Written By Kate Rowland on June 5, 2020

Almost three-quarters of Oregon Lottery retailers are operational again, and more than half of the state’s video lottery terminals are up and running.

Governor Kate Brown’s phase one reopening strategy authorized restaurants and bars, the lottery’s sole VLT retailers, to seek approval to reopen on a county by county basis on May 15.

As of May 25, only two Portland-area counties remained closed out of the state’s 36 counties.

Washington County reopened on June 1. Meanwhile, Multnomah County plans to submit an application to reopen on June 12, according to The Oregonian.

With businesses shuttered for more than two months because of the COVID-19 crisis, Oregon Lottery saw a loss of nearly $5 million in April, according to a recently released financial report.

Oregon Lottery’s March revenue was down 49% from the same month last year.

The state’s two biggest counties remain largely closed. Elsewhere, 74% of Lottery’s 1,504 VLT retailers are back in business and reporting revenue of $10.9 million. That is down 37% from pre-COVID numbers.

Before the coronavirus crisis, VLTs generated about $19 million every week.

Oregon Lottery has contributed more than $12 billion to public education and other state programs since 1985, including more than $726 million in 2018.

What to expect from VLT retailers

Oregon Lottery adopted a temporary rule that lays out mandatory reopening and operational practices for VLT retailers during its May 29 Commission meeting.

The rule details procedures for the safe placement, operation, and maintenance of VLTs, including social and physical distancing requirements, cleaning protocols, player check-in process, and hours of operation.

The temporary rule is effective for six months. The commission may move to adopt it permanently in November, if necessary.

Mandatory requirements for VLT retailers include the following:

  • Players must request access to terminals
  • Terminals must be at least six feet apart
  • Terminals must be cleaned between players
  • One player at a time at each terminal
  • Restaurants and bars must close by 10 p.m.

Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack said that, although state officials and retailers are working together to help with economic recovery efforts, results won’t be apparent overnight.

“While the shutdown of video was statewide and immediate, restarting will take some time as we work with retailers to ensure they can operate under the new guidelines,” he said.

Other factors will contribute to the lottery’s ability to recover from the current recession, including fewer available VLTs and permanently shuttered businesses.

For example, social distancing requirements have a considerable impact on retailers.

To ensure proper spacing between machines, only 56% of the lottery’s total VLTs will be placed into service.

In addition, the depressed economy will make it difficult for start-up businesses looking to replace lottery retailers that closed down permanently during the mandatory restrictions.

The state’s June 2020 economic and revenue forecast predicts that former levels of economic health will not be recovered until the mid-2020s. Forecasters expect growth to be slow so long as there is uncertainty around the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase Two reopening strategy coming soon

On May 29, Gov. Brown’s office released a draft proposal for phase two in the state’s reopening strategy.

Counties that have successfully operated under phase one guidelines for at least three weeks are eligible to apply for phase two authorization.

As the document stands now, the phase one mandatory closing time of 10 p.m. for restaurants and bars would be extended to midnight.

Phase one guidelines for gatherings would go up from 25 people to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.vPartitions around booths would allow for increased table placement and approved outdoor spacing as well.

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Kate Rowland

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 Kate Rowland on May 30, 2020

Five Oregon casinos reopened last week after a two-month hiatus because of the coronavirus outbreak. Spirit Mountain Casino plans to join them on June 1.

The state’s nine tribal casinos closed voluntarily after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said that she did not have the authority to include tribal facilities in her mandatory shutdown order issued in March. Five OR casinos are reopening for business. Here are their safety guidelines, hours and everything else you need to know before you go. Stan Dillon, Spirit Mountain general manager, said that the Grand Ronde Casino used the two-month hiatus to put new safeguards in place.

“During the downtime, we have been making preparations for what will become the new normal here at Spirit Mountain,” Dillon said.

“We are pleased to provide a place where you can escape the cabin fever we have experienced the last couple months,” he said.

The Mill Casino in North Bend was the first to reopen on May 18, followed by Lincoln City’s Chinook Winds on May 21. Two Three Rivers casinos in Florence and Coos Bay, as well as Seven Feathers Casino of Canyonville, reopened May 22.

About 100 customers were lined up waiting to get in when Seven Feathers Casino opened its doors last Friday, according to Oregon Live.

