Delaware to launch expanded sports betting June 5

Posted: May 31, 2018

Delaware Park and two harness tracks are poised to be the first facilities outside of Nevada to offer full sports betting June 5, according to a release from Delaware Gov. John Carney’s office.

Delaware Park, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and Harrington Raceway & Casino, the latter two harness tracks, will offer full sports betting at 1:30 p.m. EDT June 5, according to the release. The three racetrack casinos, along with about 100 wagering outlets at bars and taverns in the state, have been offering only parlay-card wagers on professional football games.

The release said wagers will be available on professional baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, golf, and auto racing.

The Delaware Department of Finance, in consultation with the state Attorney General’s Office, determined that there are no legal obstacles to moving forward with full-scale sports betting in Delaware following the United States Supreme Court decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Under state law passed in 2009, Delaware may authorize betting on professional and collegiate sports, with the exception of games involving Delaware-based teams.

Horsemen at Delaware Park, which opened its 2018 racing season May 30, have received about 9.6% of gross revenue from parlay bets. That percentage will remain intact under the expansion.

New Jersey and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, which led the lengthy legal battle to win approval for sports betting, expect to be operating by June 8. The state legislature, and Gov. Phil Murphy, must approve a regulatory framework bill before sports betting commences.

Delaware is one of four states grandfathered under PASPA, but it has been restricted as to the type of bets it may offer.

“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. “We’re hopeful that this will bring even more visitors into Delaware to see firsthand what our state has to offer.”

“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.”

Delaware Park, in advance of its opening and the launch of sports betting, has upgraded its SportTech wagering machines, which handle both racing and sports bets. State officials said earlier the launch will be limited to the three racetrack casinos; the bars and taverns are expected to come on line later.

(Delaware Park photo by Tom LaMarra)