Written By Derek Helling on July 16, 2020Last Updated on October 26, 2021

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, circumstances can change rapidly. The recent reclosure of Indian Head Casino in Warm Springs is a reminder of that.

After an employee tested positive for the coronavirus, the facility’s operator suspended operations again. The casino remains closed indefinitely, pending further testing.

Details on the Indian Head Casino reclosure

Indian Head Casino was less than a month into its reopening.

The casino, owned by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, voluntarily shuttered on March 18 in response to the guidance from the CDC.

On June 11, the casino ended its nearly three-month shutdown. The casino didn’t go back to business as usual, however. The reopening included the casino’s”Playin’ It Safe” plan.  

Among the restrictions are:

  • No smoking anywhere on the property.
  • Plexiglas barriers and social distancing markers in high-traffic areas.
  • Hand sanitization stations on the gaming floor.
  • No indoor dining.
  • No table games.
  • Maximum occupancy of 250.
  • Mandatory wearing of face masks for employees and guests.
  • Required temperature screenings for employees and guests.
  • Limited entryways.
  • Curtailed hours of 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Indian Head was not conducting COVID-19 testing on its employees. The positive test was confirmed through contact tracing and the casino was notified.

To protect the rest of its workforce and guests, the tribes made the decision to close again on July 8. Much like in March, there’s no finite end to this closure.

Other casinos in Oregon remain open with precautions in place.

When will Indian Head Casino reopen?

The casino is sanitizing the property. If and when Indian Head reopens relies upon the results of further testing of the casino’s 200 employees.

On Sunday, a spokesperson for the casino said there had been no further positive tests. It’s unclear whether every person who may have come into contact with the person who tested positive has been, or will be, tested.

Furthermore, there’s no timeline for how long the casino will wait after test results come back to resume operations. That depends on what level of staffing the tribes feel is necessary.

When the casino reopens, guests should expect more of the same health and safety restrictions they saw over the prior three weeks. In fact, the fragile nature of the situation may lead to more precautions.

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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 Derek Helling on July 7, 2020Last Updated on October 26, 2021

An old saying in business is that customers don’t know what they want until you show it to them. Bacon-scented lottery tickets could be the latest thing Washington Lottery customers didn’t know they wanted.

No, the lottery hasn’t started converting strips of bacon into scratch-off games. What the lottery did come up with, however, could be the next best thing.

No pigs were harmed in the making of these bacon lottery tickets

Scratch-and-sniff technology is the gimmick for the lottery’s new Bring Home the Bacon game. Each ticket runs $5 and the game is now available at participating lottery retailers in WA.

The top prize is $50,000, but like most scratch-off games, there are many smaller cash prizes. For the carnivore in all of us, there is a consolation prize.

Scratching the game cards will emit an aroma similar to that of bacon. The trick is due to scented ink used in the cards’ printing process.

The lottery made more than 2.1 million cards for the game, which has overall odds of 1 in 3.31. Just like in Oregon, customers can purchase lottery tickets at a variety of retailers such as convenience stores and grocery stores.

Fortunately for Oregonians, anyone of legal age can purchase lotto tickets in Washington, regardless of their legal state of residence. In case you have a winner, you may want to scratch and sniff your ticket before you head home.

Prize claiming procedures in Washington

Like other aspects of life, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lottery. Bring Home the Bacon was originally intended to help promote county fairs around the state, which now face possible cancellation.

The lottery released the game regardless. If you win less than $600, you can claim your prize at any lottery retailer in WA. Other procedures haven’t gone unaltered, however.

If your prize is above that $600 threshold, you are limited to a couple of options. You can either mail your winning ticket in for redemption or hold it until the lottery opens its offices to the public again. Right now, there’s no timeline for that.

While the WA Lottery may not boast a sports betting product, as only tribal casinos can offer legal wagering, scratch-off tickets are quite popular. Last year, sales of such tickets approached $524 million.