Although Wildhorse Resort & Casino reopened its golf course in Pendleton this week, the final three shuttered casinos have not announced plans to open as yet.

According to their websites, Indian Head Casino in Warm Springs and Kla-Mo-Ya Casino in Chiloquin will continue to extend their voluntary closures until a later date.

What to expect at reopening casinos

Each casino has developed its own safety procedures and guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Current guidelines may change quickly to keep up with evolving conditions, said Clark Walworth, communications director for the Coquille Indian Tribe, in an update posted on the Mill Casino website.

“You’ll find some things will look different for a while,” he wrote. “For the time being. we will have limited hours, a reconfigured gaming floor and not all venues will be open.”

What to know about each Oregon casino

Here are the highlights of each casino’s reopening strategy:

The Mill Casino in North Bend

Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays.
Entry: Entry through valet and hotel entrances; exit through main casino doors.
Capacity: Casino floor restricted to 300 guests.
Screening: Guests asked a series of questions per CDC guidelines, temperature monitored, masks provided.
Masks: Employees required to wear masks; guests may make their own decision regarding masks.
Games: The gaming floor has been reconfigured; some machines have been removed; table games not currently operating.
Sportsbook: Open, based on available sporting events.
Restaurants: Timbers Cafe open for to-go only; social distancing seating available at Warehouse 101 and Saw Blade Buffet.

Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City

Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
Capacity: Casino floor restricted to 1,000 guests; mobile queuing being implemented to limit lines.
Screening: Infrared temperature checks.
Masks: Employees and guests are required to wear face masks or face shields.
Other restrictions: All areas inside the casino are now nonsmoking and 21 or older only. Outdoor smoking areas available.
Games: Approximately 50% of slot machines available; Bingo, 200 seats; keno, kiosks only; visible markers used to ensure physical distancing; table games not currently operating.
Sportsbook: Open; based on available sporting events.
Restaurants: Limited hours, modified menus, no self-service; Rogue River Steakhouse; Chinook Seafood Grill; Aces Sports Bar & Grill; Siletz Bay Buffet open as quick-serve Mexican grill.
Hotel: All rooms nonsmoking; no daily stay-over service. The pool and fitness center are closed.
Golf course: Open; physical distancing guidelines in place; the pro shop is open 7 a.m. to dusk; fitness center and driving range are closed.
Gift Shop: Open; limited occupancy.
Closed: Child care, arcade, coat check, parking valet, city motel shuttle and fun bus.

Three Rivers Casino and Resort in Florence

Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily
Entry:  Valid photo ID mandatory; guests required to lower face mask at the security checkpoint for validation.
Screening: Temperature checked before entry; those with temperatures above 100.4 will not be admitted.
Masks: Employees and guests required to wear facemasks, must bring your own mask. Latex gloves available upon request, but are not required.
Games: Repositioned floor; about two-thirds of slot machines available; chairs removed for social distancing; smoking and nonsmoking areas are available. Poker and craps closed until further notice.
Table games: Limited seating, no smoking; open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays.
Restaurants: Limited, socially distanced seating; Blue Bills and Riverside Food Court, Bonefire to reopen June 4.
Hotel: Operating with limited capacity; early check-in and late check-out not allowed; coffee, toiletries, etc., available only upon request.
RV park: Available spaces are socially distanced.

Three Rivers Casino in Coos Bay

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
Entry: Valid photo ID mandatory; guests required to lower face mask at the security checkpoint for validation.
Screening: Temperature checked before entry; those with temperatures above 100.4 will not be admitted.
Masks: Employees and guests required to wear facemasks, must bring a mask. Latex gloves available upon request but are not required.
Games: Repositioned floor; about two-thirds of slot machines available; chairs removed for social distancing; smoking and nonsmoking areas available.
Restaurants: Cafe 1297 open with limited, socially distanced seating.

Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily.
Entry: Temperature checked before entry; those with temperatures above 100.4 will not be admitted.
Masks: Required for employees and guests; masks available at entry.
Slots: Chairs removed; machines sanitized regularly; casino employees will keep guests from congregating in groups.
Table games: Masks and social distancing required; tables/chairs sanitized after each game; signage displayed when the table is ready.
Restaurants: Limited hours, menus and seating: Kabi Cafe; Cow Creek Restaurant plus to-go orders; Stix Sports Bar plus to-go orders. Condiments are available upon request.
Entertainment: All events canceled or postponed through June 26.
Hotel: Front desk will view ID instead of handling;  room assignments rotated to maximize vacancy between guests.
RV park: Office open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; pool open daily 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; hand sanitizer stations at the front desk, lobby, laundry, pool building and fitness room; guests encouraged to stay in RVs when possible and must practice social distancing otherwise. Still closed: Play area, clubhouse and BBQ pavilion.

Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde

Hours: 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays.
Entry: 21 years or older only.
Screening: Temperature checked before entry; those with temperatures above 100.4 will not be admitted.
Masks: Required at all table games and strongly encouraged for all guests; masks provided upon request.
Games: Markers on floor and signage to remind guests of social distancing; poker and keno closed until further notice.
Restaurants: Limited hours, limited seating of parties of no more than four; Cedar Plank Buffet to offer three-course, plated meals, no self-service buffets. Self-service beverage stations closed; staffed complimentary soda/coffee stations available on the casino floor.
Closed: Arcade, valet, coat check, fitness center, shuttle and charter buses, convention and meeting areas and business center.

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Kate Rowland

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 Kate Rowland on May 19, 2020

More than two months have passed since college and professional sports shut down in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and sidelined sports bettors are feeling the loss acutely.

Despite speculation that the sports world might not resume until 2021, as stay-at-home restrictions relax around the country, some leagues are making tentative plans to return while others are already active.

The NBA – the first major league in the US to shut down after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 in early March – is now discussing holding playoff games in Las Vegas’ empty stadiums.

Major League Soccer proposed resuming its season on June 8, bringing all of its 26 teams to shuttered resorts near Disney World in Orlando, FL.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was open to the idea, saying that he would lift restrictions to allow sports teams to utilize the state’s unused arenas, according to ESPN.

This is all good news for Oregon punters who would be thrilled to see the state’s Portland Trail Blazers and Portland Timbers return to action.

March statistics for Scoreboard, Oregon Lottery’s online sportsbook, shows basketball accounted for almost half of the month’s wagering activity, while soccer was second at 15%.

In addition, the NHL is currently considering a 24-team playoff tournament, which could trickle down to the Portland Winterhawks of the WHA.

Ice hockey accounted for the third-highest number of Scoreboard bets.

In other league news, Major League Baseball is considering an 82-game season that could start as early as the Fourth of July, according to ESPN.

Baseball games would be played in league stadiums that have received clearance from local and state officials.

The PGA plans to resume next month, although no fans will be allowed to attend the first four events.

NASCAR returned to the track last week, also without fans.

The NFL currently expects to start the regular season on time on Sept. 10.

No college football games until 2021?

Although Scoreboard does not accept wagers on collegiate events, NCAA football fans may not be allowed to attend games until next year.

College sports went into lockdown in mid-March with the cancellation of March Madness basketball tournaments, and there are no plans to return as yet.

According to ESPN, the NCAA will not mandate a uniform return for college sports, leaving that decision to individual university and state officials, instead.

In a May 8 press conference outlining the state’s reopening strategy, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said that large gatherings would not be allowed until at least October.

Both the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers are scheduled to host three home games in September.

A number of experts have expressed the opinion that sports leagues may be returning to action too soon.

Germany’s premier soccer league, Bundesliga, was expected to be the first major league to resume play this month, but plans were scrapped after 10 players tested positive for the coronavirus.

Likewise, Japan’s basketball league was scheduled to resume in April, but the season was delayed indefinitely after three players tested positive.

Other Scoreboard statistics for March

Scoreboard punters placed a total of 311,553 bets in March on 24 different sports, with an average wager amount of $28.91.

Standard pre-match wagers, bets placed on an event’s outcome before the start, accounted for 56% of Scoreboard’s action.

Live bets, wagers placed during a sporting event, accounted for the other 44%.

Nearly 155,000 wagers were placed on basketball games. Baseball accounted for 3,565 bets or 1% of Scoreboard’s total wagers.

Table tennis wagers accounted for 7%, MMA 5%, tennis 3% and football 2%.

Some of the more obscure sports wagers by Oregon bettors include 12 bets on bandy. The game is similar to ice hockey and uses a ball instead of a puck. It is considered to be Russia’s national game.

Cycling received 44 bets, while 152 wagers were made on snooker and pool, and 178 on sumo wrestling.

