With no athletic events to bet on, virtually anywhere in the world, the Oregon Lottery’s Scoreboard app is dormant these days.
No games, no bets.
“It’s pretty hamstrung,” is the way Chuck Baumann, senior public affairs officer for the Oregon Lottery, puts it.
But that doesn’t mean the state lottery isn’t still in the gambling business. There are still scratch-offs, video games and the like to satisfy those with an itch to wager.
“Currently, Scoreboard is just a fraction of the Oregon Lottery’s revenue,” he said. “We’re just going to weather the storm and when sports come back and sports bettors are all excited about wagering again, Scoreboard will be there.”
The possible closure of restaurants and bars will hamper those video games, but if places are open for carryout or pickup, expect the terminals to be up and running, too.
It’s been a slow start for the sports betting segment of the Lottery. In the words of Baumann, it’s still, “Five million in the hole, behind our projections.”
“The first nine months are below projections. A lot of that has to do with startup costs and us just getting a game like that up and going,
“We’ve had over 50,000 folks registered and set up accounts. So people were using it and liking it. But it’s kind of hard to do anything now with nothing to wager on.”
In the meantime, gamblers will have to settle for the other gambling the lottery provides.
“We had the largest two video weeks we’ve had earlier this month, before the virus ramped up,” Baumann said. “Traditionally, that part of the year, with tax returns, it’s that way.”
The only thing I can think of to bet on is when we might start seeing games again. But I don’t think anyone is going to take bets on that.