As the First State in the union, Delaware has often been at the forefront of progressive changes in the country. The state’s approach to sports betting is no exception.
Ever since the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting in 2018, Delaware has worked to create a sports betting framework that is both accessible for bettors and ensures a fair playing field for operators. In this article, we will dive deep into the intricacies of Delaware’s sports betting laws and what they mean for both businesses and individuals.
- The Pre-PASPA Era: Prior to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, Delaware had briefly permitted a form of sports betting during the 1976 season. This attempt, however, lasted for just one season due to various legal challenges and the state’s financial burdens.
- Post-PASPA Dynamics: With the introduction of PASPA, sports betting was effectively outlawed in all states except Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware. Of these, only Delaware leveraged its exemption to offer parlay betting on NFL games through its state lottery during this era.
Key Provisions of Delaware’s Sports Betting Laws
- Legal Framework: In June 2018, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA, Delaware moved swiftly to implement full-scale sports betting. The Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) oversees all sports betting activities in the state.
- Where You Can Bet: Delaware offers sports betting at its three brick-and-mortar casinos: Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway & Casino. Additionally, retailers previously offering parlay cards for the state lottery have been permitted to continue this service.
Types of Permitted Bets
Delaware’s sports betting legislation is fairly comprehensive, covering a wide range of betting types by the best sports books:
- Straight bets: These are wagers on a single game or event that can be based on a point spread, money line, or over/under total.
- Parlay bets: A single bet that links two or more individual bets for a high payout.
- Teasers: A type of parlay where you adjust the point spread or total of the individual bets.
- Futures: These are bets on events that will happen in the future, like who will win the next Super Bowl.
- Proposition bets: Wagers on a specific occurrence within a game, such as which team will score the first touchdown.
Online and Mobile Betting
- Current Status: At present, online sports betting is not permitted in Delaware. This is in contrast to the online casino games and poker that Delawareans have had access to since 2013.
- Potential for Change: There have been discussions within legislative circles regarding the potential for introducing online and mobile betting in Delaware. Any such move would require amendments to current legislation and a robust regulatory framework to ensure compliance and player protection.
Responsible Gaming and Player Protection
Delaware takes the issue of problem gambling seriously. The state has put in place several measures to ensure that sports betting remains a source of entertainment and not a cause of distress for its residents:
- Self-Exclusion Program: Individuals can voluntarily request to be excluded from all of Delaware’s gambling establishments, including sports betting venues.
- Information and Resources: Betting establishments are required to provide clear information on responsible gambling and direct individuals to resources that can help with gambling-related problems.
- Age Restrictions: Sports betting is strictly limited to those aged 21 and over.
Delaware’s sports betting landscape is a testament to the state’s proactive stance on gambling as both an avenue for entertainment and a potential source of state revenue.
While currently limited to brick-and-mortar establishments, there is potential for growth in the online and mobile betting sectors.
As the industry evolves, bettors and operators alike can expect Delaware to remain at the forefront of legislative and regulatory advancements, ensuring a safe and enjoyable betting environment for all.