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Kate Rowland

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 Kate Rowland on May 14, 2020
Oregon Lottery sports betting

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s plans to begin lifting restrictions on statewide businesses in mid-March couldn’t have come at a better time for the Oregon Lottery.

After seeing net profits decline by 49% in March, the Oregon Lottery cut $7.4 million from its budget on May 7, eliminating 60 jobs, or 13% of its total workforce.

Another 290 employees were laid off for at least a month. Furthermore, the rest of the staff will receive paychecks reduced by 10% over the next three months. The executive staff will take a 15% salary cut.

Brown’s March 17 stay-at-home order closed nonessential businesses and shuttered restaurants and bars, which are major Oregon Lottery retailers. Many businesses are limited to take-out and delivery.

The decision left Oregon Lottery’s video slot terminals, the agency’s largest moneymaker, sitting silently for nearly two months.

On the flip side, the recent cutbacks, combined with efforts undertaken in April to cut costs by $20 million, should help the Oregon Lottery weather the COVID-19 storm.

Lottery proceeds fund a number of essential state programs, including public schools, economic development, state parks and veteran services, among others.

No slots to play just yet

Gov. Brown held a press conference on May 8 to outline her reopening strategy.

Although many businesses will be able to reopen on May 15, the food and beverage industry will have to wait a little while longer.

Plans call for each of Oregon’s 36 counties to seek approval to reopen its hospitality sector on an individual basis. The state will assess the ability of each county to meet a set of public health criteria before allowing area restaurants and similar businesses to reopen.

Determining factors include a decline in new COVID-19 cases, adequate capacity in hospitals and quarantine facilities, among others.

Once a county receives authorization to reopen from the state, area restaurants and bars may begin welcoming guests again.

Oregon Lottery retailers that receive approval to reopen must follow a number of mandatory guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Patrons will be able to play Oregon Lottery video slots at least six feet away from adjacent players. Terminals will be disinfected between players. Restaurants and bars will be required to close by 10 p.m.

Gov. Brown warned Oregonians that former restrictions could return if there is a surge in infection rates. Brown added that social distancing measures will continue to be a part of daily life for some time.

Casinos reopen in Deadwood, South Dakota

Oregon is not the only state to lift its stay-at-home restrictions.

Deadwood, SD, became the first commercial casino market in the United States to reopen on May 7, after being the last to close when the gaming industry shut down in March.

The city authorized reopening plans after March figures showed a 20% decrease in gaming revenue compared with the same month in 2019.

Mandatory requirements are in place for employee screening and social distancing measures.

Guests must maintain a distance of two slot machines from adjacent players. There won’t be chairs at table games to maintain distancing requirements, limiting tables to two to four players.

Deadwood’s Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort and Cadillac Jack’s reported that approximately 70% of its workforce was back on May 7, while the remaining staff should return over the next two weeks.

Located near Black Hills National Forest in western South Dakota, Deadwood is known for its gold rush history and Wild West icons such as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.

Information, visitor and history centers will likely reopen by Memorial Day, while area museums plan to reopen by July 1.

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Written by

Kate Rowland

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 May 10, 2020
Scoreboard Oregon sports betting Bundesliga

The top level of men’s club soccer in Germany will resume play soon. Because of that, Scoreboard has made Bundesliga betting available for Oregonians.

Many Oregonians may not be familiar with Bundesliga and the markets on it. This is a prime opportunity to change that, however.

What to know about Bundesliga betting as play nears

Bundesliga will resume matches on Saturday, May 16 without spectators physically in attendance. It will be the first European major soccer league to get back on the pitch since suspending play amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

While playing in empty stadiums is obviously less than ideal, it’s a great development for soccer fans all over the world. Bundesliga is not only the most popular sports league in Germany but counts its fans in the millions across the globe.

Each of Bundesliga’s 18 clubs plays a total of 34 matches each season. When the league suspended play, most clubs had played 25 matches already.

Despite the season being nearly three-quarters over, there is still much to play for. The top four teams in the point standings each season get to play in the men’s UEFA Champions League each year, which brings millions of Euros in extra revenue.

Seven clubs that aren’t currently in one of those top four positions still have a realistic shot to play their way in. Additionally, the bottom three teams in the standings will work hard to avoid relegation.

