Oregon lottery has announced plans to start taking bets in time for football season, as it weighs up competing bids from third party providers.
After launching online games this summer, the lottery said it plans to begin offering bets on sports games in restaurants and retailers that already sell lottery games.
Local lottery officials said they expect the handle will hit $330m in the first year and more than double to $680m by the third – making up more than half its current $1.3bn annual revenue.
“We have about three million eligible players in Oregon, many of whom bet illegally now,” said Farshad Allahdadi, the Oregon Lottery’s chief gaming officer. “Our challenge is to create a compelling product that can draw a portion of those illegal betters and attract a whole new group of customers.”
Having begun solicited bids from betting providers seven months ago, it appears to have settled on SBTech. However, rival bidder Scientific Games has allegedly advised against the decision, citing SBTech’s supposed “affiliations” with firms in grey markets – namely 10Bet in Belgium.
According to local media, Oregon Live, Sci Games wrote the Oregon Lottery claiming: “If SBTech or companies affiliated with it, like 10Bet, are in fact offering or supporting online sports betting or gaming in jurisdictions in which such activities are illegal, then that determination should weigh heavily in deciding whether SBTech is a responsible vendor for purposes of the Lottery’s RFP.”
SBTech denied doing any illegal business in prohibited markets. While Allahdadi said the lottery had done their research and “found nothing that would disqualify them.”