Should you win the grand prize, you could afford to buy a lot of bacon. With a scratch-and-sniff element that invokes the memory of bacon, even losing could be a pleasant experience.

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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 Kate Rowland on July 6, 2020Last Updated on October 26, 2021

Oregon’s neighbor to the north is making strides to become the second Pacific Coast state to offer legal sports betting.

Six tribes in Washington state have expressed interest in adding sportsbooks to their casino operations. Two tribes are already in negotiations with the state. Of the 22 tribes, 29 operate casinos under a compact with the state.

According to a June memo from David Trujillo, the director of the Washington State Gambling Commission, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office has referred four tribes to the agency to begin the process of amending their compacts.

“Each referral is a specific request from a tribe to the governor requesting to enter sports wagering negotiations or amend an ongoing negotiation to include sports wagering. We have met with two tribes already and started the negotiations.”

Trujillo continued, “We are in the process of scheduling introductory meetings with the other two ‘referral’ tribes. We also know of at least two additional tribes that have indicated they will also request negotiations.”

The Suquamish and Kalispel tribes are currently involved in compact negotiations with the state, while the Snoqualmie and Tulalip tribes are next in line, according to Legal Sports Report.

The Suquamish Tribe owns Clearwater Casino Resort in the Seattle area.

The Tulalip Tribes operate the Tulalip Resort Casino near Everett.

The Kalispel Tribe of Indians owns Northern Quest Resort & Casino and Kalispel Casino in the Spokane area.

The Snoqualmie Tribe owns Snoqualmie Casino near Issaquah.

Washington sports betting legislation

Gov. Inslee signed House Bill 2638 into law in March, authorizing tribal casinos to open retail sportsbooks and offer on-site mobile sports wagering.

The law went into effect on June 11. It states that bettors can wager on professional and collegiate athletic events, with the exception of Washington’s college teams. That’s good news for Oregon bettors, who cannot place legal sports wagers on Ducks and Beavers college action.

The Oregon Lottery’s sports betting app, Scoreboard, launched in October 2019. Scoreboard is currently the only option for sports bettors in the Beaver State.

BetMGM Sportsbook has partnered with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon to offer a mobile sportsbook at Spirit Mountain Casino in the future.

Washington’s sports betting bill allows wagers to be placed on esports competitions, as well.

Law fails for sports betting off tribal lands

An earlier bill that would have authorized legal sports betting beyond tribal lands failed to gain traction in the Washington Legislature.

HB 2478 would have authorized sports wagering at card rooms and racetracks, in addition to tribal casinos.

Washington already allows some types of gambling outside of tribal facilities. Card rooms can offer games, such as poker, when they are against the house and not other players.

In addition, the Muckleshoot tribe operates the Emerald Downs thoroughbred racetrack, located off tribal lands.

Under the current law, the tribe could operate a sportsbook at its Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn, but not at its horse racing facility.

Despite the support of a number of groups, HB 2478 expired without a legislative vote.

Maverick Gaming LLC, which operates 19 of 44 card rooms in the state, was a driving force behind the bill.

A Maverick spokesperson told LSR in February that it would file a lawsuit over the emergency clause in the bill, which called for the law to be enacted immediately, without a referendum.

Maverick said that the emergency clause was a way to get around the usual referendum requirement. It calls for 60% of all legislators to approve a bill before it can be passed.

Legislators who favored the tribal-only sports gambling option said that the tribes’ gambling experience was a major advantage.

“Tribes have more than 20 years’ experience with, and a proven track record of, successfully operating and regulating gaming facilities in accordance with tribal gaming compacts,” wrote the law’s authors.

“Tribal casinos can operate sports wagering pursuant to these tribal gaming compacts, offering the benefits of the same highly regulated environment to sports wagering.”

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Kate is an award-winning journalist who has written articles for websites and newspapers across the country. A former Las Vegas resident, she has written sports betting articles for sports handicappers and sports betting websites for more than a decade.

