And they are off on Tuesday.
It took nine years but as of Tuesday afternoon at 1:30, three casinos at racetracks in Delaware will open sports betting parlors. In 2009, Delaware elected officials passed legislation that would allow the race track casinos to operate a sports book which would have greatly expanded Delaware’s sports betting operation. In 1976, Delaware did offer some National Football League parlay betting. The state has had limited betting on NFL Sunday games for years. Delaware was one of the one states outside of Nevada that could offer some limited form of sports gambling because the state was exempted from 1992 federal legislation that banned sports gambling. The other states were Montana, Oregon and Nevada. Delaware went to court with the hopes of being able to join Nevada in offering a sports book but courts blocked the state’s attempt to offer more than NFL parlay betting.
People who want to bet starting Tuesday afternoon on The NBA Finals, daily baseball, the Stanley Cup playoffs will have to do so at the three racetracks. Delaware officials are trying to set up a mechanism to allow online betting as soon as possible. Because Delaware has had plans for sports betting for nearly a decade, it was relatively easy for the state to get the sports books up and going. One of the casinos, Delaware Park, is located not far from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, two states that are trying to get sports books operations up. Delaware is counting on sports betting to help the state’s overall budget. The state made about $22 million on the very limited sports book in 2017. In Delaware, the state pays out about 25 percent to the people who win, the odds makers have to get paid, the casinos get money, the Delaware horse racing industry gets a slice of the pie and the state gets the rest. It’s almost show time in Delaware for sports gambling.
Move over Nevadaa, you have company as of Tuesday afternoon.