The Oregon Lottery is changing sportsbooks.
The Scoreboard app, which has served as the state’s mobile sports betting app since October 2019, will go dark next week and be replaced by DraftKings, a publicly traded company that hosts online fantasy sports contests and sports betting.
The move, which has been in the works for more than a year, is expected to save the state money and provide a better user experience for wagering on professional sports, Oregon Lottery officials say.
“This was appealing to us, really, because of two big things,” said Matt Shelby, senior manager of community & corporate engagement for the Oregon Lottery. “One, (DraftKings) is going to be better and easier to navigate for players. Also, from a lottery perspective … it’ll cost less to offer sports betting.”
The Scoreboard app, created and operated by SBTech, had problems from the beginning, which delayed its release, and proved to be a regular source of frustration for users because it was difficult to navigate and clunky to operate. But bettors still flocked to the app — which provided legal sports betting in Oregon for the first time since Sports Action died in 2007 — as 9.8 million bets were placed on wagers in excess of $331 million in 2021.
Along the way, however, layers of the profits were directed to third parties linked to the app, such as banks handling player accounts, siphoning money away from the state. After income taxes, the Oregon Lottery is the state’s second-largest source of revenue.
“The more people involved, the more nickels and dimes come out of the top to eat at our profits,” Shelby said. “With DraftKings, we think we’ll be able to leverage some of the existing contacts and relationships they have with (professional sports) leagues to bring down the cost. And at the end of the day, the lottery exists to raise money for state programs, so every dollar we save is a dollar that goes to state programs.”
In spring of 2020, DraftKings completed an acquisition of SBTech in a three-way merger, opening the door for the Oregon Lottery to partner with a national company that runs sportsbook apps in 15 other states. The Oregon Lottery Commission voted unanimously in August to flip to DraftKings, the sides reached a formal deal at the end of December and the move was announced this week.
At midnight on Tuesday, Oregon sports bettors will be able to download the DraftKings app and transfer their Scoreboard app account information, following prompts to approve the transfer, balance and limits to new DraftKings accounts. The Oregon Lottery will not transfer account information without customer approval.
What about existing accounts — and money — linked to the Scoreboard app? The Scoreboard app will not immediately disappear and all futures bets, such as those previously made on the Super Bowl or the Trail Blazers, will remain and be paid out as bets are settled. Scoreboard app users will be able to transfer money back to their funding sources or move funds to DraftKings to continue wagering through the new system.
As for gameplay benefits at DraftKings, there will be a couple notable changes. Bettors will now be able to place bets on same game parlays, something not offered through the Scoreboard app. Also, bettors will be able to use the DraftKings app in other states, with different features and functionality, depending on the state’s laws.
One thing that won’t change: Betting on college sports. That remains illegal in Oregon. Also of note, the Oregon Lottery will not offer Daily Fantasy Sports as part of the DraftKings app. DFS is offered by other providers, including FanDuel, but DraftKings stopped offering paid fantasy sports contests in Oregon on July 26, 2021.