The state of Delaware has become the first to cash in on the May 14 United States Supreme Court ruling that officially gave states the right to allow sports betting. This begun officially on Tuesday, June at 1:30 p.m.
The first legal sports bet in Delaware was placed by Governor John Carney at Dover Downs that afternoon – this was a $10 wager on the Philadelphia Phillies to beat the Chicago Cubs. He earned a $20 win on his $10 bet thanks to pitching by the Philadelphia Phillies’ Zach Eflin that helped the team come away with the 6-1 win. Since the launch, sports betting offerings have been available at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, the Delaware Park as well as the Harrington Raceway & Casino
Delaware’s head start can be partly attributed to the partial exemption from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) that allowed the state’s operators to offer parlay bets on NFL football with gamblers being required to pick three games for each bet they placed. ESPN reports that last year, about $46 million was legally placed on the NFL parlay bets. Single-game bets are now allowed and Delaware bettors begin participating in these starting Tuesday.
Also, the state’s law laid a significant groundwork for the quick development of sports betting.
“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. We’re hopeful that this will bring even more visitors into Delaware to see firsthand what our state has to offer,” Delaware Governor John Carney said in a statement. “For us, it’s really an enhancement of our tourism industry. It will attract a lot of visitors to our state, particularly at this time of year, during the summer, coming to our beautiful beaches south of here. They come here and stop at the casinos and do slot machine and table gaming. This will be another opportunity for them.”
Over $300,000 in Sports Bets on Opening Day
Day 1 of full-scale sports betting in Delaware generated a whopping $322,135 in wagers according to Vernon Kirk, the director of the state lottery. These numbers are an indication of greater things to come, something that is reiterated by statistics from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research firm that projects that annual amount wagered on sports in the state will range from $350 million to $760 million.
“In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on PASPA, we have been working with our long-time sports providers Scientific Games and William Hill, as well as training our lottery and casino staff, so that we were ready to launch full-scale, head-to-head betting on single games,” Kirk said.