Delaware is among a group of states to officially legalize daily fantasy sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. Though it was originally deemed illegal by state officials, lawmakers took up a daily fantasy bill and the governor subsequently signed it into law. The relatively swift legalization effort wasn't surprising in Delaware, one of the most progressive gambling states in the nation.
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Delaware has cemented itself as one of the most progressive gambling states in America. That includes sports betting, where Delaware was one of the few states with some sort of exemption from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which banned almost all forms of sports betting (Delaware was able to offer multi-game NFL parlay cards). Though it wasn't much, that limited offering gave Delaware a head start on full-scale legalized sports betting once the Supreme Court struck PASPA down.
After quick moves by the state legislature, Gov. John Carney as well as state regulators, it became the first state outside Nevada to take a legal sports bet, doing so in June 2018, only a few weeks after the court announced it had struck down ban.
Even before that, Delaware was the third state to implement legal online poker and casino games, making it one of the best states in the nation for internet play. Though the state has been more reticent in terms of online sports bets, the success with other forms of online betting, as well as competition from neighboring states, makes Delaware a likely candidate to take internet bets sooner than later.
But it wasn't just recent years that ingrained Delaware's relationship with the betting industry. Today’s sportsbooks, poker sites and casinos are a far cry from the rudimentary gambling games available during colonial times, but it was those early provisions that centuries later helped laid the foundations for what was to come in "The First State."
Delaware is one of the first states with a full array of regulated online casino-style gaming. The state's online casinos are attached to the three racetracks (Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway). These sites are licensed and regulated by the Delaware Department of Gaming Enforcement, which all feed into a single network and gives the state a centralized gaming infrastructure. More importantly, for players, this means you can visit Dover Downs’s virtual platform and gain access to a variety of tournaments and cash games alongside blackjack, roulette and slots with ease.
Three Delaware online poker sites are available, all directly linked to one of the state's three racinos. In 2018 online poker sites in Delaware joined forces with those in New Jersey and Nevada under a liquidity sharing agreement, which allows players in each state to play with each other. This is expected to boost revenue in the coming years - and help spur other states to legalize poker and join the compact.
Delaware launched its sportsbooks before New Jersey, the state that led efforts to overturn the federal ban. Unlike New Jersey, it hasn't taken a bet online. For now, bets can only be placed at the three gaming facilities. It remains to be seen when Delaware might legalize online bets, but with a wide-ranging gambling infrastructure in place, and neighboring states already taking bets through the internet, it seems like the state won't wait too much longer.