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Written By Derek Helling on September 23, 2020Last Updated on October 26, 2021

The Seattle Sounders face another challenge to their fragile perch atop the Major League Soccer Western Conference standings. The latest Portland Timbers odds at the Oregon Lottery’s Scoreboard app have Seattle protecting its 1-point lead, however.

Portland is a slight underdog heading into tonight’s match in Seattle. The best opportunity to bet may be to stake two of the best attacks in the league.

Latest Portland Timbers odds at BetMGM, Scoreboard

The three-way moneylines at BetMGM Sportsbook and Scoreboard look like this as of 7 a.m. PST Wednesday. Oregon bettors can watch the match, set for 7 PST tonight, on ESPN+.

Sportsbook Portland to Win Draw Seattle to Win
BetMGM +165 +275 +145
Scoreboard +175 +280 +145

Although Oregonians can’t bet online with BetMGM, they can place legal wagers at Spirit Mountain Casino. The retail BetMGM Sportsbook is about 60 miles southwest from Portland in Grand Ronde.

Oregon bettors can access the Scoreboard online sportsbook from anywhere within the state.

Although Portland is the underdog in this match, oddsmakers believe the result will be close. Scoreboard’s shortest odds in its “Winning Margin” market are +290 on Seattle, winning by a mere goal.

The numbers bear that out. For example, the Timbers have won three of their last five meetings with the Sounders. Furthermore, all three of those victories came by a 2-1 score.

Both clubs also come into this match with identical recent form, having lost, drawn, then won in their past three matches. Neither club reports any significant injuries ahead of Wednesday’s tilt.

Although Seattle leads the West in points right now, Portland could erase that deficit entirely tonight as it only trails by three points. The Timbers might be just the club to challenge the Sounders’ successful backline as well.

Overcoming Seattle’s defensive prowess for a win

The only club that has found the back of opponents’ nets more often than Portland has been Seattle. That difference in goals for is a mere goal, however.

Where the Sounders have a marked advantage is in goal differential. Seattle comes in at +16, best in the West, and tied with Columbus Crew SC for tops in all of MLS in that category.

Both teams have an identical 56 shots on goal and 135 shots, meaning their rate of converting their chances is among the best in the league at 25 (Timbers) and 26 goals (Sounders). Both teams are averaging over two goals a game, so goal-total markets look tempting.

Scoreboard has +325 on over 4.5 goals at full time. If you’re a bit more optimistic about Portland’s chances to penetrate the Seattle backline, you can get +650 odds on the over of 5.5 at BetMGM.

Both books have props on individual players on both sides of this match as well. Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse, who leads Portland with five goals and recorded a SOG against the Sounders the last time out, is +200 to score at Scoreboard.

Seattle forward Raul Ruidiaz is having a stellar season, just one goal of the MLS-leading pace. BetMGM offers +150 odds on him netting a goal on Wednesday.

If the Timbers can make their set-pieces work to overcome one of MLS’s best defenses, this match could be a close, high-scoring affair. On paper, that’s what the numbers suggest will take place.

Photo by AP Photo / Rick Bowmer
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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 Derek Helling on September 16, 2020Last Updated on October 26, 2021

The Portland Trail Blazers NBA playoff run and the WNBA regular season weren’t just a slam dunk for merchandise sales and TV ratings. For the Oregon Lottery’s sports betting handle in August, hoops were huge.

More than half of the dollars wagered and nearly half of the number of bets placed on the Scoreboard sports betting platform last month were staked on basketball.

That buoying effect may diminish now, however.

Details on Scoreboard August handle

Across all sports, Oregon residents and visitors placed over 825,000 wagers on the Scoreboard betting app last month. The total handle came to $25,845,403 for the month.

The state lottery cleared $1,662,406 in gross revenue out of that total. Basketball was, by far, the sport of choice for Oregon bettors, accounting for $13,997,597 in handle or about 54.1% of the total.

Over 405,000 bets on basketball produced that handle. While the Oregon Lottery doesn’t provide data on which basketball events comprised those wagers, the correlation is too strong to ignore.

