Thursday, May 7, 2009

Delaware Sports Betting Proposal Rejected

It was supposed to be a sure thing. People local to the mid-Atlantic region were already mentally making their bets. But, as it turns out, people on the east coast and anywhere other than Vegas for that matter will have to wait even longer to place a bet on sports legally.

The bill needed 25 votes to pass and it only received 23. The three "racinos" (casino and racebook) that were to host the sportsbooks lobbied hard against the proposal, citing potential bankruptcy as the bill included an increased share for the State of the racino's revenue. The racinos didn't think that sports betting would add enough to their bottom line to justify the tax increase.

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Unfortunately for the racinos and for the avid American sports bettor, Delaware got it wrong! There would be so much excitement over the first legalized sports betting system on the east coast since 1979 that people would have lined up in droves to throw down on the NFL. Of course, this would mean added spill over revenue for the casinos, race tracks, and other attractions.

Governor Markell said that it's not over and that the state still needs to find a way to dig out of the recession and their current $700M deficit. To do this, they need to compete with bordering states like Maryland whose new slots look to take away much of what used to be revenue strictly delegated to Delaware.

promo/casino

There is a massive underestimation of the amount of illegal online gambling that takes place in the U.S. If the racino owners and operators understood the real numbers they were turning down, they'd kick themselves for the rest of their lives. And, assuming that the sports betting system was profitable, other states would surely follow suit, if not to compete to simply reap the same rewards.

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We hope Markell continues to fight to push this proposal through. If this means renegotiating, he should do it. This bill shouldn't go to the house again until it is all but a done deal so no last minute lobbies can cause panic. Forget about the NFL, forget about the NCAA. They are after their own well being- as they should be. But they will be just fine. Think about Delaware, the money and the local sports bettor who just wants to throw down some loose change on a fun parlay wager.

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