WORKING FOR LOTTERY RETAILERS
ORLA's Government Affairs team focuses on protecting Oregon Lottery Retailers
Oregon Lottery Commissioners approved a new contract Jan. 30, 2020, including a new rate structure for Lottery retailers across the state. The new rate structure is based on gross sales which is different from past commission rates based on net revenue. Lottery retailers had until June 28th, 2020 to sign the new contract once receiving it. ORLA worked with Lottery staff and Commissioners on the new rate structure, sharing concerns of our Lottery Retailers on this complex commission sales system. Read ORLA's Position Statement in the letter to the Director and Commissioners.
ORLA is the only major trade association in the state that has defended lottery retailers since the introduction of video lottery in Oregon. ORLA staff have regular conversations with the Oregon State Lottery (OSL) on issues of importance including the protection of commission rates. ORLA also works to shield against extreme regulatory attacks, such as increased casino expansions off tribal reservations, and is supportive of gaming as entertainment, adjunct to the hospitality industry.
Every five years, the Lottery negotiates a new contract with retailers that governs the relationship between the Lottery and retailers and includes the compensation and commission structure. The current retailer contract expires on June 28, 2020 and new contract is needed. ORLA is meeting with Lottery Commissioners and staff to explain how the proposed rate structure is not beneficial to lottery retailers. Retailers are being visited by Retail Sales Agents from the Oregon Lottery with updated numbers comparing current commissions with commissions under the proposed new structure.
Banning High Velocity Gaming on Mobile Devices
With the introduction of more lottery products available on mobile devices including the new sports betting app Scoreboard, ORLA is committed to ensuring high velocity games (HVG) are not going to be available through this platform. Helping protect consumers, especially those with gambling addictions, from having access to these types of games 24/7 as well as the issues surrounding inadvertent access for minors and the protection of retailer establishments as a buffer are the key reasons behind our support for legislation banning HVG.
Oregon Lottery to hold Rulemaking Hearing on Retailer Compensation
[11.1.19] The Oregon Lottery is proposing to amend the rules on retailer compensation for both video lottery and traditional lottery games. The Oregon Lottery will be holding this rulemaking session on November 19, 2019 from 10am-12 noon in the Pacific Room at the Oregon State Lottery offices (500 Airport Rd. SE, Salem). Public comments will be accepted by the Lottery until 5pm on December 6th. Lottery retailers are encouraged to contact Greg Astley, ORLA Director of Government Affairs to share their new commissions under the proposed tiered commission rate. ORLA will use this information to help determine what different rate structure should be proposed and adopted.
Sports Betting Delay
[9.1.19] The Oregon Lottery is delaying the rollout for sports betting to ensure they have worked out all the bugs, hoping to have it up and running by mid-October. The new sports app, called Scoreboard, will only offer lines on international and domestic professional sports and will not feature college sports markets. The app will also offer betting formats ranging from single-game to parlays as well as in-game wagering options and use a geolocating service to ensure betting occurs only from within state lines and geofencing will be used to prevent any use of the app on tribal lands.
Lottery Retailer Forums: In anticipation of the contract negotiations, the Oregon Lottery hosted Lottery Retailer Forums around the state to talk directly with Lottery retailers. ORLA representatives attended and provided testimony at each of the four retailer forums. Download the Oregon Lottery's presentation here: OSL Retailer Forum presentation
Retailer Contracts: The current lottery contract with the state expires in 2020 and with that in mind, ORLA has reactivated our Lottery Committee and will be working over the next year and a half to develop and negotiate terms for the next lottery retailers contract. ORLA requested that the Lottery move the length of contract back to a six-year contract and we will continue to ask for this and other important retailer considerations during the Lottery contract negotiations.
The timeline for contract negotiations looks roughly like this:
ORLA Lottery Committee: ORLA is hosting regular meetings with our Lottery Committee to keep dues paying members informed and discuss the contract. If you are interested in participating in an upcoming meeting, email Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, at Astley@OregonRLA.org.
Gaming Initiatives: On May 3, 2019, the Oregon Lottery Commission voted 5-0 to move forward on pursuing a contract with a European company to bring sports betting to the Oregon Lottery’s mobile app. The Oregon Lottery hopes to have sports betting rolled out by the start of the 2019 NFL season. The following week Senator Chuck Riley, Chair of the Senate Committee on Business and General Government, introduced an amendment to HB 3389. The bill, which would allow the winners of large multi-state lottery games such as Mega Millions and Powerball to accept their winnings anonymously or have them paid into a trust that would not identify them, passed the House in late April 55 to two in favor and seemed to be on its way to passing in the Senate. Senator Riley’s amendment, however, would significantly alter the bill by prohibiting lottery gaming on personal electronic devices or through the internet effectively killing any chances for the Oregon Lottery to offer gaming on mobile phones or other devices.
At the first meeting in March 2018, ORLA invited Lottery Director Barry Pack and Chief Gaming Operations Officer, Farshad Allahdadi to speak to the group. Lottery members heard first hand some of the upcoming advancements in lottery gaming as well as the future of the Lottery as it pertains to new games, new accessibility and how they interact with retailers and players. One potential is using mobile devices for “direct player transactions” and “push notifications.”
Have questions / concerns about issues relating to the Lottery? Give us a call at 503.682.4422 or email Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, at Astley@OregonRLA.org.
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