Oregon Lottery confirms Portland retail blackout due to wildfires

Matt Shelby, Oregon Lottery’s spokesperson has confirmed that the state’s lottery games in Portland and on the coast went dark after damages were created by its wildfires.

According to AP News, Shelby has stated that in total 95 retailers in the Portland area, along with 25 on the northern Oregon coast, have lost connection to its lottery games as the wildfire damaged its Century Link fiber optic cables.

The games have been offline since Saturday, providing another unwelcome financial hit to the state’s lottery revenue. The spokesperson confirmed that the connection will be restored by Tuesday afternoon for its coastal retailers. However, it has not been confirmed when lottery games will be online in Portland.

Although an exact number has yet to be announced, Shelby did comment that only a small percentage of the total Oregon Lottery retailers, which is around 4,000 statewide, are expected to have their businesses affected.

AP News also reported that Jon Batcheller, the owner of the Mock Crest Tavern and Greeley Avenue Bar & Grill in North Portland, commented on the current lottery blackout in the state. He emphasised that all video and traditional lottery games are currently down at both of his businesses, with the problem costing his bars ‘hundreds of dollars a day in revenue’. 

The wildfires have already come at a difficult time for the lottery industry in the US with maybe states suffering from a loss in lottery revenue, especially in retail, due to the global health pandemic.

Whilst also in consensus over lottery sales’ current difficulty Batcheller also claimed that the cost of the blackout could set the state back an estimated tens of thousands of dollars a day.