In August, the Trail Blazers were trying to make their return to the Western Conference finals, fueled by strong performances by Damian Lillard. Additionally, the Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm were playing a condensed regular-season slate.

These events likely were the fuel to basketball betting on Scoreboard last month. The Oregon Lottery might need a new sport to step up to the plate this month and going forward, however.

Last month, Oregon bettors only placed 356 bets on football for a total of $6,834 in handle. It’s safe to say that, with the Trail Blazers eliminated and the WNBA now in its playoffs, the Oregon Lottery is hoping that category explodes soon.

Without Pac-12 football this year, the NFL will have to carry all of that load. If California teams and the Seattle Seahawks get off to good starts, it could provide a similar boost as the Trail Blazers’ playoff run.

How Scoreboard can maximize its football wagers

The Scoreboard can maximize the potential for a big September, regardless of how the regional NFL teams perform.

It would be clever to pay attention to its data. For example, Oregon bettors wagered much more money in-game than they did pregame last month.

While Oregon placed many more pregame bets than live ones in August (494,901 versus 330,478), handle on in-game wagers came to $13,914,244. For pregame bets, the handle was $11,931,159.

That means the average value of a live bet for Scoreboard was $42.10 while the average pregame wager was only worth $24.11. There are myriad ways for the Oregon Lottery to take advantage of this.

It’s possible to argue the proportion of pregame to in-game bets placed was due to a lack of availability and variety of live markets. Increasing the number and type should equalize that disparity, if not skew it in the opposite direction.

Here are just a few examples of in-game football markets that the Scoreboard could legally and reliably offer:

  • Correct score market on the number of touchdowns Russell Wilson will throw for in a quarter.
  • Will Tevin Coleman run for a touchdown this half? Yes/No
  • Over/under on the number of yards the Los Angeles Chargers will gain on offense in a quarter.
  • Will the Los Angeles Rams‘ defense intercept a pass this half? Yes/No

By giving its customers more of what they want, the Scoreboard could have a good fall. For the next few months, the Oregon Lottery can’t depend on basketball to bring in bettors.

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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 Derek Helling on September 28, 2020Last Updated on October 26, 2021

If you’ve ever gotten lucky betting on historical horse races or playing slots online, you now have a way to try your luck doing at both.

The legal Luckii online gambling platform is now live in Oregon.

The platform marries those two experiences into one new way to play. For gamblers in Oregon, it’s a way to not only have some fun online but potentially win some cash as well.

Oregon Gamblers Feeling Luckii? Online Platform Combines Slots, Historical Horse Racing 2

How the Luckii online gambling platform works

If you’ve ever bet on historical horse races with pari-mutuel odds, you’ll be a quick study on Luckii. Luckii online gambling uses such a model and historical horse races in its games.

Instead of delivering a simulated horse race online, the presentation looks much like the online slots you would find in a social casino platform. The games have reels with fantasy themes, such as Stallion Thunder.

For each play, Luckii picks a certain historical horse race from its pool of thousands of such events. You won’t know which horses, jockeys, track or trainers are involved, however.

You can opt to reference real historical data to help you fill out your virtual race card, but those handicapping tools won’t advise you of the participant’s true identities. Instead, they’ll use generic characters or fake names.

You can choose to have the website handicap the race for you. Once you’ve filled out your race card and made your bet, the reels will spin to reveal the results of your race.

The presentation will feel and look a lot like playing online slots. There is one huge difference between that and Luckii’s “slots,” however.

Why Luckii isn’t really online slots despite the similarities

The odds of winning traditional online slot games are solely about math. The game’s operator sets them to pay out specific amounts at certain intervals based on how much you wager.

Luckii’s games pay out based on the results of actual past horse races. Your odds of winning fluctuate based on how real horses performed in actual races.

If you like, you can even watch a video replay of the actual result that Luckii used to determine your play. Either way, the website will provide you with all the details of the race.

