty received no consideration for last year’s award despite some late-season public pushes.

Expect that to change if Gonzales can legitimize his 2020 campaign and embark on another season of success, creating enticing value on his +3300 odds to win the AL Cy Young.

To do that, however, he will need to beat out some big arms in the Cy Young race:

  • New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole: +350
  • Chicago White Sox’ Lucas Giolito: +450
  • Cleveland Indians’ Shane Bieber: +500
  • Tampa Bay Rays’ Tyler Glasnow: +1100
  • Toronto Blue Jays’ Hyun-Jin Ryu: +1500
Photo by AP / Elaine Thompson
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George Myers is a writer with extensive experience in both news and sports reporting. He has primarily covered baseball and football, along with the intersection of sports and lawmaking.

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Written By Derek Helling on March 12, 2021Last Updated on October 26, 2021

If Idahoans currently don’t have any incentive to cross the state line and play the Oregon Lottery, they soon might.

The news of a possible Idaho Powerball exit perhaps looming later this year means retailers in the Beaver State might see their sales increase.

A bill to allow the Idaho Lottery to continue to sell tickets for its most popular draw-style game recently died in committee. The lottery in Idaho hasn’t given up hope yet. But if the prevailing winds continue, three decades of selling Powerball tickets in the state could soon end.

The backstory on the potential Idaho Powerball exit

In Idaho, like most states, the legislature ultimately regulates gambling. State law says that the lottery can only offer games that are played by people in Canada and the rest of the United States. Later this year, the Multi-State Lottery Corporation plans to expand Powerball.

The corporation will then begin selling Powerball tickets in Australia. And next year, it will begin sales in the United Kingdom. So, the Idaho Lottery needs a change in state law before August in order to keep selling the game.

A bill existed to make exactly that change. A House Committee voted it down, however. One member of the committee, Rep. Heather Scott, said she didn’t support the bill because she feared money from Idahoans would go to support causes in other countries with which she disagreed.

Other legislators expressed different concerns. Those included Idaho not getting its share of income taxes paid by winners, players’ inflated hopes of winning jackpots, and “turning over sovereignty to this Multi-State Lottery Association.”

Despite this setback, Idaho Lottery officials remain optimistic. Perhaps Oregon Lottery retailers should adopt a rosy outlook as well.

Idaho Lottery not giving up yet

After the committee killed the bill, the Idaho Lottery issued a statement.

“Work continues with the Legislature to determine an alternative path forward to ensure no disruption in service to Idaho’s single most popular lottery game, for the benefit of Idaho’s public schools and buildings. At this time, Powerball remains an available game for sale in Idaho.”

The motivation for the Idaho Lottery to not give up is right in that phrasing. Powerball accounts for about $28 million in annual sales. It would be difficult to replace those sales, as few other games have the name recognition and progressive jackpot value of Powerball.

If the legislature continues on this current path, that’s a future the Idaho Lottery will have to prepare for. The same goes for lottery retailers in Oregon. They might suddenly see an influx of Idahoans crossing the state line to buy their tickets before drawings. If that’s the case, the Oregon Lottery might be the biggest beneficiaries of the Idaho Powerball exit.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. 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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