Jake Banks | 07 Jun 2018

Delaware 1st State to Offer Legal Sports BettingNew Jersey has rocketed to fame for its role in convincing the US Supreme Court to overturn the PASPA Act of 1992, and make sports betting legal nationwide. However, Delaware seems to be stealing some of the spotlight, thanks to it becoming the very first State to launch legal sports betting operations since their long-time ban was eliminated in May.

Earlier this week, Delaware began offering full-scale wagering operations at 3 of its casinos, becoming the first state in the US to offer single-game bets outside of Nevada since the Supreme Court’s celebrated decision. On May 14, the highest American court eliminated a 25-year federal ban on sports betting, enabling individual state governments to choose whether or not to legalize the activity themselves.

Casino Employees Receive Training

On the day of sports betting’s official launch in the state on June 5, punters lined up en masse outside of Delaware Park to await the 1:30pm ET launch. Harrington Raceway and Dover Downs Hotel and Casino also started to offer single-game wagering opportunities at the same time, ranging from classic sports like football and baseball to more exotic varieties like auto racing and golf.

Employees at these casinos were also trained in the weeks prior to the launch to handle the provision of the new services, with the state also posting a betting guide on its official lottery website. Governor John Carney was the first punter to make a legal wager on a single tournament, placing a $10 money line bet on the Philadelphia Phillies to beat the Chicago Cubs that evening.

Commenting on the developments, Carney stated that Delaware now has all of the legal and regulatory authority necessary to go ahead with a complete sports betting operation. He also noted to USA Today that his government is hopeful that the offering of legal sports betting will attract even more visitors to the state.

Delaware’s History in Betting

It was in fact back in 1976 when the Delaware State Lottery first initiated a system that allowed punters to bet on multi-team sports parlays, albeit lasting only a year. After George H. W. Bush signed PASPA into law, Delaware was one of 4 states to be granted a grandfather exemption from the betting ban.

The state planned to offer full-scale sports betting back in 2009 after a state law gave the Delaware Lottery the authority to offer expanded parlay wagering – but although the state did gain the legislative authority to do this, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals noted that it would violate PASPA and overruled the movement.

Under the 2009 legislation, Delaware can authorize professional and collegiate sports betting, with the exception of any events involving local teams. While single-game college basketball and football wagers are not yet on offer for Delaware’s punters, state lawmakers expect these sportsbooks to be completely operation by the time the 2018 football season kicks off.

What the Future Holds

An online sports betting platform for the state is now reportedly in the works, with Scientific Games having been selected as the venture’s software and product supplier. Also on the state’s to-do list is the establishment of revenue projections for the 3 casinos’ new betting operations, according to Rick Geisenberger, the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Finance.

 

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