Written By JR Duren on May 20, 2022
Bill Benter Makes It Big In Horse Betting

Bet on horses long enough, and you’re going to lose, regardless of your system. That is unless you’re Bill Benter. Benter has made nearly $1 billion using math skills to develop an effective horse betting system.

With the Preakness Stakes fast approaching, horse betting is at the forefront of the sports betting world. And no discussion on equine betting is complete without mentioning William Bill Benter, an Eagle Scout, world traveler, Pittsburgh native, and a man known in Hong Kong as the God of Horses.

For Benter, developing a horse betting system came naturally. “I find the real business world to be a lot more difficult than horse racing,” Benter said in a 2018 interview with Bloomberg. “I’m kind of a one-trick pony.”

Oregon gamblers can place a bet on the Preakness at Grants Pass Downs or any of the 11 off-track betting sites throughout the state. Or, even easier is to check out the TVG app from the comfort of your home. TVG is specifically designed for horse betting and will be happy to take your bets in Oregon.

Heading into the big race at Pimlico Race Course, here are the favorites to win the race:

  • Epicenter: 6-5
  • Early Voting: 7-2
  • Secret Oath: 9-2
  • Simplification: 6-1
  • Creative Minister: 10-1

From Vegas to Hong Kong: How Benter found his magic

Make no mistake: Bill Benter is a smart man. He studied physics in college before leaving university to travel the world, eventually ending up in Vegas in the early ’80s at 22 years old.

His inspiration? Benter fell in love…with a book. To be exact, Beat the Dealer, a 1962 a relatively well-known tome by mathematics professor named Edward Thorp. Long story short, Benter frequented the blackjack tables and eventually made fast friends with legendary Australian card counter Alan Woods.

While the gig was profitable, casinos eventually wised up to the Woods gang, earning Benter a ban from Vegas casinos. It turns out that being shunned by Vegas was precisely what Benter needed.

Banning Benter from Vegas made him turn his ambitious, albeit nerdy, sights on Hong Kong, arguably the horse betting world’s epicenter. At the time, Hong Kong’s two tracks, Happy Valley and Sha Tin, were pulling in a handle that was more than that of the entire United States, according to Bloomberg.

In other words, Benter was in the middle of a gold mine and just needed the right tool to become fantastically wealthy.

He found his tool in the most mundane way: a 1986 academic study that examined how a certain betting model could produce results at the track. Two researchers from the University of Alberta (Canada) went deep into the numbers.

They concluded: “Can a horse race wagering system involving win betting yield positive returns? Given this paper’s results, there appears to be some room for some optimism.”

Translation: Yeah, we think we figured out how you can make money on horse betting, but we’re not sure. Though the researchers may not have been sure, Benter was.

Benter becomes the God of horses

Hand a Ferrari key to a Formula 1 racer, and they’ll know exactly what to do. Hand a mathematical model to a math genius who bets on horses? He’ll know exactly what to do, too.

Benter pored over the study, wrestled with its ideas, and came up with his betting system. It wasn’t just a ploy, either. Whereas radio ads may bombard you with bettors who’ve claimed they cracked the code, Benter’s system was legit.

He laid out the math and probabilities in a 17-page paper published in 1994. He used his betting results from the past five years in Hong Kong as evidence. And he showed that the more races he bet on, the more success he had.

“The question; ‘Can a system beat the races?’ can surely be answered in the affirmative,” Benter wrote at the end of his paper. “The author’s experience has shown that at least at some times, at some tracks, a statistically derived fundamental handicapping model can achieve a significant positive expectation.”

In plain English, Benter said, “My data-based model works in specific situations.”

And what does “works” mean? For Benter, it meant around $800 million, according to interviews with friends and employees Bloomberg conducted in advance of its 2018 interview.

Can you beat the Preakness with the Benter betting system?

In short, no.

You can’t download an app based on Benter’s math that spits out calculations of which horses to bet on and how much to bet. You’ve got to have a ton of brain and computer power.

“In the future, computer handicappers may become more numerous, or one of the racing publications may start publishing competent computer rating of the horses, either of which will likely cause the market to become efficient to such predictions,” Benter wrote in his paper. “The profits have gone, and will go, to those who are ‘in action’ first with sophisticated models.”

