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Oregon Lottery sportsbook launch could miss NFL kick-off


The Oregon State Lottery has insisted that “a smooth player experience” is the priority with its new sportsbook, even if it means the launch misses the start of the new NFL American football season.

The lottery had previously planned for its mobile sportsbook to be up and running by the beginning of the new NFL campaign on September 5, with the second-phase retail offering to follow in early 2020.

However, in response to a report that the schedule has been pushed back, with the retail offering now likely to launch in the middle of 2020, the lottery’s public information manager, Matt Shelby, told that the focus is on fine-tuning the product, rather than cutting corners.

Shelby, when asked whether any delay to the launch of the mobile sportsbook could be for weeks or months, told “I still think we will launch in the first few weeks of the season.

“We know our best chance to capture offshore betting is at launch and we want to ensure a smooth player experience all around. That’s what is driving our schedule.”

Shelby also confirmed that whilst the sportsbook will allow bets on the established US major leagues and a variety of other national and international sporting properties, college sports will not initially be part of the offering.

“We are limiting our betting offerings to professional sports at this time,” Shelby said. “We’re open to considering it in the future, but that would require consultation with a number of stakeholders in Oregon, including our university system.”

In June, the lottery penned an agreement with SBTech to enable the supplier’s technology to support the mobile and retail launch of the sportsbook. Two months earlier, SBTech was selected as the preferred bidder by the Lottery Commission’s RFP team, ahead of rivals Scientific Games and Playtech.

The lottery has projected $141.2m in gross gaming revenue over the first three years following the launch of the sportsbook, with SBTech receiving 19% of the total.