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This is a developing story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.
Delaware is going to be the First State … with single-game wagering outside Nevada.
Gov. John Carney announced Thursday that Delaware Park, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, and Harrington Raceway & Casino will offer single-game sports betting starting June 5. That would allow Delaware sports betting to beat New Jersey to launch.
“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,” Carney said in a statement. “We’re hopeful that this will bring even more visitors into Delaware to see firsthand what our state has to offer.”
Delaware officials signaled earlier this month that they saw no legal hurdles preventing them from starting full sports betting. The state passed a law in 2009 allowing sports wagering except on Delaware-based teams.
The state also published a how-to guide on sports betting through the Delaware Lottery, which administers sports betting in the state.
“We have worked closely with Delaware’s three casinos to train lottery and casino staff in preparation for a launch of expanded sports betting, and Delaware is prepared to move forward,” said Rick Geisenberger, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Finance, which oversees the Delaware Lottery. “We will continue to provide public updates and additional information through the Delaware Lottery ahead of next week’s launch.”
Delaware was one of four states offering some form of legal sports betting under PASPA. The state had parlays grandfathered in under the 1992 law. New Jersey fought the federal sports wagering ban in the US Supreme Court, but it appears it will not launch until after Delaware. New Jersey’s legislature can vote on new laws on sports betting starting June 7.
Delaware plans to offer a wide gamut of wagers. This includes “single-game and championship wagering on professional baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, golf, and auto racing.”
Left off the initial list are college football and basketball, two of the biggest drivers of sports betting revenue in Nevada. Sources close to the situation confirm Delaware plans to offer wagering on college sports moving forward, but not right now.
It appears at launch that sports betting will only be allowed at land-based casinos, with no online or mobile option.