Delaware Public Media

Delaware is first to roll out legal sports betting following Supreme Court ruling

Jun 5, 2018

Delaware is now the first state other than Nevada to launch full-scale sports betting.

The state rolled out legal sports betting Monday at all three of its racetrack casinos.

Gov. John Carney was the first to place a bet at Dover Downs.

“I want to place a ten dollar bet on the Philadelphia fighting’ Phils to beat the Chicago Cubs in Chicago tonight,” said Carney.

Delaware had a limited exemption from the previous federal sports betting ban—allowing it to offer on parlay pro football bets since 2009, and the state had already passed legislation allowing full-scale betting.

So when the Supreme Court lifted the ban on all single-game bets last month, Delaware casinos were quick to train their staff and use existing infrastructure to be first in offering the gambling expansion.

But Dover Downs CEO Ed Sutor says he does not suspect the addition will do much for casino revenue, because the house does not keep as high of a percentage on head-to-head bets.

“It’s not the new coming of slots. It’s not the silver bullet that’s going to solve our problems. We have a long way to go before we can get that, but certainly it’s a welcome addition to our amenities,” said Sutor.

The state of New Jersey is expected to follow Delaware in legalizing sports betting in the coming weeks.