So, unless you have a sophisticated horse betting model that you can decipher well enough to make the right bets at the right time, you aren’t going to be the next Bill Benter.

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Written By JR Duren on May 18, 2022
AGA Revenue Report Highlights Oregon Paving The Way

America loves gambling. That’s the American Gaming Associations (AGA’s) big message from its recent report on $4.42 billion in national gaming revenue from February. It was the best February on record for the nation’s gaming industry.

“U.S. commercial gaming revenue continued its strong start in 2022 with the highest-grossing February on record,” the AGA reported. February revenue was driven by the continued growth of slot revenue and sustained strength of sports betting and iGaming.”

And according to the latest numbers from the AGA, that love for gaming is particularly intense in Oregon. And with Oregon having the highest gambling growth in the country it’s no surprise the industry is under committee review by state legislators.

Oregon gambling leads the way in growth

Part of the AGA’s report included yearonyear changes in revenue for all states with legalized gambling. And here’s the good news: Oregon gambling was the clear leader in growth.

February year-on-year better than every other state

Of the more than 25 states that reported gross gambling revenue from at least February 2020 to now, Oregon experienced the most growth. The state saw a 125.7% jump in revenue this February compared to 2020. The next closest state was Michigan, which saw an 87.1% jump in revenue.

The February 2022 and February 2020 sports betting reports from the Oregon Lottery explain the ingredients that have gone into the feast that is the state’s revenue growth.

In February 2020, the state’s lottery pulled in $1.48 million in gross gambling revenue, with its biggest cash generators being basketball ($609,647), and soccer ($196,068).

In February 2022, gross gambling revenue jumped to $3.34 million, largely thanks to $1.07 million from basketball. Football did well, generating $893,403 in gross gaming revenue, followed by soccer at $360,430.

Oregon gambling revenue, year-to-date

As for year-to-date revenue change from January-February 2020 to now, Oregon saw the third-biggest jump at 76.1%. Only New Hampshire and Michigan saw bigger leaps.

Sports betting, iGmaing drive $4.42 billion in February

Though the past two years have been a whirlwind of casino closures, professional and amateur sports cancellations, and a tidal wave of uncertainty, Oregon gambling revenue soared this year, according to the AGA’s data.

The year-on-year change from February 2020 to February 2022 was 17%, and the year-on-year from last February to this February was 37%.

Using five states as a benchmark for casino visits and revenue, the report noted that, while fewer people are going to casinos compared to the pre-pandemic years, those who go are spending more. The “average casino revenue per visitor in 2022 is up by about 34.2 percent across the five reporting states,” the AGA said.

The big driver for the gambling industry was sports betting and iGaming. Two industries within the industry that experienced staggering growth.

Sports betting gaming revenue was up 321.0% over February 2020. Additionally, iGamings gross gaming revenue was up 420.0% over that same time. The two industries accounted for 16.6% of the country’s overall gross gaming revenue.

Both industries have experienced massive growth in the past three years. Sports betting, of course, has benefitted from the onslaught of states that have legalized sports wagering since 2018.

In addition to the stellar year-on-year numbers for February, the AGA’s report also noted a considerable jump in yeartodate revenue.

“2022 has seen the industry’s fastest ever start to a year, with $8.96 billion in commercial gaming revenue generated in the first two months, up nearly 20 percent from the previous record set in 2020.”

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Written By JR Duren on May 10, 2022
Oregon Legilsature will look at gambling in state

Ignorance is not bliss. That’s the stance of Oregon legislators, who have agreed to do a comprehensive review of the state’s gambling industry for the first time since 1996. The review could impact gambling in Oregon.

Over the past 26 years, the gambling landscape in Oregon and across the nation has changed drastically, Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield said in a press release about the review. And with so much change, it no longer does the state any good for its lawmakers to avoid a stone-cold analysis of the state’s gaming universe. Rayfield said:

“The scope of legal gambling has expanded and changed in major ways in recent years. Americans spent more money on gambling in 2021 than in any previous year. We must be mindful of the wide-ranging impacts of this growing industry, including on sovereign tribal governments and Oregonians struggling with addiction. This is an important time to study how other states are approaching this new era, understand opportunities and risks, and ensure we have the right regulatory framework in place as gaming technology evolves.”

