Change in Legislation to Allow Online Betting in Delaware?

Passage of Bill S 183 could see sports betting grow further in Delaware, with online betting through mobile devices and single sports wagering.

The S183 Bill

Delaware Sports Lottery recently reported a 4% year on year growth of NFL parlay cards sales for the 2015-2016 season; NFL parlay game is offered at all three of the state sportsbooks and 100 retailers across the state. However, Senator Brian Bushweller has introduces Bill S183, which aims to allow employment and reinvestment in the state’s video lottery facilities, as well as allow lottery agents to convene online betting once administrative and vendor costs are paid, to foster further growth of the industry. If the bill passes, players would be able to legally place online bets using their desktop and mobile devices.

No PASPA but issues

Delaware was one of the four states originally exempt from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 1992. They relaunched their Pro Football Parlay Card Wagering system in 2009. The state also tried to offer single sports wagering to their players but was not allowed to, as a federal court ruling decided against it.

Nonetheless, sports betting has proved hugely successful in Delaware; they reported revenues of $10.9 million in 2009 which grew to $39.4 million by 2015. They experienced a year over year growth of 28% in each of the first two years which has since then slowed down; Vernon Kirk, director of the Delaware Lottery, stated that sports betting may be close to finding its ceiling but there is further room for growth before they plateau. He also mention that the recent drop in tax revenues coming from the casinos could be compensated for, if the legislation passed and boosted gaming revenues.

Nevada is what everyone wants to be

Nevada is the only state that can participate in legal online sports betting and their projections for growth and profits are enough to attract Delaware to follow suit. Mobile sports betting grew from being 13% of Nevada’s handle in 2012 to 29% in 2015; and according to research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, it is expected to grow to 51% by the year 2020. Delaware already offers online poker facilities to the players and therefore launching an online sports wagering platform, which makes use of the same technology, would be an easy feat.

The Bill was originally introduced without the sports betting clause in 2015 but failed to generate much traction; it is expected to conjure more interest this time around. Passage of the bill might only yield small changes in the near future but it could change the trend for the future. If the New Jersey Sports Betting case rehearing produces a favourable verdict, Delaware would soon be able to offer single sport bets on their already optimised mobile platform.

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