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The federal government has lifted the ban on sports betting, and a few states have already embraced this by making it legal. Delaware is one of those states, and they were the first ones, outside of Nevada, to implement a sports gaming operation. Let’s take a look inside the sports betting industry within the state of Delaware.
Where To Bet In Delaware
Delaware has three casinos that offer full-scale sports wagering- Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway & Casino. Dover Downs is where the first legal sports wager was placed in the state, and it was done by Governor John Carney. He walked up to the window and placed a $10.00 bet on the Philadelphia Phillies to beat the Cubs. He won the bet, thus ushering in a new era for sports gamblers in the United States. By the way, if that whole politics thing doesn't work out, Carney, and his 91% ROI may have a future as a handicapper. Dover Downs is located adjacent to the Monster Mile at the famed Dover International Speedway. It offers live sports betting during the NFL season, as well as a wide variety of Las Vegas-type wagering options. It is open 24 hours a day.
Delaware Park is the state’s only major thoroughbred horse racing track. In addition to sports and horse wagering, it is also home to a Las Vegas-style Casino that offers exciting slot and table play, along with a live poker room. Harrington Raceway is the 3rd sportsbook that provides sports wagering. It has the nickname of “Racino” and is a full-service sport, horse, and casino betting destination. Gamblers can bet on the NFL in the sportsbook, as well as a full array of casino games and a poker room featuring both tournament and live play.
It Started Off With A Bang, But Then Fizzled Some
Delaware now offers single-game wagering on professional baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, golf, and auto racing. Before the ruling, they allowed just parlays on football. Sports betting is profitable, and Delaware showed that by raking in one million dollars of revenue over the first three weeks. About 70,000 wagers for a total of just over $7 million in bets were placed across three locations from June 5th to June 24th. Bettors took home six million dollars over that stretch. The state has made $52,600 per day from legal betting since the start of their campaign.
It has slowed down a bit lately as just $8.2 million in wagers were placed from June 25th to July 29th. The state brought in "just $527,000" over revenue over that stretch. That has to be divided between the state, its three casinos and the vendors supplying sports betting. It isn’t a surprise that the numbers were down over the 2nd period as July is one of the deadest months for sports betting. It should start to pick up now that we are inching closer to the start of football season.
Who Runs The Sportsbooks?
Delaware realized that they are not adept at running a sportsbook, so they look for some outside help to get them through it. The first is Brandywine Bookmaking, which has been bought out by William Hill and is based in Las Vegas. They currently operate 11 Lucky's sports books throughout Nevada. At the head of Brandywine is John Asher, who grew up in Delaware and worked at several racetracks. Asher has one of the legendary linemakers on his team in Jimmy Vaccaro, who has opened and run sports books at the Barbary Coast, MGM Grand, Golden Nugget and Mirage in Las Vegas. He will have primary responsibilities for setting and managing the lines in Delaware as he does at the Lucky's locations in Nevada. The lines should be very comparable to those in Vegas.
The next group that has been contracted to help out Delaware is Scientific Games. They will be the primary service provider for the sportsbooks and provide a wide range of supplies and infrastructure to the lottery and gaming industries. They operate in more than 60 countries and had revenues exceeding $1.1 billion in back in 2008. Scientific Games has already overseen the Delaware Lottery’s growth from $10 million to over $46 million across a network of casino and lottery retailers in the state. They will get a portion of the revenue from the sports book operations, and that they will split that with the other operating partners.