Bettors flock to Delaware casino to be among first to bet on sports after landmark ruling
WILMINGTON, DE — The announcement came, sort of out of nowhere, across the system inside the Delaware Park Casino at 1:20 pm.
Not that the masses assembled, probably a few hundred gambling diehards, didn’t know precisely why they were there – for the opening of the full-blown sports book at all three casinos in this state Tuesday afternoon – but seeing the massive boards listing odds for everything from World Cup outcomes to Week 1 lines for the NFL season was a bit jarring. And hearing this countdown of sorts, not quite Michael Buffer-esque but certainly high on the cheese-factor spectrum, made it clear that the Vegas stranglehold on legalized sports betting in this country was over.
“T-minus 10 minutes to get those bets down,” came one of several announcements leading up the full-scale opening of wagering in Delaware, a state that previously allowed parlay betting in these casinos but was now suddenly taking action on Super Bowl odds, individual basketball and hockey games, MLS — you name it, with more prop bets and more exotic wagering still to come.
The vast parking lots at this casino and race track were packed 15-20 rows deep by 1 p.m., and what would normally be a sleepy, empty Tuesday certainly had a unique buzz. Philadelphia sports talk radio station WIP had a radio-row style set-up broadcasting live from the casino. agen sbobet Several local television stations in the South JerseyPhilly market were represented, and there was a palpable buzz in the building as a representative for something called SportsGartenm a website that hasn’t launched yet but promises to offer “your one stop shop for credible sports intelligence” placed the first ever wager of its kind at the book.
“This is the first ticket ever outside of Nevada,” he said, waving the tiny printout over his head like he had already cashed his ticket as camera bulbs flashed and the news crews drew closer. It was a $1,000 bet on the Yankees to win the World Series at 5-to-1 odds. “I feel very good about it,” he opined.
As for pomp and circumstance at this particular dawning of a new gambling era goes, that was about it, though an hour south of here, Delaware Governor John Carney made the first-ever straight bet at Dover Downs, taking the Phillies to upset the Cubs at Wrigley Field Tuesday night.
No one knows exactly where all of this is going just yet, and how the winners and losers will shake out among the various parties who stand to potentially profit – casinos, online sports books, state coffers, professional sports leagues — following the Supreme Court decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in May. But one thing all could agree on was that gambling was here to stay, and that whatever advantages the casinos in this tiny stare gained by being first to the market will be mitigated by what is sure to be a sweeping tide from nearby states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland from where I drove, less than an hour in all and then on and on as this process becomes streamlined and sports gambling more mainstreamed. The demand for action will be sated across many states and numerous platforms online, in-state gambling is expected in Delaware by Week 1 of the NFL season, with execs at the Delaware casinos unsure how big their margins will be.