Delaware was the first country to initiate sports betting outside Nevada, soon after the conclusion of PASPA, with a single-game bet and a potential bet. After the court ruling, Delaware acted too swiftly to start a sports betting company, battling New Jersey, which ended PASPA. In June 2018, three national casinos began betting. Delaware is one of the small states which had a form of legal sports betting in the PASPA period before. The state passed a law in 2009 that allowed the lottery to sell its parlay product in extended shapes.
In 1976, the lottery developed a series of parlays to gamble on the outcome of certain sporting events. The commodity only lasted one season, but more than 15 years later it was sufficient for the state to be partially excluded from the federal ban. The State then reinstituted parlays.
Thanks to its becoming the first of 13 colonies to ratify the US Constitution, Delaware has its surname "The First State." The nickname also applies to sports betting for other reasons.
Delaware was the first country in 2012 to regulate online gaming. It was also the first state that legalized sports betting since the federal ban was repealed in 2018 by the US Supreme Court against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
Over the years, Delaware has permitted different styles of play.
Horse racing was common in the state for many decades until Delaware legalized pari-mutuel settings for the first time in 1933.
The Delaware Park Racetrack was first opened in 1937 and is in operation today with three race tracks. Harrington Raceway and Dover Downs are still now running (opened in 1946). (opened 1969). Dover Downs is also twice as a NASCAR venue. A major event in the history of Delaware gambling came in 1994 with the passage of the Horse Racing Preservation Act. The new law allowed the state’s three racetracks to begin operating slots-like video lottery machines, the first of which were installed a year later. Then in 2009 lawmakers passed legislation that would allow the racetracks to add other casino games. Starting in 2010, the racetracks began spreading blackjack, craps, poker, roulette and other games, thereby becoming full-fledged racinos.
Two years later, the 2012 Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act became law, which allowed Delaware Lottery to begin selling lottery tickets and offering online casino games, including online poker. This made Delaware the first state to become lawful online gaming, followed by Nevada, then New Jersey, shortly afterward.
Delaware's first online gaming portal was launched in November 2013 with a single provider infrastructure operated by scientific games (casino) and 888 holdings (poker). Each one of the three racinos — Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway — has its own named portal.
First established in 1975. The Delaware Lottery. The Delaware Lottery approved wagering for three Team NFL parlaies during the 1976 football season. This sports betting trial did not take a long time, but it did have significant implications.
In 1992 the federal statute prohibited sports betting, the above-noted PASPA, from being offered by States other than Nevada. However, it was one of a few countries that gave an exception to the ban, due to the former Delaware Dalliance with sports betting.
This exemption allowed Delaware to begin taking sports bets on NFL games from 2009 onwards on three racetracks. Once more, only parlay bets is permitted (i.e. no actual game bets), but with some additional changes. Super Bowl's future was also added after a number of years.
In 2010 Delaware tried to contest the bill to extend its offers on sports betting. Neven so before the US Higher Court decided in May 2018 that PASPA is unconstitutional, none of these attempts succeeded. Delaware also allowed increased sports betting within one week and became the first jurisdiction to do so.
As noted, the three Delaware racetracks were all already accepting sports wagers prior to 2018.
Delaware Park Racetrack (Wilmington)
Dover Downs (Dover)
Harrington Raceway & Casino (Harrington)
Since then, each has expanded its offerings with larger, Vegas-style sportsbooks. That said, the NFL parlay cards — aka the Sports Pick cards — remain quite popular among bettors given their history in DE.
Since the Delaware Lottery oversees each of the sportsbooks, all three share a lot in common as far as what they offer. William Hill supplies sports betting for all three. Bettors must go to the racinos in order to place their wagers. That is to say, there is no online option available.
The state's laws online sports gaming. But Delaware has not started online sportsbooks yet.
Officials at Delaware Lottery have suggested that in the immediate future they are going to renew the concept of adding smartphone and Online options for bettors.
The Delaware sportsbooks give bettors a variety of sports to bet on, both professional and collegiate. Football is by far the most popular sport for betting, with the sportsbooks even opening an hour earlier on the weekends during the season.
Sports on which bettors can place wagers in Delaware include:
Mixed martial arts (MMA)
Moneyline bets — “straight up” bets on a team or player to win.
Spread bets — bets on a game’s point spread; e.g., for a bet on the Philadelphia 76ers as a 4.5-point favorite (-4.5), they must win by five or more for the bet to be a winner.
Over/under bets — also called totals bets, are bets on the total number of points that both teams will combine to score in a game.
Parlays — a type of bet that combines multiple bets as one, with each “leg” having to win for the parlay to win; “half-point parlay cards” (for which all spreads feature half-points, e.g., -3.5, +7.5, etc.) are a favorite in Delaware.
Round robin bets — a type of parlay betting involving multiple parlay bets that allows bettors to win partial payouts even if one leg loses.
Teasers — bets in which the point spread is altered or “teased,” thereby creating a different payout; Delaware sportsbooks offer regular teasers, super teasers, and reverse teasers (the difference having to do with how much the spread is altered).
Props — short for “proposition bets,” these are wagers on particular events within a game, such as how many points a particular player will score or which team will score the first touchdown.
Futures — a bet placed on an event the outcome of which will be determined at a future date; e.g., a bet before or during the NFL season on which team will win the Super Bowl.
Those wishing to place a bet at any of the Delaware sportsbooks must be at least 21 years old.
Meanwhile, the minimum age to bet on horse races in Delaware is 18 years old.
Delaware has a couple of universities with teams competing at the Division I level — the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens and the Delaware State Hornets and Lady Hornets. However, Delaware’s sports betting law is such that sportsbooks are not allowed to accept bets on games involving Delaware schools. Again, schools from surrounding states tend to draw support as well as betting action from Delaware. These include:
The Delaware Lottery oversees all sports betting in the state, as well as other types of gambling (both live and retail).