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Oregon Sports Betting Begins Before College Football Week 1

Ryan Butler for Bookies.com

Ryan Butler  | 4 mins

Oregon Sports Betting Begins Before College Football Week 1

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Oregon sports betting has officially kicked off ahead of (most of) the 2019 football season.

Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City took the state’s first legal sports bet Tuesday, several days before the start of the 2019 NFL season and likely several weeks before the state lottery is planning to accept wagers. Though the more expansive, online lottery option won’t be available this week, today’s sportsbook opening allows bettors to wager on two big-time college football games featuring in-state universities: Friday’s clash between Oregon State and Oklahoma State as well as Saturday’s top 25 matchup between Oregon and Auburn.

With a first bet cast by former Dallas Cowboys legend Ed “Too Tall” Jones Aug. 27, bettors can now place wagers on all upcoming NFL games as well.

Gambling Regulation Background in Oregon

Oregon is the fourth state to begin taking legal bets this year and just the 12th to do so overall. Chinook Winds is the only in-state sportsbook taking bets on this college football Week 1 games (it missed last Saturday’s “Week 0” competitions). Online sports betting will not be available via the casino or any other legal operator in time for this weekend’s games.

Along with Nevada, Montana and Delaware, Oregon had a legal form of sports betting that wasn’t subject to the 1992 federal law that banned wagering until 2018 when it was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Though Oregon had previously only offered a limited system of parlay cards with low minimum bets, this caveat in federal statute gave state officials a head start once the full federal ban was repealed to regulate legal single-game wagering, an often complex process that can take months to finalize.

Elected officials anchored the newly opened sports gambling market around the Oregon Lottery, which expects to take bets through its mobile app as well as at lottery retailers. Because sports betting was technically legal for the lottery, that triggered a clause in a compact with the state’s Native American tribal casinos that allowed them to offer virtually any gaming activity introduced by the lottery.

With that de facto authorization, Chinook Winds announced this month it would begin taking bets Aug. 27, becoming the site of Oregon’s first legal wager.

Oregon Sportsbook Details

As the first site to take bets, Chinook Winds has laid out pivotal ground rules that could form the foundation of the Oregon market.

Bettors must be at least 21, a clause mirroring nearly every other state taking wagers. Winning tickets are only valid for 30 days after an event’s conclusion, which is about half the length of the industry standard practice in more established sportsbooks in Nevada. Some New Jersey sportsbooks honor wagers for up to a year after the end of a game.

Chinook Winds will have a full slate of college sports offerings, notably including in-state college basketball and football teams like the Ducks and Beavers. Several other states, including New Jersey, Delaware and Iowa, restrict or limit types of wagers on in-state college programs.

Otherwise, Chinook Winds has many of the core tenets of sports betting regulations becoming increasingly commonplace in other states. Bettors have a wide lineup of sports to choose from in addition to college and pro football. Basketball, hockey, baseball, auto racing, golf and tennis are all among the sports betting offerings that became available Tuesday.

Oregon Online Wagering Coming Soon

Oregon residents and visitors looking to place a bet outside Chinook Winds will soon have additional options.

Officials continue to advance “Oregon Lottery Scoreboard,” the online and mobile offering that will be accessible to eligible bettors via mobile devices within state lines. Players over the age of 21 can play from anywhere except sovereign Native American lands, including the land that houses Chinook Winds.

Though it won’t launch in time for the high-profile season openers of its most popular college football programs, the lottery’s digital sports betting shouldn't miss much of the lucrative football betting season. An online platform covering nearly an entire state takes more testing and implementation than a betting counter at a casino, so it might be a few weeks until bettors can place a legal wager online.

That new online market will transcend state lines, and surely attract players from neighboring California, Washington and Idaho who otherwise wouldn’t make the far longer journey to place a bet in a physical sportsbook. But in the meantime, Oregon bettors can still at least place a bet within their home state just in time for the bulk of the 2019 football season.

About the Author

Ryan Butler for Bookies.com
Ryan Butler
Ryan Butler has spent more than 10 years covering sports, governments and the intersection between the two.