What the committee will do

A committee of eight lawmakers will oversee the process. The lawmakers on the bipartisan committee are:

  • Sen. Sara Belser Blouin, D
  • Rep. John Lively, D
  • Sen. Dick Anderson, R
  • Sen. Lynn Findley, R
  • Rep. Andrea Valderrama, D
  • Rep. Kim Wallan, R
  • Rep. Boomer Wright, R

The review will culminate with a report offering analysis across a wide range of industry topics, including:

  • Existing gambling laws and structures
  • The role lawmakers should play in approving new gaming legislation and expansion
  • How tribal and state gaming relate
  • Treatment and recovery resources
  • Growth of gambling technology

Senate President Peter Courtney said of the review:

“We want to know what is and isn’t working. We’ve given the individuals on this committee a big job … gambling has a huge impact on our state. I appreciate them for stepping up to the task.”

Why the gambling review is important

For the past year or so, the state’s federally recognized tribes have wanted (and asked for) a review of this type. After battling with the state and billionaire Travis Boersma over a new gaming facility, the tribes were looking for some clarity on state law. Also, they wanted more communication.

The launch of the review seems to be another big win for the tribes in 2022. Earlier this year, the Oregon Department of Justice essentially shut down a Boersma gaming facility because its slots-like historic horse racing machines (HHRs) would constitute a casino.

But what exactly will come of the report? What changes will it suggest? Those are questions that have some pretty slippery answers.

Predicting what measures lawmakers might suggest

At the forefront of the gaming discussion in Oregon are two issues: commercial (non-tribal) casinos and sports betting. It’s nearly a certainty the committee will focus on these two areas among other issues. What will they find? There are many possibilities:

  • Tribes should have more involvement in gaming legislation
  • Commercial casinos could provide a big boost to state revenue
  • Sports betting should expand beyond a single operator
  • If legalized, commercial casinos may need to share revenue with tribes
  • How many new casinos would be allowed
  • Clarification on HHRs

These possible outcomes from the review could impact gambling in Oregon for years to come. However, they’re just projections based on recent and not-so-recent events. So, the message for now? Sit tight and let the legislators do their work.

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Written By JR Duren on May 5, 2022
Three Rivers Resort Donates A Large Sum To The Oregon Community

The Three Rivers Foundation is the current charitable arm of the Three Rivers Casino Resort. Recently, it announced it will donate a whopping $1.4 million to 100 organizations in six Oregon counties.

The foundation hands out grants every year, but this year’s grant total is unprecedented. Moreover, the $1.4 million gift is the single biggest donation the program has been given since its inception in 2012.

Doug Barrett, chair of the Three Rivers Foundation Board of Trustees, said the money will work its way into communities to create a “positive impact.”

“These grants trickle down and make a positive impact on communities in Coos, Curry, Douglas, Lane, and Lincoln counties,” Barrett continued, in a statement. “It has been great to work with our board to give away this money to so many great organizations and Tribes that help so many families and individuals.”

The Three Rivers Foundation was established by the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians.

100 organizations in six counties receive funding

As a result, the money that the foundation donated will be sent to organizations in six Oregon counties:

  • Lane – 50 organizations
  • Coos Bay – 28 organizations
  • Douglas – 10 organizations
  • Curry – 7 organizations
  • Lincoln – 5 organizations

Donation amounts vary for each organization. For example, Food Backpacks for Kids in Florence received $10,000. The organization provides food supplies to schoolchildren.

Dale Edwards, CEO of Food Backpacks for Kids, also said in a statement that he was grateful for the donation.

“It is the remarkable generosity of people and businesses like Three Rivers that allow us to make this program sustainable,” Edwards, said. “These children find themselves in food insecurity at no cause of their own.”

The foundation’s $25,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Emerald Valley will go toward the club’s science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) program.

Furthermore, Matt Sorenson, CEO of the club, said the donation will help in expanding its STEAM programs to reach more children.

“Three Rivers Foundation understands the urgent need to help ignite the imagination and interest of kids, especially traditionally underrepresented groups like girls and young people of color, to the possibility that STEAM learning can provide for enhancing their fundamental skills at school,” Sorenson said.

New funding round will start in December

The foundation typically announces grant recipients in the first few months of the year. In general, applications for the grants start late in the year. Specifically, for 2022, organizations interested in applying for a grant can submit an application starting December 1.

