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Delaware Politicians Push for Online Sports Betting

One of the big draws of legalizing regulated sports betting, for states, is that it raises a large amount of tax revenue that those states can use for things like public works and social programs. That’s why it’s always seemed so odd that the state of Delaware legalized sports betting back in 2022, but only for in-person wagering. Delaware does not offer any form of online sports betting, and now some of the state’s lawmakers are urging the state to rectify their error and open up that very lucrative revenue stream.

Late last week, a Delaware task force charged with examining gambling expansion came down unequivocally on the side of expansion saying that the lack of online sports betting was “detrimental” to the state’s tax-revenue-generating efforts. The group, comprised of Representative Franklin D. Cooke, Representative Michael F. Smith, Representative Timothy D. Dukes and Representative William Bush analyzed tax revenue from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland as part of its research.

Based on their findings, the group issued a report suggesting several specific steps that state could take to help bring their gaming revenue in line with their neighbors (even though NJ and Pennsylvania are two of the biggest gambling and online gambling markets in the country). Not surprisingly, those recommendations included bringing online sports betting to the state via two, competing operators. They also urged protections for horse track operators and increased resources for problem gamblers.

The report’s author summed up the situation nicely saying, “It is quite clear that the absence of online sports wagering is detrimental to our revenue in Delaware when our surrounding states have online sports wagering. During our meetings, it was demonstrated that there have been many attempts to place online bets in Delaware. This is lost revenue for our state.”

The next step is for the state’s legislature to consider the recommendations during its session in January.