Delaware Launches Las Vegas-Style Sports Betting on Tuesday

Delaware Sports Betting 2018 - Dover Downs Sportsbook

Dover Downs Sportsbook begins taking single-game sports bets at 1:30pm on Tuesday, June 5.

Delaware plans to be the first state outside Nevada to offer Las Vegas-style sports betting. On Tuesday, all three of Delaware’s racetrack-casinos will start offering single-game bets.

On Tuesday, June 5, Delaware Park, Harrington Raceway & Casino, and Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will offer single-game wagers on NBA basketball, MLB baseball, NFL football, EPL and Champions League soccer, PGA golf, NASCAR auto racing, and NHL hockey.

Sportsbooks open at 1:30pm EST on Tuesday, according to Delaware’s state government’s official website.

For decades, Delaware’s state lottery has allowed parlay betting on sporting events — a form of betting called “sports lottery” betting. Last year, Delaware sports lottery betting generated $6 million in revenues, but experts believe single-game sports betting will generate several times more revenues each year. Bettors simply prefer single-game bets to parlay betting, because it is easier to win the wager.

Traditional Delaware Sports Lotteries

Along with Oregan and Montana, Delaware was one of three US states allowed to offer sports lotteries. All three states had such betting before the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed in 1992, so all three states’ laws were grandfathered into the PASPA.

Nevada had its single-game sports betting laws grandfathered into PASPA, but sports betting was illegal in all 46 other US states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. On May 14, the US Supreme Court struck down the PASPA as unconstitutional, in part because it gave certain states advantages over other states.

Delaware Beats New Jersey to Single-Game Sports Betting

When the Supreme Court decision was announced, New Jersey announced it would be the first new US state to roll out legal sportsbooks. Now it appears that Delaware has beat New Jersey to the punch.

The Delaware attorney general’s office and the Delaware Department of Finance signed off on Tuesday’s launch of legal sports betting at the three racetracks. Both offices said that Delaware laws allowed full sports betting without any additional legal requirements.

Gov. John Carney on Legal Sportsbooks

With affirmative answers, Delaware Gov. John Carney approved sports betting at Dovers Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway. In a press release on Thursday, Governor Carney said, “Delaware has all necessary legal and regulatory authority to move forward with a full-scale sports gaming operation, and we look forward to next week’s launch., We’re hopeful that this will bring even more visitors into Delaware to see firsthand what our state has to offer.”

The three racetrack-casinos have lobbied Delaware’s state legislature for the past several years for tax breaks. Before that, the three racetracks had lobbied for casino-style gaming machines on their premises, because racebook betting has become harder to sustain over the past two decades. Expanded lottery betting, smartphone betting, and casino gambling at tribal and commercial casinos have given bettors more gambling options than they had a generation ago.

Helps Delaware’s Racetrack-Casinos

Sports betting is seen as a chance for Delaware’s three racetrack-casinos to maintain their revenues without tax breaks. Online gambling once was seen as an industry savior, too, but Delaware’s revenues from online poker have been negligible. For that reason, Delaware co-founded the Multi State Internet Gambling Association (MSIGA), which now includes Nevada and New Jersey. While MSIGA has helped, Delaware’s online poker player community is still to small to make a big revenue impact.

Legal sportsbooks could be different. Delaware is small enough that gamblers could drive in from out-of-state to make sports bets, now that single-game wagers are possible. At the moment, the NBA Finals and NHL Finals are happening, so that theory could receive an early results.

Soon, the U.S. Open golf tournament and Wimbledon tennis tournament happen, so gaming analysts will be looking at betting on those events for further data. Of course, Major League Baseball is in full swing, so daily results from MLB betting should be available as early as mid-July.

NFL Sports Betting in Delaware

The biggest betting increase for Delaware each year in NFL regular season sports bets. The various racetrack sports lotteries and off-track betting sites anticipate the NFL season each year, when roughly half of the year’s sports betting revenues are generated. The big test will be when the NFL begins its regular season in early September.

By then, New Jersey will have joined Delaware as an east coast US state which has full sports betting. It is uncertain whether nearby Pennsylvania and Maryland will adopt legal sports betting quickly or not. If they do not, many sports bettors from Pennsylvania and Maryland might increase the NFL sports betting revenues for Delaware Park, Harrington Raceway, and Dover Downs.