Delaware Park purses could benefit from expanded sports wagering

Delaware Park purses could benefit from expanded sports wagering

Chad B. Harmon

Delaware Park to Offer Full Sports Wagering Next Week

State will allow wagering on single-game events beginning June 5.

When horseplayers arrive at Delaware Park to wager on the live card and the simulcast of the Belmont Stakes (G1) June 9, they'll also be able to wager on single-game sports contests.

Delaware, which has long offered sports parlay cards, will expand its sports-wagering menu to include single-game events beginning June 5 at its three casinos: Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway. The expansion follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for states to offer sports gambling—or, in the case of Delaware, expanded sports gambling.

At the Delaware casinos, bettors will be able to wager on single events of professional baseball, football, hockey, soccer, golf, and auto racing. 

Expanded sports wagering should increase the amount of money generated for tracks and purses in the state. For the most recent six months tracked, ending Feb. 4, parlay sports wagering at Delaware Park generated $1,232,282 for the track and $292,820 for Thoroughbred purses.

The Delaware Department of Finance, in consultation with the attorney general's office, found no legal obstacles to moving forward with full-scale sports betting in Delaware following the U.S. Supreme Court decision May 14 to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Under state law passed in 2009, Delaware may authorize betting on professional and collegiate sports, with the exception of games involving Delaware-based teams.

Delaware Gov. John Carney said the state is in position to move forward with the expansion.

"Delaware has all necessary legal and regulatory authority to move forward with a full-scale sports gaming operation, and we look forward to next week's launch," Carney said. "We're hopeful that this will bring even more visitors into Delaware to see firsthand what our state has to offer."

To prepare and educate new consumers, the Delaware Lottery has published an online "how-to-bet guide" for SportsPick, the Delaware sports gaming product. Individual games generally will be offered at 11-10 odds, according to the site.

"We have worked closely with Delaware's three casinos to train lottery and casino staff in preparation for a launch of expanded sports betting, and Delaware is prepared to move forward," said Rick Geisenberger, secretary of the Delaware Department of Finance, which oversees the Delaware Lottery. "We will continue to provide public updates and additional information through the Delaware Lottery ahead of next week's launch."