Step up and place your bets! Sports betting comes to the state of Delaware Thursday. The First state hopes there’ll be enough interest in the parlay bet to attract gamblers from PA, NJ, MD, and DE to come to the state’s 3 racinos.
The NFL kicks off its season next Thursday with a prime-time match-up between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
On the same night, Delaware gaming officials say the state will be ready to kick off its era of legal sports betting.
“The people are hired, the people are trained, the equipment’s in, there’s no reason for us not to do it on Thursday,” said Ed Sutor, President and CEO of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. “So we’ll be ready.”
Sutor says he expects Delaware Park and Harrington Raceway and Casino to be ready as well.
The state’s three racinos pumped millions of dollars into its sports books in anticipation of single-game wagering, and betting on more than just NFL games.
But the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Delaware’s new sports betting lottery must be limited to parlay bets, and only on NFL games. Successful bettors must pick the winners of at least three games.
And while the August 31st ruling was considered by gaming proponents as a major disappointment, Sutor says he expects football fans to show up to his casino.
“Not the types of crowds that we would expect having Las Vegas-style gambling, but certainly there’s going to be curiosity seekers,” Sutor said. “And hopefully they do find that type of betting to be something they’re interested in. So we’re going to make the most of it.”
However, Sutor says the racinos are still waiting for some crucial details from the state lottery office. Such as guidelines on minimum and maximum dollar amounts per bet, and how far in advance a bet can be placed on a game.
Still, Sutor says his new facilities, which include a 200-seat race and sports book and an adjoining restaurant, will be ready to go.
“The room is up, it’s beautiful,” he said. “We have 60 TVs, everything’s bright and shiny and the food and beverage is flowing.