Over the last nine-10 matches of the season for clubs, they will also decide which players will lead the league in relevant statistical categories. The Oregon Lottery’s sports betting app, Scoreboard, has lines on many of these events.

Handicapping them can be a challenge when you aren’t familiar with Bundesliga, however. Fortunately, there are great free resources on the web.

Tips for handicapping Bundesliga matches

Bundesliga’s English-language website is a great source of information on fixtures, injury updates, recent form and statistics. If you’re looking for more features and opinion, however, BBC Sport’s Football page is a stellar destination.

Between those two sources, you should be able to gather all the information you need to build your models for Bundesliga matches. There are some questions unique to the current situation that you need to answer as well, however, such as:

  • Might some clubs be rustier than others after the layoff?
  • Could some athletes/teams be in better shape getting onto the pitch?
  • How will playing in empty stadiums affect the matches?

It might be hard to quantify these factors but rest assured, the oddsmakers at Scoreboard are just as in the dark about these qualities as you are. That shouldn’t be a deterrent to wagering on Bundesliga.

It won’t stop Scoreboard from posting markets on the league. When there are unknown quantities like these unique circumstances, it can result in sportsbooks sizing matches up incorrectly.

If that’s the case, you just might be able to take advantage of that situation. This might be the time to diversify smaller wagers, ascribing to the theory of casting a wide net.

Regardless of your strategy, Bundesliga betting is an exciting addition to the Scoreboard menu. If you can wager wisely, you might find yourself saying vielen danke (thank you very much).

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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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Written By Kate Rowland on April 28, 2020
Oregon Lottery sports betting

Mandatory statewide shuttering of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic saw Oregon Lottery’s net profit for March drop 49% from the same month last year, according to a recently released financial report.

Including sales of traditional lottery tickets, video slot machines and online sports betting, Oregon Lottery’s overall net profit last month was $37.6 million, down 49% from $74 million in March of 2019.

Video slot games took the biggest hit with a net profit of $28.1 million for the month, a 54% decrease from last year’s $60.9 million performance.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a mandatory statewide order on March 16 for bars and restaurants – the primary retailers of Oregon Lottery video slot games – to close to all businesses other than takeout or delivery.

Traditional lottery ticket sales saw a net profit of $9.5 million in March, a 27% reduction from 2019 figures.

Scoreboard, the lottery’s online sports betting product, saw a net loss of $44,000 last month after accruing positive net profits in January and February.

Oregon Lottery sales have earned more than $12 billion for state programs since being formed in 1985, contributing more than $726 million toward state programs in 2018 alone.

Over the years, voters have allocated lottery proceeds to support public schools (53%), economic development (25.5%), state parks (7.5%), and a number of other state programs.

According to a lottery spokesperson, although sports betting revenue is expected to be less than other games, proceeds will likely be allocated to the state pension fund.

A closer look at Scoreboard

Scoreboard went live on Oct. 26, 2019. In the relatively short time span since its launch, the lottery’s newest product has been plagued by problems.

The app accrued a net loss in each of its first three months, including a loss of $1.5 million for six days of operation in October, as well as more moderate losses of $307,000 and $271,000 in November and December, respectively.

On the plus side, Scoreboard turned a net profit over the first two months of 2020, accruing $82,000 in January and $437,000 in February.

On the whole, however, the sportsbook has lost $1.57 million over the first six months of operation, despite accruing net revenue of more than $6.9 million.

A Feb. 28 memo from Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack to the overseeing lottery commission gave an updated financial projection for Scoreboard’s performance, predicting a loss of $5.3 million over the first nine months of 2020.

Technology provider SBTech, which has been absorbed by daily fantasy sports and sports betting behemoth DraftKings, is currently partnered with Oregon Lottery and responsible for the Scoreboard platform.

SBTech issues

SBTech has been roundly criticized for the unfavorable terms of its contract with Oregon Lottery, largely in regard to excessive service fees.

The full terms of the contract were only revealed recently after a lengthy back-and-forth court battle with members of the media.

The office of the state’s attorney general eventually ordered the lottery to reveal the uncensored contract in its entirety.

Less than a month later, on March 27, SBTech was the victim of a sophisticated cyberattack, which forced the company to take down its partners’ more than 50 gaming sites worldwide.

Scoreboard was back online by April 2, but the majority of SBTech’s US partners remained offline for a costly three-week span of time.

