NJ sports betting still waiting for a law to move forward
Legal Sports Report

The Week in Sports Betting: Delaware Jumps In, NJ Governor Has Cold Feet?

Can you believe it’s been almost a month since the US Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting? Time flies when you’re having fun.

The pace of news has finally begun to taper off just a bit, but there were still significant developments every day this week. As is our Friday custom in this post-prohibiton era, let’s take a lap around the recent sports betting headlines.

Delaware goes first… er, second

Delaware sports betting went live on Tuesday at the three casinos, making it the first state outside of Nevada sports betting to book a legal, single-game wager. Which, you know… makes it the second to enter the market. But “first” just sounds so much sexier. It is the first new state to launch in many decades, at least.

Gov. John Carney was at Dover Downs to place the ceremonial first bet for the media. A Delaware native and a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan, Carney put down $10 on the Phillies +200 against the Cubs. The underdog Fightin’ Phils won 6-1, so the governor gets to decide whether he wants a $30 payout or a $10 souvenir from his first wager.

Here are some photos from the scene:

As it turns out, I have many things in common with the governor of Delaware. I was at Dover Downs, too, chatting with stakeholders before placing a legal, winning bet on a baseball game. (I chose to exchange my souvenir for actual monies.)

Read through the play-by-play coverage if you’re interested in the proceedings. Total betting handle for launch day: $322k

For now, despite some questionable linemaking, little ol’ Delaware is the sports betting capital of the East Coast. Its regional monopoly won’t last long, though…

New Jersey not quite there yet

Despite leading the crusade against PASPA, New Jersey still hasn’t finalized its sports betting law. Still! We don’t mean to get on its case — it hasn’t been a month yet — but it’s surprising that there’s not even a timeline for launch. The holdup is in the governor’s office right now.

Here’s what happened this week in NJ sports betting:

New York, Pennsylvania getting closer

The northeast is the beating heart of sports betting momentum, with Pennsylvania and New York sports betting both on the horizon. Here are the rest of the regional headlines to round out the news:

The leftovers

Looking back on the week, almost all of the news came from those few states above. Here are some of the other tidbits from elsewhere on the map:

  • Sources say that the US Congress may hold a sports betting hearing in June. Progress seems unlikely in an election year, and passage faces increasingly long odds as time goes on and more individual states regulate the activity.
  • Sports technology giants Sportradar and Sportech team up to provide comprehensive betting services.
  • The guys on TheLines podcast talk about what the future of in-play betting might look like in the US.
  • Las Vegas sportsbooks dodge a medium-caliber bullet when the Las Vegas Golden Knights lose the NHL Stanley Cup Final. Books stood to drop several million dollars on combined futures wagers if the Knights had won.

Bad sports betting takes

We’re going to just skip the good ones and go straight for the juicy stuff this week.

A month into life after PASPA, the sports betting conversation is still littered with uninformed, malicious opinions, exaggerations and lies. As Steve Ruddock put it, “everyone even peripherally involved seems to have lost their collective mind.”

Ruddock runs through some of most of the most egregious takes, but here are a few more to round out your week:

  • An MLB official says the league would help curb offshore betting if lawmakers grant the integrity fees. That’s great and all, but the tone of the conversation came across like soliciting a bribe rather than acting in good faith.
  • Former NCAA executive and new XFL commissioner Oliver Luck says maybe it’s time to reconsider the ban against student-athletes betting on sports. Wait, huh?
  • The take that just won’t go away: States are going to be rolling in money from sports betting before long. Billions of dollars. Trillions, maybe, who knows?
Eric Ramsey
- Eric is a reporter and writer covering poker, sports betting, and DFS. He comes from a poker background, formerly on staff at PokerNews and the World Poker Tour.