While legalized online sports betting is spreading throughout the country, each state seems to have different rules and regulations than one another.
Like in New York, you can’t bet on any college game that:
- Has a college that is based out of NY
- Is taking place in the state
With those rules in place, New York is attempting to nip any type of gambling scandal in the bud. Oregon, which is on the other side of the country, took things a step further and prohibited sports betting on any and all NCAA events.
However, a new bill that is currently being considered by the Senate Rules Committee could change that for Oregon online sports betting.
Senate Bill 1503
According to the Oregon State Legislature website, the summary for Senate Bill 1503 is pretty simple:
“The Oregon State Lottery may conduct games in which the distribution of prizes is based on the outcome of sporting events organized by, sponsored by or played in connection with post-secondary institutions of education.”
The bill comes into hearing with a pair of amendments already attached:
- No betting permitted on the performance of an individual athlete (no player prop bets)
- Direct Net proceeds all go towards funding the Oregon Opportunity Grant program, which is the state’s largest grant program for college students.
Benefits of Senate Bill 1503 for Oregon
The main benefit of Senate Bill 1503 would be the attack it makes on illegal gambling websites.
Since Oregon does not offer legalized college sports wagering, NCAA football and basketball fans may have turned to illegal offshore websites to place their bets. Senate President Peter Courtney agrees, saying:
“Illegal betting can be dangerous for Oregonians…These illegal websites are not regulated and can expose (gamblers) to potential fraud or theft.”
In addition, the directing of net profits going towards the grant program would have a significant impact on education funding.
Courtney feels that the estimated new revenue could lead to up to 3,000 new grants for college students. “This will stabilize and permanently fund Opportunity Grants in a very powerful way,” Courtney says. “This is a major source of funding in the millions of dollars.”
The opposition to sports betting
Groups that oppose gambling expansion of any kind in Oregon have also been in opposition to this bill.
Many in opposition express more possible comfort with the movement if Oregon picks up similar prohibitions as New York– allowing betting on college sports, but only on schools outside of Oregon.
The University of Oregon, as well as Oregon State University, said that they are neutral on the bill. However, if it does pass, they strongly favor a ban on individual college-level prop bets.
Another strong form of opposition comes from the Native American Tribes in Oregon. These Tribes have the capability of offering some sort of college sports betting to the masses. They can only do so on their reserved land, but the fact remains — if it becomes fully legal, it is taking money out of the tribe’s pockets.
Justin Martin, the representative of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, says these tribes are already being “inundated” by gambling expansion. Allowing fully legalized college sports betting would just deepen the wound.
Martin proposed a task force to study the effects of legalized college sports betting before its enactment. This idea was backed by Kitty Martz, the executive director of Voices of Problem Gambling Recovery, as well.
“We’re becoming widely known in the gambling industry as the wild west, where anything goes with gambling in Oregon,” she said in response to this proposed amendment.
It’s unclear as to whether or not this amendment will be passed. We will be sure to follow it closely as things unfold.