The computer breach delayed the DraftKings merger and caused the terms of the deal to change, in order to require SBTech to set aside $30 million to cover potential claims that might result from the cyberattack.

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Kate Rowland

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 Kate Rowland on April 25, 2020
Oregon Lottery DraftKings

Daily fantasy sports and sportsbook operator DraftKings and SBTech have completed a deal that will see the two powerhouses merged into one publicly traded entity on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Shareholders of Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, voted to approve the first step in the process on April 23, effectively authorizing a merger between Diamond Eagle, DraftKings and SBTech.

Technology provider SBTech is contracted with Oregon Lottery to provide the online platform for Scoreboard, the state’s sports betting app.

The deal is a “reverse merger” IPO, in which Diamond Eagle, already publicly traded on Nasdaq as DEAC, combines with DraftKings and SBTech to form a new public business entity.

The new business will keep the name DraftKings, and a new stock market ticker symbol will be assigned.

DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins will also remain at the helm, along with the current leadership team.

The next step in the process is to finalize the details of the new business entity, which was originally projected for completion by the first half of this year.

The deal means that DraftKings will not only benefit from stock market investor dollars, it will also see savings from bringing SBTech’s platform technology in house.

The Boston-based company currently partners with a third-party platform provider, Kambi, for its sportsbook technology.

Founded in 2011, DraftKings quickly became a major player in the daily fantasy sports market.

Today, DraftKings’ DFS product has four million paid users in 43 states and eight international markets, including Canada, Australia and the UK.

Since DraftKings launched New Jersey’s first online sportsbook in August 2018, the company has consistently maintained a 30% share of the online sports betting market in the Garden State.

Scoreboard back on line after SBTech cyberattack

SBTech is a powerhouse in its own right, with more than 50 partners in the US and international iGaming markets.

However, the Malta-based company has had a lot of problems in recent months.

A sophisticated cyberattack on March 27 shut down SBTech’s 50-plus gaming sites around the globe.

Although Oregon Lottery’s Scoreboard app and SBTech’s international partners were able to resume operations just a few days later, a number of the company’s US partners, including BetAmerica, were down for three weeks.

SBTech has not disclosed the exact nature of the assault but claims that no user data was compromised as a result.

The computer breach delayed the DraftKings merger and caused Diamond Eagle to change the terms of the deal, which now requires SBTech to put $30 million in escrow to cover any claims that might result from the cyberattack.

In addition, SBTech has been soundly criticized for its questionable contract with Oregon Lottery, the details of which were only revealed after a lengthy court battle.

Oregon’s sports betting product has seen mounting losses since its launch in October of last year.

DraftKings partners with virtual sports software developer

With sporting events practically a distant memory due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DraftKings put a little ingenuity into finding an alternative outlet for sidelined sports bettors.

To that end, DraftKings recently entered into a partnership with virtual sports provider Inspired Entertainment.

Inspired Entertainment is a software and technology provider that offers 14 types of simulated sporting events, including football, basketball, soccer, auto racing, horse racing, and more, all for the express purpose of sports wagering.

Inspired holds an official license from NFL Alumni, which means it can use the names and likenesses of former NFL legends, so DraftKings may soon offer simulated football games featuring some familiar names in its sportsbooks.

It’s too soon to say whether Oregon bettors will be able to wager on virtual sports from the Oregon Lottery Scoreboard.

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Kate Rowland

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 Kate Rowland on April 18, 2020
oregon lottery sports betting

The uncensored contract between Oregon Lottery and SBTech was made public earlier this month after the Malta-based company dropped its right to appeal in the wake of a circuit court order for the document to be released in its entirety.

SBTech provides the platform and additional operating services for the lottery’s online sports betting app, Scoreboard, which has not performed well since its launch in October of 2019.

Details of the unredacted contract reveal that SBTech earns a larger share of the state lottery’s sports betting revenue than was originally made public.

Oregon Lottery has lost nearly $2 million from its sports betting app, despite seeing nearly $6 million in net revenue. Payments to SBTech and other vendors over that period account for nearly half of that sum, according to the contract’s financial terms.

A February memo from Oregon Lottery states that Scoreboard will “have a loss of $5.3 million for the first nine months of FY2020.”

According to the Portland, OR, newspaper Willamette Week, a memo on the Oregon Lottery website, which has since been removed, suggested that SBTech would receive 9 to 11% of Scoreboard’s net profits, as detailed under the “Access Fees” section of the contract.