Because your odds are based on actual horse races and not an algorithm, the state doesn’t consider it a game of chance. The state also holds that opinion because you can opt to handicap the race and fill out your card yourself.

Luckii is only currently available in Oregon. You can use a checking account, credit card or debit card to fund your account. New customers are also eligible for a sign-up bonus.

While this new way to gamble online isn’t really all about luck, being lucky won’t hurt. If you win some cash playing Luckii online games, you’ll definitely feel fortunate.

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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 Derek Helling on September 11, 2020Last Updated on October 26, 2021

Between Sunday and Monday, 30 of the 32 teams will kick off the 2020 NFL regular season. That includes the four teams of greatest proximity for Oregon NFL bettors.

Accordingly, Scoreboard has markets live for the kickoff games for all four teams regional to Oregon. Naturally, not all four of these contests are equal when it comes to wagering.

49ers, Chargers, Rams And Seahawks Week 1 Odds For Oregon NFL Bettors 2

Breaking down current Oregon NFL betting odds

In Oregon sports bettors can opt to place a legal in-person wager at the BetMGM Sportsbook at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde.

The only other legal way to wager online is through the Scoreboard app. The Oregon Lottery app has a couple of specials that should intrigue fans of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson right now.

If you’re willing to stake some cash on Wilson throwing for at least 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns this season, Scoreboard will give you +500 odds on that bet. You can enjoy an even better payout of +9,000 should Seattle win Super Bowl LV and Wilson claim the league MVP.

The road to a potential championship for Seattle starts on Sunday in Atlanta. As of Friday morning, Scoreboard has the Seahawks a -145 favorite on the moneyline.

The spread on Seattle is currently -2.5 (-114). Scoreboard’s total for the game is 49, with odds of -110 on both sides of that market. The sportsbook is currently offering more than 90 ways to bet that game, but no player-specific props.

Following are the Scoreboard moneylines, spreads and totals for the three games involving California teams. The odds are accurate as of 10 a.m. PST on Friday, Sept. 11.

Game Moneyline Spread Total
Chargers at Bengals Chargers -175
Bengals +145
Chargers -3 -115
Bengals +3 -105
O 42 -106
U 42 -114
Cardinals at 49ers Cardinals +245
49ers -310
Cardinals +7 -119
49ers -7 -101
O 48.5 -103
U 48.5 -117
Cowboys at Rams Cowboys -150
Rams +125
Cowboys -3 +101
Rams +3 -121
O 51 -121
U 51 +101

Things to keep in mind when considering NFL wagers

Handicapping these games presents a unique challenge for everyone. These teams have not had the benefit of preseason competitions, so players may deal with a lack of conditioning and rust.

Additionally, it’s hard to know how they will react to a lack of physical spectators.

All four of these teams will play in empty stadiums on Sunday. While teams can pump in artificial crowd noise, there’s no replacing the visual component.

That doesn’t mean you should be wary of betting on these events, however. The oddsmakers behind Scoreboard face the same challenges in predicting these markets as bettors do.

When there are significant unknowns for sporting events, the value of the available information becomes greater. It’s important to inform yourself of the latest injury reports and projected starting lineups for games you’re looking to bet.

Additionally, it never hurts to pay attention to where the money is landing on these markets.

If you see a swing in the odds in the following days, it’s likely that Scoreboard is trying to even out the money on that market.

That tells you either the sharp money is on one side or some news has broken about the game that has affected bettors’ interests. While betting should be all for fun, it’s much more fun to win than lose. Now more than ever, winning is about making the most informed decisions.

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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 Derek Helling on September 2, 2020Last Updated on October 26, 2021

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 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 Derek Helling on August 28, 2020Last Updated on October 26, 2021

A standard rule of thumb for draw-style lottery players should be: check your tickets right away. The story of a recent Oregon Powerball winner is further proof of that.

The woman from Bend carried a Powerball ticket around in her purse worth a million dollars for over two weeks unknowingly. When she finally checked it, she likely regretted waiting so long to do so.

