New Delaware Bill Would Greenlight More Online Sportsbooks

Delaware could be poised to take another step forward in the sports betting ecosystem with House Bill 365 (HB-365). Introduced by Representatives Franklin Cooke and William Bush, this bill aims to significantly expand mobile sports betting options within the state.

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Currently, Delaware offers sports betting solely through its casinos and partnered platform, BetRivers. HB 365 proposes a transition to a competitive mobile sports wagering market. This means residents would have access to a wider range of sports betting apps operated by different sportsbooks. Proponents of the bill, including the bipartisan Internet Sports Lottery Legislative Working Group, believe this will enhance competition and generate increased revenue for the state.

Of course, there are concerns surrounding the expansion of gambling opportunities. Opponents of HB-365 express worries about potential increases in problem gambling and the social costs associated with it. They argue for stricter regulations and responsible gambling initiatives alongside the expansion.

The bill outlines a framework for this new marketplace, with the Delaware Lottery Director taking center stage. The Director will oversee the application process, granting licenses to qualified operators who partner with existing video lottery agents in the state. This ensures some level of control and adherence to regulations.

HB-365 presents a significant economic opportunity for Delaware. With neighboring states like Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey already offering mobile sports betting, Delaware risks losing potential revenue to these competitors. By creating a more accessible and diverse market, the state can capture a larger share of the sports betting market and generate additional tax income.

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Sports Betting Pays

Delaware's sports betting landscape has seen significant growth, particularly with the introduction of mobile betting. In January, the state reported a sports betting handle of just over $17 million, its highest in over two years. This was primarily attributed to the transition of the market to BetRivers.

This was a substantial increase from the previous year's figures, indicating a positive trend in the industry. The state's revenue from sports betting also saw an uptick, with a gross revenue of $2.9 million, although this was a slight decrease from December's figures.

The shift towards mobile betting has been a game-changer for Delaware, which was the first state to launch sports wagering post-PASPA. The move to authorize mobile sports betting has clearly paid off, with a notable rise in the volume of wagers and a shift in the source of wagering, reflecting the evolving preferences of bettors in the state.

The financial benefits aren't limited to the state. Legal and regulated mobile sports betting offers a safer alternative to unregulated offshore betting sites. Additionally, increased competition among sportsbooks could potentially lead to more favorable odds and promotions for bettors.


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