The memo, from a lottery official to the Oregon Lottery governing commission, went on to explain that SBTech’s profit share would rise to 12% in three years time.

However, the unredacted contract reveals that SBTech receives an additional sum detailed under the document’s “Managed Service Fees” section.

Under the terms of the contract, SBTech is due an additional 16% of net revenue, with a minimum monthly payment of $300,000 for the first six months and $350,000 afterwards.

After 36 months, the minimum managed service fee rises to 17%.

Court Battle Over Contract Disclosure

Scoreboard’s poor financial performance led two media outlets to request the release of the Oregon Lottery/SBTech contract under Oregon Public Records Law. The office of the department of justice granted the request.

However, the lottery released a heavily redacted version, with censored financial terms, after SBTech argued that full disclosure would expose trade secrets to its competitors.

Upon another petition from members of the media in early January, the Oregon office of the attorney general reviewed the redactions and ordered the lottery to disclose the contract in its entirety. SBTech filed a lawsuit to prevent the release.

An Oregon circuit court judge ruled on the lawsuit in late February, stating that the Oregon Uniform Trade Secrets Act does not apply to a public entity.

The court ordered the lottery to release the contract in its entirety after 30 days, giving SBTech time to file an appeal.

SBTech chose to decline the right to appeal, ending the court battle.

About the SBTech Contract

Oregon Lottery opened a bid for sports betting partner in April 2019. The commission approved the lottery’s choice of platform provider and awarded the contract to SBTech.

Las Vegas-based Scientific Games, one of the losing bidders, issued a challenge to the award, stating that SBTech was involved with illegal gambling operations overseas.

After state investigators determined that the claim had no merit, the contract was awarded to SBTech.

SBTech partners with operators in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Mississippi, as well as additional states that are working to pass sports betting legislation, including Kentucky, Illinois, Florida, Louisiana, Ohio and Maine.

Daily fantasy sports and sports betting giant DraftKings acquired SBTech last year, with the merger expected to be completed in the next few months.

DraftKings has a sole partnership with the Washington, D.C., Lottery to run its sports betting operation, as well.

Scoreboard has suffered platform difficulties since its launch, including problems experienced by users trying to make deposits and a recent shutdown caused by a cyberattack on SBTech servers around the globe.

The app does not accept wagers on collegiate sporting events, at least in part due to Oregon Lottery’s sensitive history with the NCAA in regard to a sports betting parlay game that was discontinued in 2007.

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Kate Rowland

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 Kate Rowland on April 7, 2020
SBTech Cyber attack Oregon

Oregon Lottery suspended operations of its sports betting app, Scoreboard, on March 27, after a worldwide cyberattack on its platform provider partner, SBTech.

The attack prompted SBTech to shut down more than 50 online gaming sites worldwide that run on its proprietary platform.

An email from Oregon Lottery to Scoreboard users on March 30 explained that the shutdown was a precautionary measure, and there were no reports of a breach of user data, which includes sensitive financial details.

SBTech “brought its systems offline as a precautionary measure in response to a cyberattack — suspending play on Scoreboard and other online sportsbooks using the platform,” according to the March 30 email.

“We have no reports of unauthorized disclosure or extraction of player data or account balances.”

The Lottery’s said that the London-based company is investigating the incident and working toward bringing its systems back online while Oregon Lottery monitors the process.

Some overseas media reports speculate that the cyberattack was ransomware. The Trojan malware intended to infect the system in order to extort money in exchange for releasing infected servers, or ceasing a DDoS (direct denial of service) attack in which servers are overloaded by repeated floods of messages.

There does not appear to be a basis for those claims. SBTech’s initial report states that the motive for the attack was unclear at that early stage. However, nothing recently has been disclosed.

Oregon Lottery’s troubles escalate

Scoreboard has faced numerous difficulties since going live in October 2019.

The Oregon Lottery’s sports betting app lost more than $2.3 million through January, despite net revenue accrual of more than $4.5 million.

Updated projections predict losses of $5.3 million by the end of the fiscal year, even though OR Lottery initially projected winnings of more than $6 million.

This surprising financial data prompted two media groups to file for the release of the Oregon Lottery/SBTech contract under Oregon Public Records Law.

