Delaware started its legal sports betting, including single-game wagers and futures bets, in June 2018. In fact, it became the first state to offer single-game wagering outside Nevada.
Delaware moved forward after the court decision so quickly that it beat New Jersey — which fought the case that ended PASPA — to opening its sports betting operation. The state’s three casinos started taking bets in June 2018.
Delaware is among the small group of states that previously already had a form of legal sports betting during the PASPA era.
In 2009, the state passed a law permitting the lottery to offer expanded forms of its parlay product. Federal law stood in the way until May, when the US Supreme Court repealed PASPA and put the decision back in states’ hands.
Here are the basics about Delaware sports betting:
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Legal sports betting basics in Delaware
Delaware has been involved in gaming and horse racing since colonial times. Today, all gambling in the state falls under the oversight of the Delaware Lottery.
In 1976, the lottery instituted a parlay system for betting on the results of multiple sporting events. The product lasted just one season, but it was enough to earn the state a partial exclusion from the federal ban more than 15 years later. The state later re-instituted parlay wagering.
That federal ban has been fully removed now, and Delaware has expanded into single-game wagering.
Delaware sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Delaware?
Yes. Delaware law permits sports betting, and became the first state outside of Nevada to book a legal, single-game wager. Books are now taking wagers.
Who oversees Delaware sports betting?
The Delaware Lottery is charged with regulation and oversight of the industry.
Where can I bet on sports in Delaware?
Single-game sports betting is limited to the state’s three casinos:
- Delaware Park Casino
- Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
- Harrington Raceway & Casino
Parlay betting is also allowed at lottery retailers throughout the state.
Who can apply for a Delaware sports betting license?
Technically, nobody. The state’s three casinos function as a combined licensee, and they share the cost of licensure based on their slot contribution to the state.
Who can bet on sports in Delaware?
The legal gambling age in Delaware is 21.
Is mobile sports betting available in Delaware?
According to lottery officials, mobile sports betting is legal in Delaware, but currently is not offered.
Delaware sports betting timeline
2018: Racing to the starting line
Delaware emerges as a contender to win the race to market, sprinting toward the gate alongside New Jersey.
Following the SCOTUS decision, state officials conduct a review of the legal climate and existing laws. The group determines that no further legislative work is needed for Delaware to move forward, clearing the way for a quick launch. Regulators expect the industry to roll out in June, barring any hiccups.
On the last day of May, Gov. John Carney confirms those expectations. Carney issues a press release targeting June 5 for launch, a timeline that ultimately proves accurate. It wins that sprint to market on June 5.
2009: State tries to expand sports betting
In 2009, Gov. Jack Markell pushes an effort to expand the states’s existing parlay lottery product into full-scale sports betting. The sports leagues bring suit against the state, citing PASPA. Although the DE Supreme Court had ruled the move was legal, federal courts disagreed. A US Circuit Court provided the final ruling against the state, shutting down its proposed expansion.
Markell appeals to the US Supreme Court, which declines to hear the state’s arguments. Had the court taken the case, we might be talking about Markell vs. NCAA rather than Murphy vs. NCAA (named after the NJ governor).