Delaware first introduced parlay sports betting in 1976 allowing gamblers to place wagers on the outcome of multiple sporting events. This particular betting product failed to grow in popularity, and lasted for only one year before being retired.
However, when the federal ban came into place 15 years later following the passing of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the state had earned a partial exclusion thanks to its earlier foray into the world of sports betting. As a result, 2009 saw the state reintroduce parlay betting known as the ‘sports lottery’, but an attempt by then Governor Jack Markell to expand this to full scale sports betting ultimately failed.
July 26th, 2017 saw Governor John Carney sign the Delaware Interactive Fantasy Contest Act into law by Governor John Carney making Delaware one of the very few states in the US that had a regulated Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) market.
Then, on June 5th, 2018, Delaware became the first state other than Nevada to offer legal sports betting. This followed the US Supreme Court ruling on May 14th 2018 that PASPA was unconstitutional. Following the ruling, Delaware lawmakers quickly agreed that the state’s existing gambling legislation required no amendments and sports betting was cleared for a launch on June 5th. On that day, Governor Carney placed the first bet at Delaware Park.
Who regulates the Delaware sports betting industry?
The Delaware Lottery regulates sports betting in Delaware overseeing the licensing process, implementing any changes in rules, and ensuring that the state’s three licensed sportsbooks follow industry regulations.
The lottery has also signed an exclusive agreement with William Hill to supply the state’s three casinos with sports betting services and products. This agreement means that none of the three licensed casinos are allowed to agree additional partnerships with sports betting operators.
Which legal sportsbooks are available in New Jersey?
According to the state’s sports betting regulator, the Delaware Lottery, sports betting can only be provided at the state’s three racetrack casinos or racinos as they are more commonly known.
All sportsbook operations at each of the three racinos are provided by William Hill.
The three racinos are:
Delaware Park Casino
Delaware Park sportsbook features tellers, betting kiosks, screen to view the live action, and plenty of comfortable seating for gamblers. Located right by the casino, the sportsbook also has trackside tellers and terminals for those who want to bet while on the track itself.
Harrington Raceway & Casino
The sportsbook at Harrington Raceway & Casino is located in Murphy’s Grill and features 50 large-screen TVs and tellers to take your bets on both races at the track and a variety of professional and collegiate sports.
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
Like the sportsbook at Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs sportsbook places a heavy emphasis on the comfort of its players. The sportsbook features multiple screens for viewing live events, plenty of seating, a live odds board, and an extensive bar and food menu.
Sports betting apps in Delaware
The state’s lawmakers have agreed that the existing gambling legislation also covers online sports betting making it perfectly legal to place wagers online within the state. However, there have been no moves to establish a state-regulated online industry as of yet.
None of the three existing retail sportsbooks offer online wagering services and there are no plans to license online sportsbooks in the near future.
While there are many US-based online operators that will accept bets from gamblers based in Delaware, these operators are not licensed by the state.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Delaware
In 2017, Gov. John Carney signed HB 249 that legalized Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests in Delaware. The law sets out a licensing fee of $50,000 and a tax rate of 15% on gross revenue which is one of the highest tax rates for DFS operators in the US.
The legislation was necessitated by a 2016 decision by the office of Attorney General Matt Denn that DFS was illegal under state law. The office then began the process of issuing cease-and-desist letters to DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo DFS.
Following the passing of the new legislation all three operators applied for and were granted licenses.
Delaware Memorial Bridge Image credit: CanonJim / CC BY-SA 3.0
Delaware sports betting frequently asked questions
How old do you have to be to place bets at a Delaware sportsbook?
Gamblers must be 21 years of age or older to place a bet at one of the state's three racinos.
How old do you have to be to play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Delaware?
DFS players in Delaware must be 18 years or older.
What sports do Delaware sportsbooks offer odds on?
The three sportsbooks at Delaware's racinos are allowed to offer odds on all professional sports, Olympic events, and collegiate sports. However, they cannot accept bets on events that involve in-state college teams.
Is online sports betting available in Delaware?
No, although online sports betting is legal, there are no online sportsbooks licensed by the state.
Are there plans to allow more operators to enter the Delaware sports betting market?
No, the Delaware Lottery has no plans to license new operators nor to allow online sportsbooks to launch in the state.