Current Sports Betting Status: Legal And Operational
Updated on 9/3/2019
In May of 2018, Delaware became one of the 17 states in which sports betting is legal. While online sports betting is also legal, it is currently not offered until the Delaware Lottery starts issuing regulations. Read more below.
There are only three land-based sportsbooks in Delaware. However, because of the size of the state, a legal sports betting facility is no more than a few hours away no matter which direction you’re coming from. Sports gambling is currently available at:
- Delaware Park Casino
- Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
- Murphy’s Race and Sports Book at the Harrington Raceway and Casino
The second state to enter the US sports betting market
Delaware made a name for itself as the first state to begin accepting bets on single-game competitions at casinos and tracks after the US Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting in the U.S. in May of 2018.
Delaware jumped right in at the start of the very next month. This made it second only to Nevada which has been in the business for decades. Both Nevada and Delaware were grandfathered in to accept single-game sports betting wagers under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
Nevada carried on with sports betting, but apart from one attempt in 2009, Delaware let its interest fade.
The 1976 Parlay Play System
Gambling in Delaware falls under the oversight of the Delaware Lottery, which instituted a parlay play system in 1976 for betting on the results of multiple sporting events. Although the system was short-lived, it was this that allowed it to be exempted from PASPA 15 years down the road.
In 2009 Delaware passed a law permitting the lottery to offer expanded forms of its parlay product which had the state well-positioned when the ban was lifted on a national level.
Some believe that the steps the state took in preparation, along with the state having previously offered these legal parlay bets on sports, made Delaware more equipped to join Nevada in accepting single-game sports betting wagers.
Potential to grow
As of September of 2019, the state of Delaware has collected $6,756,684 in sports betting taxes alone. Sports betting in Delaware is taxed at 50% for any sports betting revenue the sportsbooks are able to keep.
However, now that online sports betting is fully implemented with the state, the annual dollar amount of sports bets placed in Delaware could potentially to increase from $350 to $760 million, according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
Rhode Island, which has a similar amount of sportsbooks, geographic size, and tax rate, is looking to implement mobile sportsbooks in the near future. Their success could pressure Deleware regulators to expand the industry.
Legal sports betting apps in Delaware
Although online sports betting is now available in Delaware, legal sports gambling is strictly limited to in-person casino experiences and for those 21 years of age and older.
Delaware introduced online casino and poker in 2013. The law gives the lottery the authority to do the same for sports betting. At the moment the Delaware Lottery is waiting to ensure that live sports betting operates efficiently. When they are comfortable with the compliance level, the Lottery will issue online sports betting regulations.
As of now, there is no clear timeline for when those regulations will be put in place. Industry experts estimate that it will likely be in early 2020 that the issue of mobile sports betting apps in Deleware will be resolved.