Oregon Sports Betting: A Tale Of Alternative Lines And Public Lies

Oregon Lottery Line Change

The Oregon Lottery has sent a clear message to its player base: If you’re a winning player, we’ll be damned if we give you the public price.

As first reported by sports betting content creator Captain Jack Andrews, a professional bettor (who chose to remain anonymous) had his line moved from -110 to -150 on the Oregon Lottery Scoreboard app after requesting a $550 wager on Ryan Newman in last night’s NASCAR Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. For the public, the line remained -110.

As Andrews indicates in his Tweet, the bettor had his odds worsened for every wager he attempted to make, not just the one captured in the video.

Imposing limits on sharp bettors is nothing new in the legal U.S. sports betting industry, as culprits like William Hill and DraftKings are quick to reduce astute bettors to mere pennies.

However, the Oregon Lottery’s action sets a precedent for sleaziness. When asked for comment, Andrews had this to say about the fiasco:

“A sportsbook moving lines based on nothing more than a bettor’s action is one thing. A sportsbook refusing the bettor’s action and still moving the lines is another.

However, here we had a case where they were moving lines only for him, nobody else, and it didn’t matter what he wagered on. Every attempted bet was met with a huge increase in the house vig. I’ve seen a lot but that takes the cake.”

Making matters worse, after the story stoked the fires of sports betting Twitter, the Oregon Lottery responded with what was apparently, an attempt at a cover-up.

Oregon Lottery Response

This desperate tweet was quickly discredited by ESPN’s David Purdum, who had the opportunity to speak with the customer. It was hardly necessary though, as it was blatantly obvious to anyone following the story that the Oregon Lottery did not move the public line -110 to -150 and then almost immediately back to -110 again.

It was revealed to The EV Chief that the bettor was eventually contacted by the Oregon Lottery, sometime after the Lottery’s claim on social media that the issue was “resolved to his satisfaction.”

Ironically, the bet would have lost.

Yet another black eye for legal U.S. sports betting

There is little to indicate that the Scoreboard’s actions are illegal, as it even states in its house rules that it’s well within its right to review and shift lines, based on who is trying to bet them.

But it sets a woeful model for an industry that is supposed to act as a viable alternative to the offshore sports betting market. SBTech, in particular, has been on the wrong end of positive press since lumbering over to the U.S. Beyond the consistent reports by sharp bettors that it does not offer a fair playing field, its services were recently disrupted for weeks on platforms throughout the world — including Scoreboard and various sports betting sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania — following a cyberattack.

It was also involved in a very public lawsuit over the disclosure of its sports betting terms with the Oregon Lottery.

Online sports betting has been the subject of extreme ridicule in jurisdictions with lottery run monopolies, such as Oregon and Washington D.C. And rightfully so, as the lotteries lack the know-how to properly oversee the intricate business of sports wagering, instead relying on dubious or unproven contractors to impose their will.

Not to mention, when the regulators are also the beneficiaries, that’s a problem, especially in monopoly settings, where there is less concern about shedding customers due to poor product presentation.

SBTech recently merged with the now public DraftKings, which is poised to migrate its tech from Kambi to SBTech. Sorry, but that’s like going from eating Spam to feasting on dirt.

It’s bad enough that the troubled SBTech has left a stain on smaller sites, but when it infiltrates the platform of an industry frontrunner, it could spell dark times.

In either case, Scoreboard is officially on our blacklist: If your objective is to thrive as a +EV sports bettor, seek greener pastures.

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Written by Robert DellaFave
Robert DellaFave is the Head Chief of The EV Chief. Previously, he worked for a variety of gambling publications, but got tired of being yelled at by casino reps for being too honest. Hobbies include a healthy mix of advantage gambling and being a degenerate, and tending to his lovely 1-year old daughter.