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Delaware Becomes First US State to Offer Sports Betting

- June 6, 2018 By Oliver Young -

Online gambling can be beneficial for traditional operators, it has been claimed.

Delaware is the first US state to offer sports betting.

Delaware has ensured its place in the history of gambling in the US as the first state to offer legal sports betting. The dramatic moment was celebrated by Governor John Carney as he placed the first legal sports wager of $10 at the Dover Downs sportsbook.

Carney, however, didn’t forget to mention that gloating in the gambling and betting business is unacceptable as competition quickly follows. He highlighted that everyone was “happy to be first today” and warned that they won’t be “the only one for very long” as other states are expected to follow Delaware’s steps soon.

Nevertheless, the legalization of sports betting in Delaware has been a huge win for the industry. Naturally, this wouldn’t be possible without the Supreme Court ruling last month, which overturned a federal law and paved the way for sports betting. Experts claim that this ruling would have strong effects on the US economy considering that the illegal betting business in the country is estimated between $50 billion and $150 billion.

Delaware Remains the First and Only New Sport Betting Friendly State for Now

For the time being, however, Delaware will remain the first as well as the only new US state that accepts sports betting. This means that sports bettors in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country could go on a short road trip and place wagers on top sports events such as the World Cup or the NBA Finals.

Currently, three Delaware casinos are accepting sports bets and those are Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway & Casino. As lucrative as this new offering may seem to the public, Delaware casino operators believe that the Court’s decision may have a negative impact on the business in the state. According to Dover Downs CEO Denis McGlynn, sports betting was “not a moneymaker under the best of conditions” as he puts it.

Namely, a decade ago Delaware was given a small monopoly when it comes to betting on sports or, more precisely, on NFL games. Bettors could place parlay wagers and had to choose winners of at least three games. This made the state a popular spot for sports bettors in nearby states. With the latest changes, operators believe that such parlay income may disappear as bettors are given a much wider selection of betting options.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland Expected to Follow

Being the first state is always a good thing in a lucrative business as sports betting. However, very soon Delaware can expect fierce competition from the states that are very likely to follow its steps. Namely, New Jersey could join the club within days, whereas Pennsylvania is believed to start accepting sports wagers before the ever-popular football season.

When it comes to Maryland, their legislature is out of session and may reach voters before coming into force. Therefore, the celebration for Delaware may be short-lived; nonetheless, it’s a one to remember. As for those against sports betting, Stu Feiner, a professional gambler, has the perfect response: “If sports gambling ain’t fun, then don’t do it baby.”

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