With sporting events canceled worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Oregon Lottery Scoreboard sportsbook app is lying dormant these days.
No athletic contests means there is nothing to wager on.
However, Oregon Lottery offers a number of alternatives to sports betting with a wide variety of scratch-off tickets, video casino games and similar pursuits to satisfy Beaver State residents who are feeling the urge to gamble.
According to Chuck Baumann, senior public affairs officer for Oregon Lottery, Scoreboard accounts for just a fraction of Lottery’s revenue. Lottery officials plan to ride out the storm and be there for sports fans when it’s over.
“We’re just going to weather the storm and when sports come back and sports bettors are all excited about wagering again, Scoreboard will be there,” he said.
Although Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared mandatory statewide closures for bars and restaurants to all business other than takeout on March 16, and limited public gatherings to no more than 25 people for the next four weeks, video terminals should be up and running in businesses open for carryout or pickup
Oregon Governor Issues Statewide Mandate
After some waffling, Brown chose to follow President Donald Trump’s recommendation and ordered statewide restaurants and bars to stop all on-site dining and limit sales to takeout and delivery, in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, the governor limited gatherings to no more than 25 people, with Brown urging Oregonians to avoid being around more than 10 people at a time.
Brown said she was issuing the order to slow the spread of the virus so that the healthcare system can try to keep up with demand for care.
Exemptions to the closure list include grocery stores, pharmacies, retail stores and workplaces, and Brown suggested that businesses that cannot serve customers in a way that minimizes interpersonal contact should shut down completely during the pandemic.
Her decision came five hours after Brown announced she was not ready to impose a curfew or shut down on bars and restaurants, despite new federal recommendations against gatherings of 50 or more.
Dozens of restaurants announced voluntary closures, and more than 100 chefs, bartenders, bakers, winemakers and other hospitality industry workers signed an open letter requesting the governor to order the closure.
In an earlier press conference Monday, Brown said her decision not to impose closures on restaurants and bars resulted from speaking with elected officials from around the state who expressed the concern that restaurants were key providers of meals to the elderly and vulnerable in the state’s rural communities.
Brown’s decision on whether to extend school closures beyond April 1 will be issued within the next few days.
Trump advised all Americans to eschew restaurants, bars and gatherings of 10 or more people to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Numerous other states, including Ohio, Illinois, Washington and Maryland, have also ordered full-scale restaurant and bar closures on March 15 and 16, while California closed bars and limited capacity at state restaurants.
Early Scoreboard Performance Disappointing
It’s been a slow start for the sports betting venture of the Oregon Lottery, anyway.
Oregon Lottery initially projected a win of more than $6 million at the start of the venture in October 2019.
Baumann said Scoreboard has 50,000 registered accounts, and general feedback from bettors has been positive, but it’s beyond Lottery’s control now with no sporting events to wager on.
In the meantime, Lottery expects its other offerings will fill in the gap until sports wagers can be made again.