The lottery released a heavily redacted version of the contract, including financial details. SBTech had argued that full disclosure of its contract would expose trade secrets and enable competitors to copy its business model.

The state’s office of the attorney general ruled that the Oregon Uniform Trade Secrets Act did not apply to a public entity and ordered the lottery to release the contract in its entirety.

The coronavirus outbreak caused the Oregon Lottery to shut down all of its video poker and slot machines located in restaurants and retailers across the state after Gov. Kate Brown ordered those businesses to close to all but takeout customers.

In addition, the cancellation of sporting events around the globe severely limited Scoreboard’s sports betting lineup.

SBTech partnered with operators in six states

In addition to Oregon, SBTech is partners with casino operators in five additional states. They include brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at Oaklawn Racino in Arkansas and multiple land-based sites in Mississippi.

SBTech’s online operations affected in the US include, most notably, New Jersey’s popular Golden Nugget. The online casino has been experiencing increased traffic during NJ’s stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BetAmerica online sportsbooks and casinos in Indiana and Pennsylvania are shut down, as well.

European disruptions in service due to the cyberattack include the popular sites NetBet, Bethard and ComeOn, among many others.

In order to reopen operations, SBTech will have to beef up its online security and receive the green light from gaming regulators in each state.

DraftKings acquisition of SBTech

Perhaps significant to the cyberattack’s timing is the recent acquisition of SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition by gaming giant DraftKings last year.

The DFS and sportsbook behemoth will be led by DraftKings co-founder and chief executive officer Jason Robins and the company’s highly experienced management team.

DraftKings is set to go public next month. Negotiations are ongoing, with a Diamond Eagle logistical meeting scheduled for April 9.

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Kate Rowland

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 George Myers on March 24, 2020
Washington State sports betting

America’s sports betting industry is in a precarious position.

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of nearly every major sporting event, including March Madness and at least a month’s slate of NBA contests.

The titanic development means sportsbooks will likely see a major drop in revenue. It was anticipated to be one of the most lucrative months of the year.

But, inevitably, this too shall pass.

When it does, Oregon’s sports betting field will be left with its own revamped situation.

Washington legislators give thumbs-up to sports gambling

Washington state representatives voted in early March to approve a bill that OKs the initiation of sports betting in the state’s tribal casinos. The vote, which was passed overwhelmingly 83-14, sent the bill to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for a final, formal signature.

His signature must come by early April.

Gambling could take several months to start in Washington due to the need for state officials to reach a new pact agreement with tribes. Still, the approval was a major step forward. The state has balked at proposed gambling expansions in previous years.

Washington residents will likely be able to bet on professional and college sports in 2020, although wagers will have to be placed at Indian casinos.

However, WA bettors will not be able to bet on college teams in the state itself. It blocks a lucrative market that would have included University of Washington basketball and football and Washington State University football.

What does this mean for Oregon?

Oregon, which joined the legalized betting movement in 2019 and is will likely expand this year, is unlikely to be impacted by its northern neighbor’s decision to join the fray.

Mainly, this is because of the restrictive nature of sports betting that is likely to be introduced to Washingtonians.

While the Oregon Lottery plans to bring kiosks for sports wagering to bars and retailers in an effort to grow its sportsbook app, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting, Washington is set to restrict its betting to tribal casinos.

Plus, anyone who wants to bet on a Washington college sporting event would still need to cross the border into Oregon.

And, in contrast to Washington, college sports betting could even expand in Oregon.

While tribal casino sportsbooks in the state allow college-sporting bets, the Oregon Lottery has, so far, stayed away from NCAA-based gaming. That could change, however, as the lottery has begun considering a philosophical shift, according to OPB.

Oregon hopes to rebound from an underwhelming start

Oregon is lucky Washington doesn’t present much of a risk. It’s had a hard enough time making money in the current climate.

Steps are indeed being made to grow Oregon sports betting and the state’s only sportsbook app. But in many ways, those attempts are motivated by an unexpectedly poor start.

While state officials had expected to make millions in the first year following the Scoreboard app’s launch last fall, a more recent project has shown the Oregon Lottery anticipates a loss of $5.3 million in the first three-quarters of the fiscal year, as recently noted by PlayUSA.

Measures like expanded college sports betting and increased visibility in heavy-trafficked areas are likely to help, although more complex causes like unexpected low margins will also need repairing.

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George Myers

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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