Even though New Jersey got all of the fanfare after PASPA was overturned in May 2018, it was actually the state of Delaware that took the first single-game bets outside of Nevada. Delaware had been taking parlay sports wagering through the lottery even before PASPA was overturned, so the infrastructure was in place and the switch had to be flipped to offer single-game betting.
Delaware was actually more of less grandfathered into PASPA. In fact, a little-known fact about legalized sports betting in the United States is that Delaware challenged PASPA before Chris Christie and the state of New Jersey got involved. Delaware had that loophole with regards to parlay wagering and attempted to use that as a springboard to challenge the United States court system on PASPA.
That challenge, which came in 2009 when Delaware fired sports betting back up for the first time sine 1976, got through the Delaware Supreme Court, but got stopped in a US circuit court. The United States Supreme Court did not want to hear an appeal, so it never went any further than that, but Delaware tried.
How Do I Bet on Sports in Delaware?
These days, betting in Delaware continues to be done through the state lottery. Betting is done on a retail basis only and can be done at Delaware Park in Wilmington, Dover Downs in Dover, and Harrington Raceway & Casino in Harrington. William Hill has a partnership with the state lottery to run the day-to-day operations in the sportsbooks with additional technological support from Scientific Games.
Parlay cards remain available at approved sports lottery retailers throughout the state.
Unfortunately, online wagering is not permitted in Delaware. Mobile and online betting are actually approved in Delaware per the language of the rules and regulations, but that has not been put into practice yet.
It is also worth noting that Delaware-based college teams are not offered as part of the wagering menu, which means that bettors cannot wager on the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) or the Delaware State Hornets of the MEAC.
The minimum age for betting on sports in Delaware is 21.
Delawareans also have the opportunity to commute to Pennsylvania or New Jersey, where mobile and online betting are legal, so long as you are located within the state’s borders. Maryland and Washington D.C. are also likely to add legalized sports betting in 2020, which could ultimately push Delaware towards offering mobile and online betting themselves.