Since the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on May 14, 2018, Delaware and New Jersey are racing to become the first states, other than Nevada, to offer full-scale sports gaming.
That could become a reality for Delaware considering the delay by New Jersey to launch sports betting at Monmouth Park.
After the PASPA ruling, the Oceanport venue reportedly said that it would be ready to roll by May 28, however, in a statement in a press release, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney put those plans on hold saying, “New Jersey will continue to be the leader on sports betting but we want to ensure its long-term success with the right rules and procedures in place,” according to a Thursday report from Delaware Online.
Meanwhile, a May 17 statement issued by Delaware Gov. John Carney’s office conveyed that the state intends to operate its gaming program via the Delaware Lottery and anticipates a June launch date.
The statement from the Department of Finance and the Attorney General’s Office reads:
“The Delaware Department of Finance, in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office, has determined that there are no legal obstacles to moving forward with full-scale sports betting in Delaware, including head-to-head betting, which permits single-game wagering. Under state law passed in 2009, Delaware may authorize betting on professional and collegiate sports, with the exception of games involving Delaware-based teams.”
Thanks to the 2009 state law and PASPA being overturned by the Supreme Court, Delaware could be all systems go by the first week in June.
According to Delaware Online, Secretary of Finance for the State of Delaware Rick Geisenberger said, “We’re starting training next week.”
“Our hope is to get that complete next week and then it’s a question of testing software. But this will be a conversation with the casinos and we’ll start when we’re ready and they’re ready,” added Geisenberger.
Delaware Online reports that for now, the tentative plan out of the governor’s office is to allow gamblers to wager on the NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL and college sports teams not located within the state only at Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs and Delaware Park, the state’s three racinos. According to the news agency, no wagering will be permitted on any sports teams within Delaware.
Denis McGlynn, CEO of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, reportedly said, “I think we’re going to beat New Jersey to the punch but they won’t be far behind.” He added that he believes that Pennsylvania and then Maryland will be next. Time will tell if he’s correct.