The U.S. sports betting industry is expected to see a huge bounce back during March, but that wasn’t the case in the state of Oregon. The total sports betting handle fell by nearly 19 percent from February, and one very restrictive rule was the main reason for that.
Bettors in Oregon cannot place online bets on college sporting events, which kept them from betting on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Other states are expected to post massive numbers from this event, but the laws restricting collegiate betting caused Oregon’s total betting handle to decrease.
In March, the total sports betting handle was just $24.1 million after that number climbed to $29.6 million in February. January 2020 set the record for best sports betting month in the state as the handle that month was $34.9 million.
The two tribal casinos are permitted to accept wagers on college sporting events, but those locations have little impact on the overall sports betting handle.
Revenue Also Takes a Hit
Not only did the total sports betting handle take a hit, but the gross gaming revenue also saw a significant decline. The GGR for March was just $1.37 million, which was a drop of nearly 50 percent from the $2.69 million in February.
The total revenue usually drops with the betting handle, but that isn’t always the case. These overall numbers make Oregon one of the smallest sports betting markets in the United States, and changes are needed if it wants to grow.
Basketball Most Popular Market
It comes as no surprise that basketball was the most popular betting market in Oregon during March. The total sports betting handle on basketball was $15.1 million, even though no bets were placed on the popular March Madness tournament.
Soccer has remained a popular betting market in Oregon, and that sports brought in $2.76 million during March. Hockey, MMA, and tennis were the other three biggest sports to bet on in Oregon during February.
Parlay betting continues to be a popular betting option in the state, and that form of betting made up $6.5 million of the total betting handle.
Potential Bill Not Moving
Oregon lawmakers are hoping to make some changes to the current sports betting landscape in the state, and those changes could lead to a much bigger market. House Bill 2127 was introduced in January, but there hasn’t been any action taken on that piece of legislation in recent weeks.
Governor Kate Brown was one of the biggest supporters of a change in Oregon sports betting laws, and she is hoping to place the Oregon Racing Commission in charge as opposed to the Oregon Lottery. This bill would also open the door for more operators to apply for a license to serve the state.
Currently, the Scoreboard app is the only online betting option in Oregon. The lack of diverse betting options has noticeably hurt the overall performance of the industry. For the industry to survive, competition is needed, and soon.