The sports betting contractor with the Oregon lottery is insisting Oregonians can’t know what and how the state is paying them.
Can that company be serious? Yes, it is.
The company, SBTech, based in Malta, is suing to keep the financial details of its contract with the state lottery a secret. It claims releasing the information would be a release of trade secrets, pricing systems and do the company irreparable harm, as The Oregonian has reported.
But it deals with the spending of public money. Companies don’t get the right to conceal how public money is spent from the public. Release the full contract.
The state did release some details of the contract already. The details of how SBTech was being compensated were blacked out at the company’s request. Since then, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum directed the state to release the entire contract. SBTech responded with a lawsuit suing pretty much everyone involved — Rosenblum, The Oregonian, the lottery and the lottery’s director Barry Pack.
Sports betting is big business. And now that Oregonians can do it through an app on their phones, there are going to be many questions. There’s going to be concern about what the change means for problem gambling, for one. And the important thing here is that Oregonians need to know that the state is not being ripped off by the contract. The public can’t know that unless the details are released.
Just imagine if SBTech wins. Every state contractor — every contractor with a government entity in Oregon — may start asking for the same deal in Oregon. They will want to keep their contracts with government secret, too. The state’s budget would become a mystery and openness in government would be a charade. Oregonians have a right to know the details of how their money is being spent.
Just imagine if SBTech wins. Every state contractor — every contractor with a government entity in Oregon — may start asking for the same deal in Oregon. They will want to keep their contracts with government secret, too.