Delaware will begin offering Las Vegas-style sports betting at its three casinos on Tuesday, becoming the first state to open for business since the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on state-sponsored sports gambling three weeks ago.
Delaware Park, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and Harrington Raceway & Casino will begin taking single-game bets on baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, golf and auto racing at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the state announced Thursday.
Delaware has offered parlay wagers on the NFL through the state lottery since 2009, requiring bettors to make at least three picks per wager. Roughly $46 million was bet legally on the NFL in Delaware in 2017.
On May 14, the Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), the federal prohibition on state-sponsored sports betting, was unconstitutional, opening up a path for states interested in legalizing sports betting to do so.
Delaware was one of a handful of states that received an exemption from PASPA, but was restricted to parlay wagers on only professional football. Starting Tuesday, single-game wagers will be allowed on anything except games involving Delaware-based teams.
The Delaware Department of Finance and the state attorney general’s office determined that the state could move forward with a full sports betting menu under existing law.
“Delaware has all necessary legal and regulatory authority to move forward with a full-scale sports gaming operation, and we look forward to next week’s launch,” Delaware Gov. John Carney said in a release. “We’re hopeful that this will bring even more visitors into Delaware to see firsthand what our state has to offer.”
New Jersey, which battled the NCAA, NFL and other major professional sports leagues in court for six years, is also hoping to begin offering sports betting in June. A sports betting bill is advancing in the legislature and headed for a vote on June 7.
Mississippi, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are among the states quickly preparing to get into the sports betting game.
Lawyers for the five sports leagues that lost the Supreme Court sports betting case have responded to a legal claim filed last week seeking $3.4 million and other damages stemming from the lawsuit.
According to court documents, attorneys for the NFL, NCAA, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball describe attempts by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA) to recover money from a 2014 bond and other alleged damages as “meritless, if not frivolous.”
“NJTHA is entitled to no recovery as a matter of law,” wrote attorneys for the five leagues in a three-page letter dated May 29. The letter suggests the leagues will also oppose any efforts to conduct additional depositions of various commissioners and other league executives. Judge Michael Shipp — the same judge who first heard the lawsuit that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court — will preside over the renewed dispute.
Last week, the NJTHA, a group associated with the Monmouth Park racetrack and casino that had previously built out a sportsbook on-site, filed a 45-page brief in support of its motion “for judgment on $3.4 million injunction bond plus interest and damages.”
Lawyers for the NJTHA informed Shipp via an accompanying letter that the motion would also seek a judgment “declaring that the Leagues acted in bad faith by wrongfully blocking the NJTHA from operating a sports betting venue at Monmouth Park.”
NJTHA attorneys requested that Shipp order an evidentiary hearing, too.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is not part of the NJTHA’s claim against the five leagues.
Shipp has set June 18 as the tentative date for a ruling on the issue.