Delaware to be the first state to take advantage of new sports betting rules

Delaware will open its betting on June 5. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Delaware will open its betting on June 5. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Delaware will be the first state to take advantage of the recent decision to legalize sports betting across the United States, per A.J. Perez of USA Today. All three casinos in the state will launch sports betting on June 5.

Sports betting was legalized on May 14

On May 14, the Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional, allowing for sports betting across the United States. Led by former New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s appeal of a 2012 decision that upheld PASPA in district court, states can now collect taxes on sports gambling without punishment. Previous to that, only Nevada was allowed to do so.

New Jersey was set to be the first state to open sports betting, expecting to be open as early as Memorial Day. But governor Phil Murphy and state senate president Stephen Sweeney introduced language requiring a state law to “determine regulations, including how much to tax betting revenues and whether to restrict casino operators who also own sports franchises from offering some wagers,” per That meeting is scheduled for June 7, and there’s a chance sports gambling in New Jersey could begin in the hours after the meeting.

Delaware didn’t have the same hurdles as New Jersey did

Whereas Murphy and Sweeney didn’t want to rush into the federal decision, Delaware is going ahead with opening sports betting almost as soon as possible. As the release states, the state’s Department of Finance consulted the Attorney General’s Office and “has determined there are no legal obstacles to full-scale sports betting…” Delaware can allow betting on professional and college sports, though not on Delaware-based teams.

Delaware has three casinos — Delaware Park, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and Harrington Raceway & Casino — that will allow sports betting.

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