Delaware’s plans to raise revenue by offering sports betting have been dealt another blow.
Delaware’s plans to raise revenue by offering sports betting have been dealt another blow. In a written opinion released Monday by the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the state’s sports betting options have been strictly limited. Bets will only be allowed on NFL games, and bettors will have to bet at least three games in a parlay. That’s because the appeals court ruled that the bets Delaware offers must be in line with what was offered prior to the passage of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 1992. Parlay NFL bets were briefly offered by the state in 1976. That allowed sports betting to be grandfathered as legal in Delaware when PASPA was passed.
The strict limit on the state’s betting options will significantly limit the amount of revenue the state had hoped to raise, in part because of the seasonal nature of the NFL season. Sports betting parlors in the state’s three casinos will be vacant for much of the year when the NFL is in the off-season.
Governor Jack Markell (D-Delaware) says the state’s legal team is reviewing the opinion and exploring legal options. “While we are disappointed the decision does not provide the flexibility we had hoped for, Delaware is still the only state east of the Rocky Mountains that can offer a legal sports lottery on NFL football.”
Click here to see the complete appeal court opinion on sports betting.