By Michael Donovan
Delaware will become the first state in the USA outside Nevada to offer sports betting at its three casinos on Tuesday.
It’s only been three weeks since the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on state-sponsored sports gambling.
Delaware Park, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and Harrington Raceway & Casino will begin taking single-game bets on baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, golf and auto racing at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Delaware has offered parlay wagers on the NFL through the state lottery since 2009, requiring bettors to make at least three picks per wager. Roughly $46 million was bet legally on the NFL in Delaware in 2017.
On May 14, the Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), the federal prohibition on state-sponsored sports betting, was unconstitutional, opening up a path for states interested in legalizing sports betting to do so.
Delaware was one of a handful of states that received an exemption from PASPA, but was restricted to parlay wagers on only professional football. Starting Tuesday, single-game wagers will be allowed on anything except games involving Delaware-based teams.
The Delaware Department of Finance and the state attorney general’s office determined that the state could move forward with a full sports betting menu under existing law.
“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,” Delaware Gov. John Carney said in a release. “We’re hopeful that this will bring even more visitors into Delaware to see firsthand what our state has to offer.”
New Jersey, which battled the NCAA, NFL and other major professional sports leagues in court for six years, is also hoping to begin offering sports betting in June. A sports betting bill is advancing in the legislature and headed for a vote on June 7.
Mississippi, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are among the states quickly preparing to get into the sports betting game.