Sorry New Jersey, but tiny Delaware has won the race to be the first state to offer regulated sports betting since the US Supreme Court left that decision in the hands of the states. Starting next week, residents of and visitors to, Delaware will have the opportunity to engage in legal sports betting of all kinds.
As of 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 5, all three of Delaware’s licensed casinos will be offering single game wagers, futures and all the standard sports bets. Players will be able to wager on all sports, including college football when the season starts in August.
Delaware was uniquely positioned to win this honor thanks to a quirk in the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the bill that made sports betting illegal in the first place. PASPA grandfathered in states that offered regulated forms of sports betting at the time the bill was passed. Since Delaware offered a form of parlay football wagering, it was allowed to stay in the game, as it were.
That unique position also provided Delaware with the necessary regulatory framework to expand its tiny wagering options into something much more substantial. An excited Delaware Governor John Carney told reporters:
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. We’re hopeful that this will bring even more visitors into Delaware to see firsthand what our state has to offer.
In preparation for Tuesday’s sports betting launch, the state is publishing a series of online tutorials explaining various forms of sports betting to the state’s newly minted punters.
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