Group That Includes Nike, Trail Blazers Pushes For Oregon Sports Betting Expansion

Written By Pat Evans on August 29, 2022
Oregon sports betting effort

At least one group with some big names behind it — including Nike — are looking to push past the DraftKings monopoly on Oregon sports betting.

During the Oregon Joint Interim Committee on Gambling Regulation meeting Friday, representatives from Sport Oregon advocated for the expansion of Oregon sports betting. DraftKings runs the Oregon Lottery’s sports betting efforts after taking over for the SBTech-powered Scoreboard in January.

“[The monopoly model] is outdated and shortchanges the state in millions of dollars of revenue each and every year,” said Nathan Nayman, Sport Oregon external affairs and special projects specialist.

What Oregon is missing out on

Sport Oregon is an economic development organization made up of members like Nike, Adidas and the Portland Trail Blazers. Nayman laid out the ways Oregon is missing out through its inefficient sports betting model.

Sport Oregon hired Innovation Group to assess the potential size of the Oregon sports betting market. First, he noted the current model’s sports betting revenue of $31.8 million during a 12-month period ending March 2022.

Then he showed the model if Oregon adopted a tax and license structure with an open and competitive market. By year five, the state’s sportsbooks could generate up to $289 million.

Oregon sports betting tax suffering?

Through the current 50% revenue share with the operator, Oregon brought in roughly $16 million in taxes.

In a more open structure with a 15% to 20% tax rate, Nayman said the state could generate up to $62 million in taxes by year five.

“Doing away with the current monopoly could generate a profound increase in revenue,” he said.

What Oregon legislators should consider

Nayman laid out why Sport Oregon and its members want a more open market. For starters, he said a new model should:

  • Maximize economic opportunities.
  • Encourage full fan engagement.
  • Promote the integrity of sporting events.
  • Protect consumers from problem gambling.
  • Make sure there is equitable treatment of sovereign tribes.

Further, he said legislators should consider:

  • Sports franchises want a modernized approach to compete.
  • Current and evolving technology.
  • Restaurants want to protect revenues from gaming.

Where does Oregon sports betting go from here?

Friday’s meeting was an informational gathering, so there were no solid outcomes from the presentation. Still, Nayman gave legislators several state models to look at, including Arizona and Ohio sports betting.

Committee members were relatively quiet following the presentation, but at least appeared open to considering future changes.

“Our organization is poised to work with state policymakers as this process continues,” Nayman said.

Photo by Alan Diaz / The Associated Press
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Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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