Delaware Sports Betting Remains BetRivers Monopoly For Now

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Delaware sports betting

Despite a legislative recommendation to expand the online Delaware sports betting market, lawmakers left a proposal on the table this year.

The legislature adjourned last week without taking up a Delaware sports betting bill to expand the market beyond the Delaware Lottery. Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers is the only operator live in the market through a partnership with the lottery. 

Delaware sports betting launched in 2018 with in-person options, while BetRivers launched its online sportsbook in December.

What was in Delaware sports betting bill?

Rep. William Bush’s House Bill 365, introduced in April, looked to create “a competitive mobile sports wagering market.” The state lottery was assigned to oversee the industry. 

It created a $500,000 five-year initial license fee and set an 18% tax rate. Another 1.5% of sports betting revenue would fund the state’s horse racing purses.

In the bill, market access was connected to the state’s three casinos. Each casino could partner with two sports betting operators.

A hearing during the session saw representatives from BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel support the initiative. 

Building on Delaware legislative work group

Bush’s bill followed a legislative study group that started two weeks after the lottery released an RFP for a sports betting partner. Rep. Frank Cooke sponsored the resolution to create the study group last year.

The study concluded that a competitive market would lead to more tax revenue. That would help further because “substantial fees” paid to BetRivers lower the state’s net take, proponents said.

Cooke said the extra revenues could also help provide additional resources for problem gambling.

Lottery monopolies in sports betting

Delaware was the first state outside of Nevada to offer traditional sports betting. However, it is now one of a handful of single-operator states. 

The number will decrease further this year when Washington DC opens its market to more operators

Single operator markets:

Photo by Associated Press