DraftKings Halts Oregon DFS Amid Questions From Sportsbook Talks

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DraftKings will no longer accept DFS entries from Oregon as of Monday, according to multiple emails sent to customers.

The change seems to stem from negotiations to switch the Oregon Lottery‘s sports betting platform to the DraftKings Sportsbook platform. The Lottery appears to have brought those negotiations back a few years, though, when it called DraftKings out for operating daily fantasy sports in the state.

While DraftKings disagrees, it clearly sees bigger fish to fry:

“In connection with the previously disclosed discussions with the Oregon Lottery to potentially transition Scoreboard onto the DraftKings platform, some questions have been raised as to whether paid fantasy sports contests are permissible under Oregon law. While we respectfully disagree, we value our relationship with the Oregon Lottery and DraftKings has decided to stop paid fantasy sports contests in Oregon effective July 26, 2021, so those discussions may continue.”

Has Oregon DFS stalled DraftKings platform switch?

Sports betting in Oregon is operated by the Oregon Lottery on the SBTech platform, which DraftKings acquired in 2020. Talks to switch the Lottery-run Scoreboard app to the DraftKings Sportsbook were first mentioned by Lottery Director Barry Pack in February:

“We are in initial discussions with them about a new contract to transition Scoreboard off the SBTech platform and onto the DraftKings platform, as well as any other potential products and services. It is likely I will be coming to you in the March meeting for approval of a major procurement for this purpose.”

That major procurement approval never came in March or at any subsequent meetings though.

Is Oregon Lottery right?

While there are no DFS laws on the books in Oregon, that does not necessarily mean contests need to end.

About half of US states have regulated DFS games since those crackdowns started six years ago. Operators usually only avoid the states that have attorney general opinions or laws saying the contests are illegal.

There was an attempt to legalize DFS in Oregon in 2017, though that bill failed to pass. Oregon’s attorney general’s office has never offered an opinion on daily fantasy sports.

Bring on FanDuel?

The move is clearly a positive for FanDuel.

Representatives from FanDuel did not respond when asked if it would continue to accept entries from Oregon.

There appears to be no reason to stop, though, as DraftKings is exiting because of the Oregon sportsbook negotiations.