Delaware to appeal sports betting ruling to Supreme Court

    As Delaware’s first season of sports betting winds down, Governor Jack Markell says the state will challenge the federal Appeals Court ruling that limited the Delaware to offering parlay bets on NFL games.

    As Delaware’s first season of sports betting winds down, Governor Jack Markell says the state will challenge the federal Appeals Court ruling that limited the Delaware to offering parlay bets on NFL games.  Governor Markell’s office confirms the First State will petition the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in August that shot down Delaware’s plan to offer single game betting on all sports.

    The state has retained the Washington D.C. firm of Sidley Austin to handle the appeal.  That firm specializes in Supreme Court work.

    The decision to move forward is based in part on the willingness of the state’s three racinos, Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway, to foot the bill for the appeal.  The three racinos are currently the only venues that can offer sports betting in Delaware.

    Governor Markell’s spokesman, Brian Selander, says the state will offer some new arguments in its appeal.

    The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Delaware’s plan to offer single game bets on all sports in late August, siding with the NFL, NCAA, and other pro leagues who challenged Delaware.  The Court ruled Delaware’s sports betting plan violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prohibits sports betting.  Delaware is one of four states with an exemption to PASPA, since it previously offered NFL parlay bets, but a three judge Third Circuit panel ruled narrowly that Delaware’s exemption is limited to the same NFL parlay bets it offered back in 1976.

    Delaware appealed that decision to the full Third Circuit and was turned down.

    The state expects to file its appeal by the end of the month, then will wait to hear if the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case.

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