DE sports betting off to a promising start
Legal Sports Report

Delaware Sports Betting Numbers For First 20 Days: $1 Million Revenue, $7 Million Handle

Delaware Park sports betting

The first partial month of Delaware sports betting drove about $1 million in revenue to the state, its three racinos, and the state’s sports betting suppliers.

A DE Lottery report released this week provides the first check-in on the new market, which went live on June 5The data reflects wagers placed and paid between launch day and the end of the fiscal month on June 24.

The three DE sportsbooks took in $7 million in total bets during the 20-day stretch, holding about 14 percent of those wagers.

There were a total of 69,698 wagers placed during the timeframe.

DE sports betting in June

Total revenue from DE sports betting came to $1,000,247 for the period.

That number is calculated after paying out the winning tickets. Where did it go? About  $125,000 went to the state’s sports betting suppliers; DE works with Scientific Games, William Hill and StadiumTech to provide wagering.

After paying that share — or 12.5 percent of total revenue off the top — the rest of the revenue is divided up in the state.

The state’s racinos keep 40 percent of the remaining revenue; here’s how the three tracks made out in June:

  • Delaware Park – $263,924
  • Dover Downs – $57,293
  • Harrington – $31,039

About ten percent of remaining revenue — $85,353 this month — is allocated to horse racing purses.

That leaves the other 50 percent for the state. Delaware’s share of sports betting revenue amounted to $437,609 during the reporting period.

Comparing apples to oranges

Delaware is one of the states that had an existing, partial sports betting product prior to the repeal of PASPA. The DE Sports Lottery has offered NFL parlay tickets since 2009, allowing folks to bet on the combined outcome of multiple games.

Although parlays are a different beast, the product does give us something to compare against.

Over the 2017-18 NFL season, total revenue from DE parlay betting came to about $4.8 million. September was the strongest month, responsible for about $1.77 million of that. The state’s revenue share totaled $2.4 million.

If we assume the hold on parlays is around 30 percent, total handle was about $16 million for the year — all between August and February.

During the launch of single-game wagering, Lottery Director Vernon Kirk expressed some apprehension over the pivot. Single-game tickets typically have margins closer to five percent, so Kirk anticipated needing to take six times as many bets to maintain revenue.

It looks like he and his agency can rest easy.

Despite launching in the doldrums of the sports calendar, the first month of single-game betting generated almost half as much handle as a full year of parlay betting. That 14-percent hold is high and would seem to be an anomaly, but it will be interesting if Delaware can continue to hold nearly that much. Nevada sports betting, historically, holds less than half of that in a given month.

The early returns from DE sports betting v2.0 look pretty strong, but we’ll have to wait until football season to really see what’s going on in Delaware.

Eric Ramsey
- Eric is a reporter and writer covering regulated US gambling, sports betting, and DFS. He comes from a poker background, formerly on staff at PokerNews and the World Poker Tour.