Eligible applicants include:

  • 501(c)(3) organizations in Coos, Lane, Douglas, Curry, and Lincoln counties
  • 501(c)(3)s throughout Oregon that have projects that will focus on those counties
  • Other types of 501(c)(3)s doing beneficial work in the state
  • Federally recognized tribes in Oregon

Donations bring good news amid a strenuous year for the tribes

It’s no secret that Oregon’s federally recognized tribes have had a controversial year so far. In fact, the tribes have just recently endured a lengthy battle with local billionaire Travis Boersma.

Boersma had hoped to open an entertainment facility that would have had 200 historic horse racing machines.

Unfortunately, those machines would’ve posed a threat to the revenue generated by the tribes’ Oregon gaming operations.

Additionally, were it not for a late-stage opinion piece from the Oregon Department of Justice, the facility, known as The Flying Lark, may have opened.

Amid that battle with Boersma, the tribes faced criticism from Boersma backers. As such, the recent announcement of the unprecedented donation serves as a reminder to opponents that the tribes are doing good deeds for Oregon communities.

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Written By Frank Weber on April 18, 2022
Greyhound Racing Nearly Outlawed

Earlier this March, Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney made his intentions clear: he intends to end wagering on greyhound races. His bill, SB 1504, makes it illegal for gambling operators in the state to accept wagers on greyhound races.

This legislation considers betting on the races a Class A misdemeanor. Moreover, facilitating the bets would get you a Class C felony.

Great, let’s do it then, right? There hasn’t been a Greyhound race in the state of Oregon since 2004. However, now seems as good of a time as any to nip this nasty sport in the bud.

Only nine states in the country allow live dog racing in 2022, but just three-run live racetracks:

  • Iowa (phasing it out)
  • Arkansas (phasing it out)
  • West Virginia

Not exactly what was expected

There aren’t any active greyhound races in Oregon currently, so this bill should pass with little to no hesitation, right? However, just one week after its birth, an amendment to the bill was circulated that stirred up some suspicion. Eyebrows truly started to raise.

The new amendments to the bill made it almost unrecognizable next to the original, and this news stunned many. A 5year prison sentence and a $125,000 fine became yearly statement requirements in the blink of an eye. However, the amended bill was later approved in the Oregon House of Representatives, 38-20.

Many in support of the original bill were left scratching their heads. Why did so much change in such little time? In order to begin to understand some of the reasons behind the bill’s drastic rewriting, it’s important to understand how betting works in Oregon as a whole.

Oregon’s relationship with advance-deposit wagering

Oregon is somewhat of a hub for advancedeposit wagering operators that handle parimutuel betting. In simpler terms, lots of operators handling national online wagers primarily go through Oregon (for advantageous tax purposes).

Going even deeper, a large majority of the handling that goes through the Oregon hub results from horse racing. If this original greyhound betting ban was passed, many of the advance-deposit wagering operators (ADWs) in Oregon would leave.

The Oregon Racing Commission found that would cause a $7 million decrease in revenue from 20232025.

While $7 million sounds like a lot of money, it really isnt in the grand scheme of things. The 2021-2023 legislature budget calls for total expenditures of over $112.7 billion–so $7 million is really just a drop in the bucket.

So why change the bill so much for just $7 million? Well, a closer look at the original bill may spell out some serious implications for not only the future of greyhound betting, but horse betting in the state of Oregon.

Horse racing catches shrapnel in Greyhound Bill explosion

“If I had my way, I’d shut down horse racing in a heartbeat,” said Senator Courtney, the lead proponent of this bill. “But I’m not going to get into that. I’ve already had that fight.”

It’s this kind of language from Senator Courtney that may have pushed his hand in amending his bill.

The legality of horseracing, which is responsible for more than $6 billion going through the hub, was never really in danger. However, Courtney’s comments have inspired some AD companies to stand and oppose the bill.

One of the biggest proponents of the new bill was Churchill Downs, who operate the ADW TwinSpires through the Oregon hub.

“[Churchill Downs] made a major investment in two weeks,” said Carey Theil, the executive director of the anti greyhound racing advocacy group GREY2k USA Worldwide, “[they] paratrooped in, and hired the two best and most expensive lobbying firms in Oregon.”

