Sports Betting Operators Show No Interest in Delaware

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The state of Delaware finds itself in the unusual position of online sports betting being legal in the state but with no operators offering their services. The reason for this is that the state wishes to run the industry as a monopoly that is shared with a single operator.

The Internet Sports Lottery Legislative Working Group has been trying to find a bidder to create a betting framework for the state, but, to the surprise of the state, there has been no interest.

Representative Franklin Cooke, who co-chairs the group, said that no one expected such a lack of interest, and he has expressed his shock at the situation.

That should be a concern to you also saying, ‘How come they didn’t bid?’ That’s like having a racetrack, and none of the horses want to come in, but you have a racetrack. You should be saying, ‘How come these horses ain’t coming?’ Something has got to be wrong or right or something, something. I’m just shocked at that answer, just saying, ‘I don’t know.” These guys are leading mobile gaming.

Rep. Franklin CookeCo-chair of Internet Sports Lottery Legislative Working Group

Helene Keeley, the Delaware Lottery director, has long supported introducing just a single betting platform. She believes that this would be best for both players, in regards to protections, and the state, in regards to revenues.

However, the Sports Betting Alliance (SBA), which represents companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings, thinks differently. Similar schemes have been attempted in New York and in the District of Columbia. In Washington, DC, sports betting became unavailable due to a technical fault during the 2022 Super Bowl, which cost the state a lot of revenue. According to the SBA, this would not happen if the state were running a market that allowed private competition.

However, Delaware seems set on following this path, which means that residents may be waiting some time before they are able to place bets from their mobile devices.

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