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April 16, 2009 · Posted in BetUS, Online Gambling, Poker Online, Poker Tournaments · Comment 

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Delaware Prepares for Gambling Revenue

Delaware Prepares for Sports Betting, Slot Gambling

Parlay betting on NFL games under the lottery system was allowed in Oregon from 1989 until 2006, when state lawmakers voted to end it. It wasn’t because of pressure from the NFL. And it wasn’t because bettor interest had declined – in 2006, sales for the so-called sports lottery increased for a fifth consecutive year and set a record of $14,000,000.

Sports Betting at Sportsbook.comOregon Lottery spokesman, Chuck Baumann said, “The rationale was that the state could realize more economic benefit from hosting NCAA basketball tournament games. The NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball committee had made clear that if sports betting existed in Oregon, tournament games would not.” In March, 1st and 2nd round games will be played in Portland, the states first men’s tournament games since 1983.

While lawmakers in Delaware are considering to allow pro and college sports parlay betting, they say they aren’t worrying much about pressure from the NCAA, NFL or any other sports organization. Though it is anticipated that such opposition will vigorously come, since all of the major sporting organizations strongly oppose states legalizing and promoting their sporting events.

But there are no venues in Delaware that are large enough for an event the size of an NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and legislators, facing a projected $600 million deficit for fiscal 2010 and threats to the state’s lucrative gaming industry, are unlikely to be swayed by impact on possible NCAA post-season home games for the University of Delaware or Delaware State.

We have been lobbying for the NFL to come in. They say they don’t want to be associated with gambling. With no disrespect intended, I think that boat has already sailed.

Tony DeLuca
Delaware state majority leader

The primary obstacles to passage of a bill by legislators are mechanical issues:

  1. Whether sports betting would be limited to casinos at the state’s three horse racing tracks;
  2. The cost of licensing and specifics of who the betting would work.

Sports Betting at superbook.com

There are all kinds of people in Delaware with vested interests and there is sure to be lively debate, and legislators feel strongly that a bill will be successful. This is not only a function of potential revenue gain, but also prevention of projected revenue loss. Delaware has a lottery, slot machines, and horse racing. In fiscal 2008, it got more than $250 million of its $3.3 billion budget from slots and the lottery – $213 million from slots. That makes the lottery and slots the state’s #4 income source to personal income taxes, franchise taxes, and abandoned property.

Even without the budget deficit, we have to stay competitive. The bottom line with sports betting is that only Delaware can do it east of the Mississippi. Federal law allows it in Nevada and Montana. Sports betting can draw people away from the other states. And while there is money to be made on sports betting, the real dollars are in the carryover to casinos, in slot play, and in meals.

Pete Schwartzkopf
Delaware House Speaker

Pennsylvania introduced slot machines in 2007, neighboring Maryland voters approved slots in November, which could start operating in 2010. Delaware has avoided large revenue losses to Pennsylvania by adding slot machines, extending hours, and using promotions. Without sports betting, Delaware could lose $70 million per year in revenue once Maryland’s slots are fully operational.

Sports Betting Might Return to Delaware

Lottery-style Wagering on the Agenda

Legal, lottery-style betting on professional and college sports events might be coming to Delaware. Several recent developments could prompt lawmakers to activate the state’s exemption from the 1992 federal law that generally bans such gambling.

Sports Betting at Sportsbook.comThe governor who opposed sports betting has departed after serving two four-year terms, the maximum allowed. The state projects an estimated $600,000,000 budget deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1st. Horse racing and slot machines, which have been the pillars of Delaware’s gaming industry, are up against challenges from the introduction and approval of slot machines in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Sports Betting at Superbook.comDelaware’s House of Representatives passed a sports-betting bill in 2008, but it didn’t get past a state Senate committee because of disagreements over operational details, as well as then-Governor Ruth Ann Minner’s opposition.

House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf and Senate Majority Leader Tony DeLuca say a sports betting bill will be introduced after legislators reconvene March 17th. “A properly written bill stands a pretty good chance” of becoming law, Schwartzkopf said.

The Governor has asked the state’s finance office to speak with companines that would be interested in running a sports lottery about the amounts of direct and ancillary revenue this type of betting could produce.

Sports Betting at BetUS.comDelaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon have exceptions to the federal sports-betting ban because they had forms of legalized pro and college sports betting before or close to the time when legislation was introduced in 1991. Nevada was the only state with largely unlimited sports betting. Delaware and Oregon had operated sports lotteries, so-named because they require players to wager on more than one outcome in a single bet, know as a parlay. Doing so creates more of an element of chance than is involved with betting on a single outcome in a sporting event.

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