At 9 a.m.: Day 5 of Public Impeachment Hearings

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    Governor Jack Markell calls sports betting appeal "prudent"

    Delaware Governor Jack Markell believes the decision to challenge August’s federal Appeals Court ruling limiting the amount of sports betting the state can allow to the U.S. Supreme Court is a “prudent” one based on the circumstances.

    Delaware Governor Jack Markell believes the decision to challenge August’s federal Appeals Court ruling limiting the amount of sports betting the state can allow to the U.S. Supreme Court is a “prudent” one based on the circumstances.

    Governor Markell says the willingness of the state’s three racinos, Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway,  to pay the legal costs for the challenge makse it a “no-risk” situation for the state.

    “I really wasn’t prepared to spend more of the taxpayers money,” said Markell. “The fact that they [the racinos] obviously have a lot at stake too, they were willing to fund it, it seem to me to be the prudent thing to do.”

    While Governor Markell is willing to move forward with the appeal, and the state has hired Washington D.C. based Sidley Austin, a law firm with experience taking cases to the nation’s highest court, to handle the petition, he cautions the odds are still long that Delaware will be allowed to offer bets beyond parlays on NFL games.

    “I’m not going to say it’s all that likely to actually happen.  The Supreme Court gets lots of applications.  They don’t take nearly as many as they get,”  Markell said.  “But since taxpayers are not paying for it, it seems to me a no risk thing worth looking at.”

    Markell says the state will offer some new arguments in its appeal of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that halted Delaware’s plan to offer single game bets on all sports.

    Delaware is expected to file its appeal to the Supreme Court by the end of the month.

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