Barely a month after the United States Supreme Court paved the way for nationwide legalized sports betting through a landmark ruling that lifted a federal ban on sports betting, Delaware has become the first state to launch sports betting. This move not only marks the dawn of a new era for both the gamblers and the operators but also gives a significant boost to legal sports betting in the country.
This began at 1.30 p.m. ET last Tuesday when the Delaware governor, John Carney, placed the first bet, wagering $10 on the Philadelphia Phillies to beat the Chicago Cubs.
Always Been Ready
The state had made prior preparation for the new development – during the duration of the federal ban, the state was already offering parlay betting. Launched in 2009, the parlay cards offered by the state were provided through the state lottery. In addition to this, Delaware also went ahead to build sportsbooks within its casinos in preparation for the inevitable lifting of the federal ban on sports betting.
When the state’s sports betting industry went live on Tuesday, three Delaware-based casinos – Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harington Raceway – launched single-game wagering on NBA, MLB, NFL, and the World Cup. These will eventually be followed by sports betting offerings for others sports including college football, the NHL, and golf.
So Far So Good
Despite the absence of big game events such as Stanley Cup or even an NBA Finals game on the day Delaware sports betting went live, there was still plenty of betting action to go around. Vernon Kirk, the secretary of the Delaware state lottery reported that $322,135 was bet on sports at the state’s three casinos on the first day.
“For us, it’s really an enhancement of our tourism industry,” Governor John Carney told ESPN on Tuesday. “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.”
Projections from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research firm, anticipates that the amounts wagered on sports every year will be in the range of $350 million and $760 million – this is if online sports betting is implemented fully. Of these projections, the state will receive between $23.1 million and $49.6 million annually from both sportsbooks and online sports betting services.
Fortunately, according to the secretary of the state lottery, Delaware intends to offer internet and mobile sports betting products in the near future but first wanted to get the physical sportsbook off the ground before proceeding.