Oregon Sports Betting Expands Offerings to Drive Summer Interest

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Aug 8, 2023 12:00 AM
Oregon sports betting has expanded their wagering options for the summer.

In an effort to drive up interest in Oregon sports betting for the 2023 summer months, The Beaver State is currently testing out a number of expanded gambling offerings. 

This experiment is not unusual for most states. Offbeat wagering lines are offered at most of the best online sportsbooks in the USA

Since legalizing sports betting in 2019, though, Oregon’s gambling portfolio has decidedly tilted toward the most conventional sports, leagues and events. This summer’s expanded catalog represents a fairly significant departure from the more basic offerings in the past.

The question is, as always: Will this experiment be successful?

Why Oregon Sports Betting has Started Testing Out New Gambling Markets

The folks in charge of regulating sports betting in Oregon have not been shy about their motivation for broadening the state’s wagering types. They want to ensure they’re optimizing revenue for the entire year, and in their case, summer tends to be more of a grind.

“Typically, summer isn’t the busiest time for sports betting, but there are many opportunities for fun wagers on lesser-known events,” Kerry Kemphill, the sports betting manager for the Oregon lottery, recently said.

To be sure, this isn’t the case for every state. For many, summer months can be quite lucrative thanks to interest in betting on Major League Baseball. But Oregon doesn’t have a professional MLB team. In fact, the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA and Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC are the only pro sports franchises in the state. Among those three, the Blazers are the most popular organization in Oregon. The Beaver State is also big on the University of Oregon football and basketball teams. But these are all squads that predominantly play in the fall and winter, which creates something of a lull in the sports gambling business.

Of course, while the degree to which Oregon’s sports betting interest dips during the summer might be unique, they do not necessarily stand alone. Even in states hot for MLB wagering, most of the June, July and August months can be a bit of a slog. Select tennis and soccer tournaments can help prop up numbers for a week or two at a time. The same goes for the NBA draft, which takes place in June. Mostly, though, sports betting operators in the United States are trying to fill time between mid-June and the start of September, which is when betting on NFL odds really starts to take off. 

That is basically the situation in Oregon. They may not have an NFL team inside their specific region, but they are within close proximity to the Seattle Seahawks, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks, in particular, have a massive following in Oregon. 

What Sports Gambling Options has Oregon Added to Their Summer Betting Catalog?

With most of the slow summer months in the rear view, we now know which betting events Oregon tacked on to their wagering catalog. In partnership with DraftKings sportsbook, the state specifically has already pushed or has plans to push the following competitions:

  • MLB Home Run Derby
  • Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
  • American Cornhole League World Championships
  • Various Cycling Events, such as the Tour de France
  • Team USA basketball competitions 
  • World Snooker Tournaments

Mind you, these aren’t the only events into which Oregon dipped its toe. There were others. And there continue to be others.

To that end, it’s not as if these competitions weren’t ever accessible to Oregon residents. Sure, special-event lines on Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and Team USA basketball games are apparently new. But DraftKings Sportsbook has always offered lines on these games and tournaments. 

In this case, Oregon’s promotional push was more about getting the word out. They wanted to capture the attention of prospective bettors who wouldn’t usually invest in these offbeat events and sports. But did it work?

How has Oregon Sports Betting Fared This Summer?

At this writing, Oregon sports betting revenue results are limited to June 2023. And based on the returns for this month alone, The Beaver State’s attempt to drive up sports gambling activity was successful.

For June 2023, Oregon accepted $43.9 million in total wagers, according to Gaming Intelligence. For June 2022, the state took in around $34 million in sports bets. That represents a year-over-year increase north of 23 percent. 

This is a fantastic sign for the Oregon lottery and their promotional efforts. Still, part of the verdict has yet to come in. The state needs to see how they fare in July 2023 and August 2023 before declaring victory or viewing this summer’s sports betting operations as a sustainable success.

If it turns out June 2023 is just a blip on the radar, Oregon may have to consider other means of drumming up sports betting revenue. Certain legislators have previously tried to expand the state’s gaming options, proposing an increase in casino presence and video lottery terminals. Oregon Governor Tina Kotek (and many others) have so far opposed this. Especially the commercialization of the casino business

Perhaps they change their tune if Oregon sports betting dips during the final summer months. And yet, if the early returns are any indication, Governor Kotek and Co. will only be more inclined to keep rejecting the expansion of sports gambling and other gaming options.

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Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan first began writing about sports back in 2011. At the time, his expertise lied in the NBA and NFL. More than one decade, that remains the case. But he's also expanded his catalog to include extensive knowledge and analysis on the NHL, MLB, tennis, NASCAR, college ba...

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