In terms of size Delaware is the 49th smallest of the U.S, fifty states. Only Rhode Island is smaller. And with a population of less than a million it is also low ranking, sat six from the bottom of the population stakes.
But Delaware is towards the very top of something – the list of states which allowed legalised sports betting and in early June 2018 Delaware sports betting entered that list at No. 2, second only to Nevada.
In May 2018 the Supreme Court repealed the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which prohibited sports gambling in every state of the U.S. with the exception of Nevada.
And Delaware were quickly out of the gates, allowing its three casinos to offer fully legal Delaware sports betting in the form of fixed-odds placed single-game bets on professional baseball, football, ice hockey, basketball, soccer, golf and auto racing.
The only proviso is bettors must be aged 21+ (you only need to be 18+ to bet legally at the Delaware pari-mutuel windows).
Currently, to bet legally in Delaware sports betting, you need to rock-up at either Delaware Park, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino or Harrington Raceway & Casino. These are known as ‘Racinos’ as the also feature horse racing.
Right now you cannot place ‘in-play’ bets within these racinos and neither can you place bets online anywhere from within the state. This is sure to change in time and let us not forget Delaware has allowed its residents to play online casinos and poker legally since 2013.
The Delaware racinos are currently running their fixed-odds betting operations in-house and not using a betting partner such as William Hill. However that could all change and doubtlessly companies such as Paddy Power Betfair will have been sniffing around for the opportunity to open up betting shop in Delaware.
That said there is some British influence with the three racinos using sports betting technology provided by Stadium Technology Group which is a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange listed GVC Holdings which also own Ladbrokes Coral.
Online sports betting sites in Delaware are sure to be added to the current selection of online casinos and poker rooms that are on offer to its residents. These are currently all skins of the three racinos and are powered and pooled into the 888 poker/casino network.
With it being such a small state it could be argued it needs no more than three locations to bet legally in Delaware. It has been estimated the striking out of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act will see $150 billion in annual betting turnover in the U.S. but only a very small amount of that will happen through this eastern seaboard state with the population of a small city.
There will be opposition from these three racinos but it would make sense to open betting parlour type venues in other places to maximise Delaware sports betting turnover and therein the amount of money which will go back into local government, local businesses and even good causes.
888, already providing Delaware with a platform for online poker and its state lottery, seems the obvious candidate to provide its business acumen and technology to run an online Delaware sports betting business for the state and the states racinos – its introduction is surely only a matter of time.