Possible after-effects

Churchill Downs declined to comment further on these allegations. Nevertheless, their sentiments are somewhat clear by testimony in opposition to the bill from the Oregon Quarter Horse Racing Association.

“Businesses would be forced to move out of Oregon in order to continue operations,” claimed Richard Angstrom in the testimony. He continues to say that this would further lead to the elimination of horse racing in the state.

Despite Senator Courtney’s remarks, those in support of the original bill continue to claim that horse racing was never in danger.

“In my opposition to facilitating dog racing, it is not my goal or desire to impact horse racing,” said State Representative David Gomberg. “I’m being told that will be the end result, which has me scratching my head a little bit.”

We look forward to seeing how everything plays out in the coming weeks. All we know is: Oregon loves its horse racing, and will do anything to protect it.

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Written By JR Duren on April 7, 2022
The Oregon Lottery Remains A Benefit To The Community

The Oregon Lottery constantly reminds us that it is good for the environment and the community.

By no means is this an intuitive statement; however, it’s a true one. Since the lottery’s launch of the “Oregon Wins” donation program, it’s sent more than $700 million to voter-approved programs. These programs strengthen the state’s ecosystems and people.

For example, the lottery has funded programs in six primary areas:

  • State parks
  • Natural habitats
  • Economic growth
  • Outdoor school
  • Public schools
  • Veterans services

The programs to which the lottery has donated the most money include state parks, natural habitats, and public schools.

State park programs

The lottery’s most significant donations have gone to various park projects throughout the state, including state and neighborhood parks.

One of the lottery’s biggest recent projects was its donation of nearly $870,000 to utility upgrades at Harris Beach State Park in Curry County.

The park is one of the state’s busiest. It’s home to 65 full hookup sites, 25 electrical sites with water, flush toilets, hot showers, and an RV dump station.

Other big-dollar donations to park projects include:

  • Sitka Sedge Natural Area received $824,280 for improvements to parking, fencing, and trail maintenance
  • Marion County local parks received $392,000
  • Moreover, $287,000 went to help build a nine-acre neighborhood park in South Newberg

Natural habitats

The lottery’s donations to the state’s natural habitats have been significant over the past five years. In fact, the Oregon Lottery notes that 7.5% of lottery funds go to “watershed enhancement and salmon restoration.”

In 2019, the lottery contributed millions to a variety of projects across the state. For example, it pitched in $252,788 to the Nilestun tidal wetland restoration project. The money helped restore 430 acres of tidal marsh and swamp. It was one of the largest restoration projects of its kind, the lottery claims.

Additional significant donations in 2019 included:

  • Approximately $362,581 to a project that protected 95 acres of forest by linking the Necanicum Watershed and Tillamook Head.
  • A whopping $292,008 to instream water conservation to the Middle Deschutes River
  • Furthermore, $169,792 to address issues with failing tidal gates and deteriorating tidal wetlands in Coos County.

Public schools

Just over half of the lottery’s revenue funded public education in 2018. Moreover, in 2019, the lottery provided $14 million for scholarships to Oregon colleges.

Indeed, the lottery’s resume of school funding is impressive. For reference, one may note the multiple donations of more than $4 million dollars over the past three years:

  • $18.3 million to Portland School District
  • $15.5 million to the Salem-Keizer School District
  • $6.4 million to the Eugene School District
  • $4.4 million to the Gresham Barlow School District
  • $4.1 million to the Reynolds School District

Several of the projects listed above were part of the lottery’s “Education Wins” program, through which the lottery provided financial support for school supplies and infrastructure.

The lottery contributes more than $12 billion to state programs

The Oregon Wins initiative’s $750 million in program funding is impressive. Still, it’s less than 10% of what the lottery has contributed to various initiatives around the state since the lottery’s inception in 1985. Around 91% of the revenue the Lottery generates is paid out as prizes. The remaining breakdown of spending looks like this:

  • 5.5% to funded programs
  • 2% to retailers for commissions on winning tickets
  • 1.2% to operating expenses

Oregonians can view the projects that the projects financed by Oregon Wins on their website

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Written By JR Duren on April 7, 2022

Portland International Raceway (PIR) is a 268-acre racing complex located in Historic Vanport on the north side of Portland. It is the premier racetrack in the Pacific Northwest and is home to more than 500 events per year and an average of 55 bike races per year.

