Delaware was the first state outside of Nevada to launch legal sports betting after the fall of PASPA in May 2018.
More than five and a half years later, the state took the next step with the launch of online sports betting through a partnership with Rush Street Interactive‘s BetRivers.
The platform soft-launched on Dec. 27 before a formal announcement Wednesday.
Online sports betting in Delaware has been legal the entire time, but multiple issues including the cost of launching an online sportsbook and pushback from Delaware Lottery retailers led to the lengthy delay.
RSI pleased with Delaware sports betting launch
Rush Street won the public bid launched earlier this year to replace 888 as the online gaming partner of the Delaware Lottery.
The bid makes sense for RSI, which recently pulled out of the Connecticut sports betting market after partnering with the Connecticut Lottery. The difference between Delaware and Connecticut, though, is RSI had to compete with both DraftKings and FanDuel in Connecticut.
Delaware residents are familiar with Rush Street’s online casino sweet spot, as the state has offered online gaming since 2013. The previous platform and games offered by 888 lacked branded games that could be found in casinos, something that the new Rush Street offering has by the dozens.
“We are thrilled to begin this historic and much-anticipated launch of the new online sportsbook and casino with the Delaware Lottery and bring our award-winning product to Delaware,” said Richard Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer of RSI. “With our extensive offering of gaming content, wide range of deposit and withdrawal methods, real-time cash-out approvals, and best-in-class customer service, Delaware customers are going to love the convenience of wagering on their favorite sports, slots, and table games from anywhere in the state.”
Legislative report suggests multiple operators
Delawareans finally join the other residents of Mid-Atlantic states with online sports betting, but it is not clear if the single-operator model will continue.
The Delaware Lottery launched the RFP last January and continued the process despite a legislative study ordered on how Delaware operates sports betting. Unsurprisingly, that study suggested a multi-operator model would bring in more revenue to the state.
That means all eyes will be on the legislature when the session starts Tuesday to see if any member decides to draw up legislation based on the study’s findings.
Delaware sports betting sign-up process
While there is just one online sports betting and casino platform in Delaware, each of Delaware’s three casinos have their own branded sites.
Both Delaware Park and Harrington Casino allow customers to sign up through and use the BetRivers app directly. Bally’s Dover, on the other hand, has its own standalone app: Bally Casino by BetRivers.
Bally’s did not respond when contacted for comment about its choice, but it is not surprising that Bally’s wants the product to include its branding. The company has spent literal billions on an iGaming strategy that so far has not amounted to much.