Sports betting is now legal in the state of Delaware. It is available at three of the state’s casino’s: Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway. And it will soon be available online within the state.
Delaware became the first state to legalize sports gambling following the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn a 1992 law which banned all states besides Nevada from having legal sports gambling.
That said, there remains a confusing array of options on a per-state basis, so we’ve put together this guide on where and how to bet on sports in Delaware.
Is sports betting legal in Delaware?
You bet it is. Beginning on June 5, 2018, Delaware began accepting sports wagers at Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway. Governor John Carney placed the first bet– a $10 winning bet on the Phillies.
Delaware became the first state in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to enact legal sports betting outside of Nevada. The reason for this is largely due to the fact that they already had the infrastructure in place. They had previously allowed parlay bets on NFL games. Here’s a description from the New York Times:
When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was enacted in 1992, it included an exemption that allowed Delaware, Montana, Oregon and Nevada to continue at least some sports-betting operations.
In Delaware, that was a very niche product of parlay-style wagering on N.F.L. football, Ms. Slane said. That long-existing structure also helped Delaware take the lead.
So turning on the switch, so to speak, for more traditional forms of sports betting was easy.
Is online sports betting legal in Delaware?
Not yet. Online sportsbooks are coming soon – likely sometime in the summer of 2018 – to Delaware, but they were not legal as of the state’s launch of casino-based sportsbooks. Lawmakers likely want to see how that goes first before making it available online.
Once Delaware sports betting goes online, we expect the traditional players, like DraftKings, FanDuel and William Hill, to have a presence in the state.
Those companies have been striking partnerships with various land-based casinos. What the platforms will look like – whether white-labeled for a casino or part of the canonical app – remains to be seen, but DraftKings and FanDuel seem particularly well-positioned to take advantage of the online betting boom.
What types of bets will I be able to place?
The Delaware Lottery’s website has posted a list of all the types of action available in the state. It is what you would expect.
Types of sports bets accepted in Delaware
Straight bet: Either point spread, moneyline or game total.
Parlay: A bet that combines multiple bets into one.
Futures: An event that will happen in the future, like a bet on a team to win the Super Bowl.
Prop bets: Bets the focus on specific events within a game (more on this in a second).
Teasers: Bets where the lines is adjusted on more than one game.
We’ve put together a beginner’s guide to sports gambling that includes details on each of these formats.
All or some of these options will be available on football, basketball, hockey, boxing and MMA, baseball and auto racing.
Is daily fantasy legal in Delaware?
It is. In 2016, Delaware was one of a number of states that pushed back against daily fantasy companies like DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo. They sent cease-and-desist letters to them. The daily fantasy companies successfully fought back, arguing that their product was a game of skill, and in 2017 daily fantasy was legalized in the state.
It seemed only a matter of time before sports betting was legalized in Delaware. Those companies are now in a position to take advantage.
Delaware sports betting sites
As noted earlier, online sportsbooks are not yet legal in Delaware, but we expect them to come soon.
DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill are the likely candidates to have action ready to go for the start of football season.
In New Jersey, DraftKings has partnered with Resorts, and it seems only a matter of time that they might do something similar with a Delaware-based casino.
Paddy Power Betfair, a UK-based sports betting company, bought a 61% stake in FanDuel. The combined entity will undoubtedly leverage the resources of the gambling incumbent to create compelling betting products in Delaware and elsewhere. Paddy Power Betfair contributed $158 million to go along with FanDuel’s $76 million to fund new operations.
Will there be sports betting apps in Delaware?
Geo-fencing is already used in both DraftKings and FanDuel apps. This means players have to prove with GPS that they are located in the state. This technology has been proven to work and will surely pin legal online sports betting options.
There is some thought that these larger platforms or iGaming developers will partner with or create white-labeled apps for licensed local operators.
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Will sports betting in Delaware be as big as New Jersey?
Not if you believe politicians. On June 7, the New Jersey senate unanimously approved a bill 37-0 to legalize sports betting in New Jersey. Senate President Stephen Sweeney laid into Delaware:
Whatever the delay, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said New Jersey’s sports betting scene will be bigger and better than Delaware’s.
“I don’t really care,” Sweeney said earlier this week when asked if he was disappointed that Delaware got a jump-start on New Jersey. “We’re going to do more than they’re ever going to do. It’s Delaware. They’re a small state. They got a racetrack. We got a bunch of casinos and racetracks.”
Fighting words, I suppose. There will be no real competition between Delaware and New Jersey, though casinos in both states are within driving distance, so there could be some level of competitiveness between individual operators.
What about legal sports betting in Pennsylvania?
That’s coming, too. Pennsylvania had already approved a bill to legalize it, but thus far no casinos have applied for a license, which reportedly takes 120 days to be granted. They will have to get on it if they want to be ready to go for football season.
Does Delaware publicize its sports betting proceeds?
You bet they do (sorry, couldn’t resist). They post the net wagers and proceeds on a monthly basis on their lottery website.
What about real-time and prop bets?
One of the big growth areas for legal sports betting in the US is real-time and prop bets. This is huge in Europe, where gambling on sports is legal. Up to 70% of the bets are some form of real-time prop bet. With mobile betting sure to be a big hit, the ability to place real-time, in-game bets means prop bets may be the future.
There you have it. Delaware earns its reputation as the first state. Keep checking back for updates on where and how to bet on sports in Delaware.
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