Delaware launches sports betting

    Delaware is officially back in the sports betting business. At 10 am Thursday, Delaware started taking bets for the first time since a failed sports betting lottery in the mid 1970’s.

    Delaware is officially back in the sports betting business.  At 10 am Thursday, Delaware started taking bets for the first time since a failed sports betting lottery in the mid 1970’s.

    The First State is legally limited to offering parlay bets on three or more NFL games – and so that’s what Delaware’s three racinos started taking Thursday morning.

    Bill Mele was first in line at Dover Downs, celebrating his 57th birthday by making six dollars worth of wagers. “Through the years, I’ve bet football, but I’ve never had a venue such as this to bet – and I think its really nice. ?” said Mele  “And I’m seven miles down the road, so, quite convenient.”

    In the first hour at Dover Downs, about a dozen people joined Mele in placing bets.  Among them was John Roy, who admitted being limited to parlay bets was a bit discouraging. “I think any guy would like to bet the Eagles against the Giants, or the Eagles against the Redskins and make one bet on that.  But it is what it is.  You have to bet three teams and that’s the rule and that’s what you do.  It didn’t stop me from coming.”

    The State and racinos had hoped to roll out single game betting on all sports, but Dover Downs president Ed Sutor hopes they can make do with parlays.  “There is no credible revenue estimates, either from us or anybody else.  We’re absoultely not sure.”  Sutor said.   “But long term we think its going to be a supplement to our table games, and that is very profitable.  So we’ll be able to make the money, the investment back that we have here, if we can get table games, and hopefully soon.”

    Delaware Park President Bill Fasy agrees ” Over the last week, it’s been building up.  The whole management team was walking around yesterday saying this isn’t all that bad.  Look  at these bets, look at the points.”  Fasy said. “I’m encouraged by the opportunity.  The excitement’s here.  I’m going to call it “parlaymania’.”

    State officials do still have avenues they can pursue to expand the scope of sport betting in Delaware.

    Earlier this week, The state asked U.S District Court in Delaware to consider the legality of two game parlays. The state also has until Monday to challenge the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision limiting Delaware to parlays. State officials today were still not indicating whether or not they would follow an appeal.

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