On Tuesday, full-scale sports betting officially launched in Delaware and, by the end of the day, a total of $322,135 had been wagered at the state’s three casinos.
The three casinos in Delaware began offering full-scale sports wagering on June 5 and bettors were ready to take part. The state is the first in the US to offer such wagering options, aside from Nevada, after the United States Supreme Court ruled last month that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was unconstitutional. This ruling opened the floodgates for states to begin the process of the legalization of sports betting and those interested are wasting no time getting started.
Parlay to full-scale
Since 2009, Delaware has offered parlay betting on NFL games. Last year, the lottery earned about $48m (£36m) via such wagers from retail locations and the three operating casinos. This is a relatively small amount when compared to the $350m (£261) to $760m (£566m) that the state could bring in annually with sports betting, if online wagering is applied, according to research conducted by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. For now, the full-scale sports betting options will be offered only at Harrington Raceway & Casino, Dover Downs, and Delaware Park.
Sports betting in the state is limited to MLB, NFL, World Cup, and NBA teams for single-game wagering at this time. Other sports will be included in the future, such as college football, the NHL, and golf. Players can wager as much as $1,000 on a team, but any wagers over that amount will have to be approved by William Hill, the administrating company for sports betting in Delaware. Online betting is expected to be available in the near future.
Placing the first sports wager
On Tuesday, Governor John Carney made the very first wager in the state. Carney decided to bet $10 that the Philadelphia Phillies would beat the Chicago Cubs. The Phillies did win, defeating the Cubbies 6 to 1.
Governor Carney told ESPN: “For us, it’s really an enhancement of our tourism industry. It will attract a lot of visitors to our state, particularly at this time of year, during the summer, coming to our beautiful beaches south of here. They come here and stop at the casinos and do slot machine and table gaming. This will be another opportunity for them.”
New Jersey should be next
As several states in the US look to pass sports betting legislation, New Jersey should be the next in line to begin offering wagering options. Lawmakers are set to vote on sports betting legislation today and, if approved by the Assembly and State Senate, the bill would move to the desk of Governor Phil Murphy.
If signed by the governor, the bill would allow players 21 years of age or over to place in-person sports bets. Online sports betting is expected to be allowed at casinos and racetracks in the state. A tax rate for casinos to offer such wagering is set at 8.5%, with an additional payment of 1.25% to help Atlantic City marketing. The add-on fee for tracks, of 1.25%, will be used to pay the host community and county where the track is operational. Once online betting is allowed, a tax rate of 13% will be collected.
New Jersey is the reason that sports betting can now be offered across the nation, after winning its Supreme Court case in May. The case struck down the federal law, PASPA, that limited sports betting to four states. Analysts expect almost every state in the US to legalize sports betting in the coming years in some form or fashion.