Details on the latest Oregon Powerball winner

It’s uncertain if Shelley Arnold was carrying the same purse with her when she bought the quick-pick ticket at the Safeway on South Century Drive on July 26. Either way, that was the best investment of her life so far.

Her ticket matched all five numbers in the July 29 drawing. She missed out on the Powerball, however, limiting her prize to just the million before taxes.

Last Wednesday, she claimed her prize. Although she has not expressed what she will do with the money, her story is a reminder of why lottery players should always check their tickets. Arnold said:

“The funny part is that I had that ticket just lying in my purse for weeks. I didn’t even realize I had a $1 million ticket sitting in there.”

While Arnold still had plenty of time to collect her prize, she ran the risk of unwittingly disposing of the winning ticket for days. Checking your ticket is free and you can do so online from the safety of your home if you wish.

That’s a comforting thought amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. For that same reason, lottery winners in Oregon should be aware of some new wrinkles to the prize collection procedures.

New policies for claiming lottery prizes in OR

Due to the pandemic, the claim centers in Salem and Wilsonville are closed to the public for walk-in traffic. As always, you can claim a prize of $600 or less at any lottery retailer.

If you won a prize of more than $600 but no more than $50,000, the lottery recommends submitting your claim via mail. Just sign the back of your ticket, put it in an envelope with a completed claim form and address the envelope to:

Oregon Lottery
PO Box 14515
Salem, OR 97309

The lottery recommends using registered mail. Additionally, the claim must include the original ticket. The lottery will not accept photocopies.

If you’ve really struck it big like Arnold and the value of your prize is over $50,000, call the lottery at 503-540-1000 to schedule an appointment at the Salem claim center. The lottery staff will give you instructions on the call.

Hopefully, all future Oregon lottery winners of prizes of that size won’t take weeks to claim their prizes like Arnold did. It’s a classic example of better safe than sorry.

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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 Derek Helling on August 21, 2020Last Updated on October 26, 2021

About a month after closing due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19, Indian Head Casino in Warm Springs remains shut down.

Perhaps even more distressing for Oregon gamblers, there is no timeline or publicly disclosed protocol for the reopening of the casino.

If that time ever does come, the Oregon casino may take more precautions to avoid a third coronavirus-related shutdown. One option is limiting who can enter the facility.

Latest on Indian Head Casino

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the casino’s operator, is tight-lipped about any intent to reopen the casino.

A visit to the website and a phone call to the casino confirms that, right now, there isn’t a plan to reopen.

Additionally, the tribes won’t disclose what circumstances would motivate them to consider reopening. Initially, the casino planned to test its entire workforce for the virus and go from there.

Since then, the casino hasn’t released any updates on employee testing. There is more to consider than just casino workers in this situation, however.

Because an employee tested positive, everyone who visited the casino during the coronavirus’s incubation period could have potentially been exposed. That goes for everyone else that person may have come into contact with during that period as well.

The casino’s closure protects people from the virus and the casino from potential liability. That may make the tribes cautious about reopening.

Tribal casinos in other states may have laid out a plan to reopen that could afford an extra control measure. It would require the tribes in Warm Springs to be even more selective about who they allow to gamble at their facility, however.

Restricted access enhances contact tracing efforts

Some tribal casinos in New York have instituted bans on guests from certain areas.

Some of those bans are exclusive enough that only people who live within 250 miles of the facilities can come inside.

There are advantages to those policies.

First off, they allow the casinos to exclude potential patrons from areas where the “positivity rates” are still high. The policies also make contact tracing much easier if guests only come from a certain area.

There is an obvious and significant downside, however. These policies can severely limit the number of people who can gamble at the casino. As a further consequence, that negatively affects revenue.

Right now, however, any revenue would be an improvement for the Indian Head Casino’s bottom line. It’s difficult to say when the casino might reopen. If that does happen, however, the casino might be even more cautious.

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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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