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Oregon Senator files amendment to block mobile betting


The Oregon State Lottery’s plans to roll out mobile wagering ahead of the 2019 National Football League (NLF) could be halted by a proposed amendment to a lottery bill.

Senator Mark Hass has filed an amendment to House Bill 3389 which would bar the lottery from offering sports betting unless tickets are bought, or stakes placed, via equipment owned or leased by the operator.

If the amendment is adopted and the bill passed, this would block players in Oregon from placing bets via their own mobile or desktop devices, and effectively derail the planned launch of mobile wagering.

HB3389, as introduced, aims to grant the lottery right to keep the names of lottery prizewinners confidential unless the individuals consent to their details being released. 

It is the second amendment to the bill that looks to block the lottery from expanding its services online. 

One filed in May, by Senator Chuck Riley, states that the lottery “initiate or operate a lottery game for which tickets or shares may be purchased via the internet or via personal computer, mobile device or other personal electronic device.” This was adopted by the Senate Committee on Business and General Government.

Mobile sports betting has emerged as a key element of the Oregon Lottery’s plan to expand its appeal and grow revenue. The lottery, which is the state’s second-largest source of revenue after income taxes, has selected SBTech to deliver its sportsbook, signing a contract earlier this month following a lengthy due diligence process. 

It had aimed to launch mobile wagering in September, followed by the launch of betting kiosks in lottery retail outlets in early 2020. 

The bill currently sits with the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee, having passed its third reading in April before each of the amendments were filed. It has until June 30, when the Oregon legislative session ends, to make it out of the Senate, and pass through the state House of Representatives. 

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