Delaware online sports betting laws
Delaware moved fast when sports betting was effectively legalized in 2018. Faster even than neighboring New Jersey. Sports betting is now legal in three retail locations in the First State and, although online betting has still not yet launched, it is surely only a matter of time.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is sports betting legal in Delaware?
Yes, it is. Full sports betting was authorized in the state in June 2018.
Is online sports betting legal in Delaware?
Yes, Delaware online sports betting is theoretically legal – but it has not been authorized yet
How old do I have to be to place a bet in Delaware?
To place a sports bet in Delaware, you will need to be aged 21 or over.
As things currently stand, you can bet only in person at one of Delaware’s three racetrack-casinos (racinos). So pick one and place your bets.
Delaware moved with lightning pace once the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was ruled unconstitutional in 2018. Even New Jersey, which bought the Supreme Court case that saw PASPA struck down, did not have sports betting in place before the appropriately nicknamed First State.
In June 2018, Delaware became the first state outside Nevada to launch full sports betting offerings. One factor in its favor was that Delaware already had a form of legal sports betting during the PASPA era. This was an expanded form of the parlay product offered by the state lottery, which was exempted from PASPA’s restrictions as an offering that was legal in the state at the time of PASPA’s passage in 1992.
Due to this history, the state was able to look to legislation it had already passed in 2009, which authorized sports betting in the state (which in light of PASPA had been limited to the aforementioned parlay cards offered through its state lottery), and determined that no additional legislative action was required to launch legal sports wagering after PASPA was struck down.
However, the only place where full sports betting was allowed after 2018 was – and remains – the three racinos in Delaware. Sports betting in the state is regulated by the Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). The DGE regulates the Delaware Lottery, through which Delaware’s racinos, in partnership with William Hill, operate offer their sports betting offerings
Although online sports betting is legal in Delaware, it has not been launched in Delaware to date. Delaware residents who want to place a sports bet online have to cross state lines into neighboring New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
One of the principal reasons for this hesitation, apart from the cost of setting it up, is a concern that online betting might threaten the profitability of the state lottery’s parlay product. However, as lottery director Vernon Kirk admitted in 2020: “In order to keep pace with the competition, mobile sports betting of some form or another in the future is inevitable; we just don’t have a timetable at the moment.”
Delaware sports betting services are offered by William Hill, through an agreement with the Delaware Lottery. But all sports bets must be struck at one of the three rasinos located within the state.
Yes, they are. The IRS considers any proceeds of betting to be taxable income, so it is important to keep a record of your winnings for your tax return. The sportsbook will also withhold 24% of any win of more than $600 for tax purposes.
The law is very clear that you may not participate in Delaware sports betting until you have reached the age of 21. However, you can take part in Daily Fantasy Sports in Delaware from the age of 18.
Although Delaware embraced the legalization of sports betting swiftly, it has not yet indulged the appetite of bettors for online and mobile sports betting.
Given that the take from the state’s retail-only sports wagering premises is unimpressive – especially when set against the sums being enjoyed by other states where online betting is legal, it seems likely that the state will eventually bow to the pressure to introduce online betting.
Until such time, however, the only way to place a sports bet in Delaware is to go in person to one of its racinos where the service is on offer.
Delaware sports betting fans can bet on most NCAA action – but not if it involves in-state teams. Bets on Delaware State’s Hornets and the Fightin’ Blue Hens of the University of Delaware, for example, are off limits.
Wagering on politics is banned by states across the USA, and Delaware is no different. No sportsbook operating in Delaware will offer odds on elections or political events at home or abroad.
After years of confusion and legal wrangling, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) was legalized in Delaware in July 2017.
The major DFS sites, including FanDuel, Yahoo Fantasy Sports and DraftKings, immediately began to offer games to the people of Delaware, after agreeing to hand over a $50,000 licensing fee and taxes of more than 15%.
The Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement oversees DFS in the state.
Anybody over 18 can now enjoy DFS on major sports such as football, basketball, baseball, and hockey.
Philadelphia is just over the border from Delaware, so plenty of sports fans follow and bet on the NFL fortunes of the Eagles. The teams of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. also see strong support, as do Delaware’s top university teams, the Blue Hens and Hornets, in Division 1 of the NCAA.
Responsible gambling initiatives are always a positive development in states where sports betting has been legalized.
For a small minority of bettors, what should be a relaxing and exciting leisure experience can cause addiction that leads to emotional and financial problems.
In Delaware, the push to ensure gambling is carried out responsibly lies with the Delaware Council on Gaming Problems (DCGP).
The DCGP offers a huge range of resources to support people affected by gambling issues, as well as their families.
A dedicated helpline.
Outpatient treatment for problem gamblers.
Public awareness presentations for businesses and organizations.
Close links with the gambling and casino industry.
Collaboration with research groups to generate reliable data on problem gambling in the state.
Providing a central point of contact for the latest insight into gambling addiction.
The Delaware Lottery, which oversees Delaware sports betting, also takes a high-profile approach to problem gambling.
This includes advice on self-exclusion programs and links to organizations such as Gamblers Anonymous, Gam-Anon, and the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Delaware establishes the state lottery.
The state approves legislation that allows limited sports betting via lottery-style parlay offerings. This makes Delaware one of very few states where any form of sports betting is allowed.
Delaware determines that it can rely on its 2009 legislation to offer retail sports betting at the state’s three racinos, with no need for new enabling legislation.
The Covid-19 pandemic forces all three racinos to close their doors for several weeks – though betting handle recovers extremely quickly when they reopen.
No, at this time there is no legal online sports betting in Delaware. Although sports betting is allowed, it is restricted to the state’s three racinos. It will, however, be a big surprise if Delaware online sports betting does not receive a green light in the near future.
Yes, you can. Since 2017, when DFS was legalized in Delaware, FanDuel, along with DraftKings and Yahoo Fantasy Sports, has held a license to run games in the state. However, it does not have a license to operate a sportsbook here.
There are many states in which it is now legal to place sports bets online. Sadly, Delaware is not yet one of them. However, people living close to the border with New Jersey and Pennsylvania can cross state lines and place legal online sports bets there.