The Oregon Lottery’s often critiqued “Scoreboard” mobile betting app is nearing its last days. DraftKings is poised to become the state lottery’s exclusive sportsbook provider this month.
The gaming company and the Oregon Lottery made the announcement today, noting DraftKings Sportsbook will replace the current Scoreboard app. The transition commences on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at which time current Scoreboard users will be able to create DraftKings accounts and transfer funds.
For current Scoreboard customers, the app will work as usual until the transfer to DraftKings Sportsbook begins on January 18—after the migration most functionality on the Scoreboard app will be removed,” according to a statement.
Oregon is the second state in which DraftKings inked an exclusive lottery accord, having previously done so in New Hampshire in 2019. In New Hampshire, DraftKings can open up to 10 retail sportsbooks, and its contract with the state runs through 2026, with room for two-year extensions. The statement regarding the operator’s Oregon entry doesn’t contain details about contract length or brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.
Not Necessarily End of Controversial Era
Sports betting’s been live in Oregon for about two years, and the state’s experience with regulated sports wagering has been a source of controversy.
Oregon Lottery and SBTech, the provider of sports betting data and services to lotteries and gaming providers around the world, previously came under fire for not revealing terms of their agreement. In January 2020, the technology company sued the state and its largest daily newspaper to prevent those details from being made public. That was after SBTech won a controversial and financially rewarding single-source contract to power the Scoreboard app in early 2019.
The Oregonian newspaper pushed for details about the pact, but SBTech resisted.
Following a reverse merger with a blank-check company that paved the way for it to go public, DraftKings became the parent company of SBTech and the latter’s founder — Shalom Meckenzie — remains a board member, and one of the gaming company’s largest shareholders.
The controversies don’t end there. In March 2020, SBTech was hit by a cyberattack that resulted in the Scoreboard app being offline for several days. The company had to to set aside $30 million in cash for potential litigation stemming from the issue, so that its merger with DraftKings could proceed.
Will Bettors Benefit?
Another source of controversy with Scoreboard and other lottery-controlled sports betting apps is lousy odds. To be fair to Oregon, it’s an issue that’s been highlighted in other areas, including Montana and Washington, DC.
In June 2020, Scoreboard was criticized when a bettor claimed the app changed odds from -110 (bet $110 to win $100) to -150 (bet $150 to win $100) when he attempted to place a $550 wager on a NASCAR race.
Part of that controversy stemmed from not just the change in odds, but the fact odds on winners of events such as auto races and golf tournaments usually carry “plus money” on all participants. For example, even a high-level NASCAR driver could have odds of +250 (bet $100 to win $250) at a track he’s got a record of dominating.
It remains to be seen if DraftKings will be more bettor-friendly in the Pacific Northwest.
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