What you can see at PIR

Portland International Raceway is home to a variety of racing and local events.


The track’s signature race is the Grand Prix of Portland, which takes place at the end of summer each year. The race is a 12-turn, nearly two-mile-long road track that’s been a part of the Indycar Series since 1984. That year, Al Unser Jr. won the inaugural race.


PIR is also home to a NASCAR Xfinity Series race in 2022. The 2022 race was the first NASCAR race in the Pacific Northwest since 2000. It was a big moment for the track, as it signaled the emergence of Portland as a PNW hub for America’s most popular motorsports circuit.

“What an exciting day for Portland and Pacific Northwest race fans,” track promoter Kevin Savorree said after NASCAR announced its Portland stop. “This region of the country hasn’t had a visit from a NASCAR national series in over two decades. We are thrilled the wait is over. When the NASCAR Xfinity Series stops at PIR next June, it will deliver great racing and strong economic impact to the region.”


PIR is home to Thursday Night Motocross, America’s longest-running nighttime motocross racing series. TNMX has been going on for more than 50 years, and typically kicks off its racing season in April.

The end of the season happens around the start of fall. At that time, the racing series hands out high-point awards and its Red Bull Dirty Dozen Champions awards.

The motocross series offers classes for riders ages 4 and up, and from bike sizes ranging from 50cc to 250cc. There are classes for older riders, including the Over the Hill group (30 and up) and the Old Timer group (40 and up).

The track also hosts a series of motorcycle road races that typically run from spring to the end of summer.

Local events

In addition to motorcycle, Indy, and NASCAR races, PIR is home to a few drag races each year, swap meets, and cruiseins.

How to get there

PIR is located just off Interstate 5 near the state line. Residents on the west side of Portland can hop on the 405 and then take the five, while those in east side neighborhoods like Maywood Park and The Grotto and take 30B to the 5.

As for public transportation, the MAX Yellow Line and Blue Lines Delta Park/Vanport stop is right next to the track. For those who like the bus, the easiest route is the 105 to the 060.

How much are tickets?

Tickets prices for events at PIR range from around $10 for motocross races, swap meets, and cruise-ins to more than $100 for the Grand Prix of Portland. The grand prix events charge separate fees for entrance and parking.

Where can you park?

Portland International Raceway has on-site parking that’s included in most local events. Parking for bigger events like the Grand Prix of Portland requires an additional fee separate from the entrance fee.

Parking is also available at the Portland Expo Center, hotels near the racetrack, the Janzen Beach Center, and the Red Lion Hotel on the River.

If you’re taking public transportation to the Grand Prix of Portland, TriMet offers a package deal for around $20 that includes parking at the Rose Quarter Transit Center and a roundtrip ticket to PIR.

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Written By JR Duren on March 30, 2022
February 2022 Oregon sports betting revenue

Oregon’s sports betting industry was booming in February. Draftkings posted a margin of 8.5% in February, beating out January’s 5.6% margin.

The jump in gross gambling comes in the wake of Scoreboard scaling back operations in the state as DraftKings assumes the role of the Oregon Lottery’s official sportsbook provider. As a result, the surge in DraftKings’ revenue is a sort of coronation, hearkening back to the company’s original announcement about its Oregon Lottery partnership.

“DraftKings is thrilled to embark on this journey with the Oregon Lottery,” DraftKings executive Paul Liberman said in a January statement. “The Oregon Lottery shares our innovative spirit as one of the most progressive organizations in the real-money gaming sector, and together we look forward to delivering the exceptional online sportsbook products that Oregonians have been anticipating.”

Biggest gains came in football, basketball

DraftKings saw its most significant jump in revenue in football, where the sportsbook operator’s margin rose from 12.9% in January to 18.4% in February.

Moreover, the book’s handle was down by around 40%. However, it managed to pull in nearly as much gross gaming revenue in February as it did in January: $893,403 and $936,258, respectively.

DraftKings may have benefitted from a close Super Bowl, in which the favored Rams did not cover the spread, which hovered around 4.5 points in the days leading up to their 23-20 victory.

