Delaware Governor John Carney placed the first official wager at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino’s Race & Sports Book, a $10 bet on the Philadelphia Phillies to defeat the Chicago Cubs in their Major League Baseball game on Tuesday night.
The expansion comes after the US Supreme Court’s decision on 14 May to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Professional football parlay cards have been available at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino since 2009, which allowed much of the infrastructure and oversight needed for expanded sports betting to already be in place. With Tuesday’s official opening, Delaware is the first state outside of Nevada to offer full sports betting.
“Delaware became ‘The First State’ not too far from here,” Mr. Carney said. “We’re delighted to be first again. I’m a big Philadelphia sports fan. I won’t be betting on any other teams except ones from Philadelphia. “For us, it’s really an enhancement of our tourism industry. It will attract a lot of visitors to our state. This will be another opportunity for them.””
Gamblers can place wagers on a wide variety of sports, including baseball, basketball, boxing/MMA, football, hockey and soccer. There are multiple ways to bet on all individual games, events and matches, such as parlays, futures, teasers, point spreads, over-unders and money lines. NFL and college football parlay cards will also still be available.
For select events, including major college bowl games and championship pro football games, proposition bets will also be offered. An example of a typical prop bet is, “Which team will score the first touchdown?”
At the Race & Sports Book’s big board, lines were posted on dozens of events, including World Cup soccer matches, Major League Baseball games, the NBA Finals, World Series odds, NFL Week 1 matchups and more. After Gov. Carney placed his wager, many gamblers lined up to take their chances on various bets.
“We’re excited about this new option for gamblers to enjoy,” said Ed Sutor, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino’s president and CEO. “Our football parlay cards have been popular for several years and these offerings give our guests plenty of additional avenues to test their skills.”
Auto racing lines, including NASCAR events hosted at Dover International Speedway and elsewhere around the country, are expected to be available by Friday, 8 June.
Betting lines are supplied by William Hill and Scientific, the Delaware Lottery’s vendor for sports betting.
Vernon Kirk, director of the Delaware Lottery, added: “In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on PASPA, we have been working with our long time sports providers Scientific Games and William Hill, as well as training our lottery and casino staff, so that we were ready to launch full-scale, head-to-head betting on single games.”
Since 2009, Scientific Games has managed an integrated sports betting program through Delaware Lottery retailers and casino sports books, working with William Hill, a leading global sports book operator for sports risk management services, and Stadium Technology Group, which provides the sports software used to take wagers in Delaware. The program has grown the Delaware Lottery’s sports betting revenues from $10m to more than $46m across a network of land-based casinos and lottery retailers in the state.
“As Delaware is known as ‘The First State’, it’s appropriate they were first in the nation to expand regulated sports betting after the PASPA ruling. We are proud to support the Delaware Lottery’s long history of industry firsts, and thrilled to be their trusted provider of an integrated sports betting program serving both casinos and lottery retailers across the state,” said Pat McHugh, Senior Vice President, Global Lottery Systems for Scientific Games.
“The combination of Scientific Games and NYX Gaming Group earlier this year created a global leader across iLottery, iGaming and sports betting that offers unrivaled capabilities to lotteries worldwide,” said Mr. McHugh. “As an integrated company, we are ready to serve our customers like the Delaware Lottery with the gaming entertainment industry’s leading platforms, content and services.”
The first day of full-scale sports betting brought in US$322,135 at Delaware’s three casinos