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Volume 26 No. 204

Gambling

Oregon Lottery officials "intend to launch sports wagering in time for football season," according to Jeff Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN. While Oregon is a "relatively small market," state officials expect the handle will hit $330M in the first year and "more than double" to $680M by the third. After "establishing online games this summer, the lottery will begin to install sports betting games in the restaurants and retailers that sell existing lottery games." That rollout "should begin early next year." It remains "unclear at this point when and whether the new sports betting games will show up" at Trail Blazers and Timbers games. Oregon lottery officials "want their online sports betting games to be up and running by August." The state has "tentatively selected" a company called SBTech Global to "provide the expertise and the technology to get Oregon’s sports games up and running." Other states have "relied primarily on existing casinos, race tracks and other experienced operators to handle the nuts and bolts of their sports betting." Oregon will be "among the first state lotteries in the country" to "directly manage the new business." Oregon Lottery officials have also "made the decision not to allow betting on amateur sports." State officials "concede they’re leaving millions of dollars on the table" by doing so (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/22).

NEARING THE FINISH LINE: In Des Moines, Robin Opsahl reports Iowa state lawmakers have "finalized legislation that would legalize sports wagering and placing bets on fantasy sports websites and apps." The bill now heads to Gov. Kim Reynolds, who "has not indicated publicly whether she'll sign it into law." If the governor signs the bill, the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission would "start to develop rules for casinos to implement." IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko said that the body "would aim for rules to be adopted in July or August." Iowans would be able to wager on sporting events at "any of Iowa's 19 casinos, and online if they visit a casino in person to prove they are at least 21" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 4/23). The state would impose a 6.75% tax on net receipts (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 4/23).

Rhode Island’s legal sports betting business had its "best month yet in March, but still fell short of the profits the state anticipated when it legalized athletic wagering last year," according to Patrick Anderson of the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. Sports Book Rhode Island made $1,548,230 in March, a "significant improvement from February," when it lost nearly $900,000. Since sports betting launched in the state last November, the operation has made a total of $1.8M (state’s share around $925,000) with three months left in the fiscal year. The budget lawmakers passed last summer assumed $23.5M in sports betting revenue, or nearly $2M per month. Gov. Gina Raimondo’s budget plan for next year, released in January, "revised down its revenue expectations for next year" to $11.5M. The Rhode Island Lottery "plans to launch online sports betting by the start of next fall’s football season but has not finalized further details about who will develop it and under what terms" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 4/23).