As for basketball, DraftKings tallied an 18.4% margin with $1.07 million in gross gaming revenue. That’s a stark contrast to DraftKings’ January numbers, in which its margin was -0.5% and its gross gaming revenue was -$46,672.

Furthermore, DraftKings’ moneymaker in February was its parlay bets, which raked in an 11.3% margin.

Scoreboard handle dwindles as transition is nearly complete

The Oregon Lottery’s revenue numbers indicate that the transition from Scoreboard to DraftKings is almost complete. Scoreboard’s February handle was $273,328. It was $20.7 million⁠in January —a nearly 90% dropoff.

The past two months give a glimpse into DraftKings’ initial strengths and weaknesses compared to Scoreboard.

For example, DraftKings parlay margin was 11.3% in February. Scoreboard’s parlay margin was 7.2% in January. At this point, it seems DraftKings plays its parlay game better than Scoreboard did, month-on-month.

Scoreboard seems to have had a better read on soccer. The operator posted a 13.7% margin in January. DraftKings, on the other hand, pulled a 10.9% margin in February.

Even better days ahead for DraftKings?

The handover from Scoreboard to DraftKings was an interesting one. It’s not a scenario that often happens. Most states with legal sports betting have multiple operators.

But in Oregon, there’s one king of the hill. And right now, DraftKings is resting on some pretty significant laurels. Additionally, amid the enthusiasm of the NFL playoffs, Scoreboard pulled in around $33 million in handle. In contrast, DraftKings captured  $39 million in February.

The boost in handle is expected, as DraftKings’ brand far outshined Scoreboard’s.

March’s revenue report will be a critical report, and March Madness is the biggest handle generator on the sports calendar.

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Written By JR Duren on March 22, 2022Last Updated on March 30, 2022
Flying Lark HHRs denied by DOJ

Travis Boersma, the accomplished businessman trying to install 225 historic horse racing machines at his Flying Lark property at Grants Pass Downs, won’t give up.

The Oregon Department of Justice (ODOJ) recently issued an opinion stating that the HHRs that Boersma wants to install are considered games of chance and against Oregon law unless run by the state.

But Boersma is unfazed. During public comment at an Oregon Racing Commission (ORC) meeting last month, he said he would continue to be a force for God.

The Flying Lark, the DOJ, and the definition of HHRs

Boersma and his company, TMB Racing LLC, run Flying Lark in Grant’s Pass. TMB planned to expand Flying Lark’s operations by adding 225 HHR machines.

It didn’t seem like the HHRs would be an issue. Oregon law allows the machines, and HHRs are currently used by casinos and race tracks in several states. They’re generally viewed as parimutuel machines, a distinction that keeps HHRs out of the slot-machine realm.

However, earlier this year, the ODOJ stated that HHRs are slot machines, not games of skill or true parimutuel machines. Adding them to Flying Lark would make the facility a casino. And since the casino isn’t tribe-operated, it would be illegal. Consequently, the ORC voted to deny the Flying Lark’s application for a license to operate, halting the facility’s launch.

Boersma takes a shot at the Oregon DOJ

Boersma, understandably, was not happy with the ODOJ’s decision.

“My team and I believe the opinion is wrong and deeply flawed,” he said during the ORC’s February meeting.

One of the more intriguing arguments made during the ORC meeting came from Boersma.

The ODOJ’s opinion would mean that the state’s lawmakers and organizations have stood by as Portland Meadows operated more than 100 HHRs (until its closing in 2019), Boersma argued.

“If taken at face value, it would mean state leaders, state organizations including the DOJ and others…stood by and, in many cases, supported unconstitutional gambling for years at Portland Meadows,” he said.

Boersma framed the issue in the context of horse racing, saying the decision would cost his property 200 jobs. He went on to say he hoped that TMB and the state’s tribes could work together to find a solution.

Cow Creek consultant fires back

Anna Richter Taylor, a consultant for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, was the only person in the meeting who expressed support for the ODOJ’s decision.

“This was never an issue about supporting or not supporting live horse racing, and there’s still I believe opportunity to have to participation and support and partnership on that,” Richter Taylor said.

She noted that the tribes’ alleged narrative against economic development because of their anti-HHR stance is patently false.

“I hope that we can all use this as an opportunity to come together and support our rural regions as well as live horse racing without the gambling aspect with these HHR slot machines,” Richter Taylor said.

After Richter Taylor’s comments, Boersma commented again. He again stated that 200 employees would lose jobs because of the ODOJ’s decision, calling the situation “horrific.”

“I just want to reiterate my thanks and appreciation for all the support we’ve had,” Boersma said. “I’m not giving up. I’m gonna continue to be a force for God and a force for good in this endeavor.”

ORC reluctance is noted in a unanimous statement

Another takeaway from the ORC’s meeting is that the commission unanimously voted to approve a statement by the ORC in response to the ODOJ decision.

Although the ORC didn’t read the statement verbatim, Commissioner Charles Williamson summarized the statement.

“Flying Lark is a completely legal constitutional entity,” Williamson said. “It’s not a casino. Casinos have roulette wheels, they have craps tables, they have blackjack, they have lottery drawings. Flying Lark has none of these. All it is is a couple hundred historical racing machines which have been licensed in Portland and should be licenses in Grants Pass.”

After Williamson’s comments, the ORC voted unanimously to adopt the statement. It then voted to deny TMB Racing LLC’s application for a license to operate.

Photo by Associated Press
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Written By JR Duren on March 16, 2022
FanDuel's Play Well campaign supports responsible gaming

FanDuel has launched a multi-platform responsible gaming campaign promoting sound gambling principles that can guard against problem gambling.

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, so FanDuel’s “Play Well” campaign launch is timed to coincide with other national efforts. Keith Whyte, the National Council on Problem Gambling’s (NCPG) executive director, said FanDuel’s new campaign is taking “meaningful steps” to keep gambling safe.

“The Play Well tools offer a common-sense, non-stigmatizing approach to responsible play and problem gambling prevention. This critical initiative not only offers vital consumer protections but actively encourages customers to use these tools regularly,” Whyte said in a FanDuel Press release. “We applaud FanDuel Group for taking meaningful steps, during Problem Gambling Awareness Month and all year long, to promote responsible gambling and address problem gambling nationwide.”

The campaign includes multi-platform advertisements, responsible-gaming tools in the FanDuel app, and a $100,000 donation to the NCPG.

FanDuel initiative features a responsible gaming “system”

Central to FanDuel’s Play Well campaign is a television public service announcement as well as responsible-gambling tools on the FanDuel online platform.

The TV spot, entitled “The System, can also be viewed on FanDuel’s social media channels. It features two men talking in a kitchen. One guy asks the other, a FanDuel user about his winning gaming system. After some jargony quips, the FanDuel user reveals his secret: using FanDuel’s responsible gaming tools to manage his play.

“That’s the system,” the man says.

“Hasn’t failed me yet,” the FanDuel user responds.

The responsible gaming tools mentioned in the commercial are three-fold: time limits, deposit limits, and wager limits. These limits can help promote responsible gaming, protecting bettors against the dangers of problem gambling.

Furthermore, FanDuel’s responsible gaming tools includes two key features for gamblers needing to step away from the app:

  • A timeout feature that allows users to take a break for between three and 365 days
  • A self-exclusion option that bars access to your FanDuel account for at least one year.

“We’re fully committed at FanDuel to developing useful tools and programs that make a difference in responsible gaming,” FanDuel Group Vice President of Responsible Gaming Adam Warrington said.

The problem gambling national social cost is $7 billion yearly

Two million adults in the United States have severe gambling problems, while another four to six million have mild to moderate gambling problems, according to the NCPG. As a result, the annual national social cost of problem gambling is estimated at around $7 billion, the NCPG notes.

Signs of problem gambling and where to go for help

The NCPG provides a detailed list of behaviors that indicate a bettor may be a problem gambler:

  • Gambling behavior patterns that negatively affect your relationships and job
  • A need to bet more money more often
  • Chasing losses to try and break-even
  • Irritability when trying to stop

At its worst, the NCPG notes, problem gambling can lead to financial disaster job losses, broken relationships, and self-harm.

The Cambridge Health Alliance hosts an annual Gambling Disorder Screening Day. Although the event was on March 8,  their free self-assessment tool is available online.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, call or text the NCPG 24-hour confidential national hotline at 1-800-522-4700, or talk with an NCPG representative via chat at ncpgambling.org/chat.

Photo by Matt Kay/Shutterstock
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