When the Governor of Delaware plunked down $10 on June 5 to back his beloved Philadelphia Phillies over the Chicago Cubs, the bet signaled the beginning of a new era in American sports gambling.
Governor John Carney’s flier on the Phillies managed to produce a $20 profit too, after the (+200) underdogs were able to upset the Cubbies.
That ceremonial bet placed at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino was followed by several larger tickets bought by more serious bettors, including a string of 500 baseball bets placed by local pro Stu Feiner.
All in all, across the country’s three racetrack / casino venues — Delaware Park, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, and Harrington Raceway & Casino — accumulated $322,135 at wagers on the first day of business. That number comes directly from Delaware Lottery manager Vernon Kirk, who heads the regulatory team helping get Delaware’s sports gambling business up and running.
Residents of and visitors to Delaware have been able to partially bet on sports for several decades, but merely on”parlay cards” according to National Football League (NFL) games. Those parlay cards required many winners to be connected together, and also the only tickets which cashed were those that revealed all winners.
Traditional single-game or fixed-odds sports betting, a la what you find in a Las Vegas sportsbook, was not available in Delaware — or any American state aside from Nevada for that issue. Under a federal law called the skilled and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, single-game sports gambling was banned anywhere but the Silver State.
That all changed on May 14, however, when the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark 6-3 ruling in a case called Murphy v. NCAA. That case originated in New Jersey, after the Garden State made repeated attempts to pass its own sports gambling laws and regulations. After being sued by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), along with the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL, New Jersey’s ultimate appeal to the Supreme Court wound up in the winning column.
Whenever the Court ruled that PASPA violated the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution — which grants states the right to pass their own laws absent Congressional action — PASPA was officially struck down once and for all.
What followed that decision three weeks ago was a veritable gold rush, with New Jersey racing to place the last touches on its statewide regulations.
However, while lawmakers in New Jersey took their time, their counterparts in Delaware had legal frameworks in place as a result of their parlay card surgery. Known as the First State for a reason, Delaware moved quickly to become the first state out of Nevada to accept lawful sports wagers.
Here is how Governor Carney explained the sports gambling launching in an interview with ESPN Chalk:
“For us, it is actually an improvement of our tourism market.
It’ll attract a great deal of visitors to our state, particularly at this time of year, during the summer, coming into our beautiful beaches south of here.
They are here and stop in the casinos and do slot machines and table gambling. This will be an additional opportunity for them.”
Carney also took a moment to hype Delaware as the Northeast’s newest sports betting destination when talking to USA Today:
“Gloating in this business doesn’t last very long.
We’re happy to be first now.
I don’t expect we will be the only one very long, but now it feels really good to be first.”
Carney’s historical first wager was placed at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, but the state is home to 2 racetrack / casinos with in-house sportsbooks: Delaware Park Racetrack and Harrington Raceway and Casino.
Until the sportsbooks at Atlantic City go live — that should be any minute now — Delaware stands out as the sole place for residents of the East Coast to place wagers. Bearing that in mind, bettors will be flocking to these casinos from all corners of the Northeast.
To help get you started in your sports gambling journey, I’ve gone ahead and seen all the three sportsbooks in Delaware. Below you will discover honest and objective reviews of each facility, along with have to know information such as the address, contact number, site, and distances from regional population centres.
So check out my reviews of those 3 sportsbook venues now working in Delaware to make a more informed decision with your gambling buck:
Delaware Park Racetrack
Address: 777 Delaware Park Blvd, Wilmington, DE 19804
Distance from Philadelphia:41 miles
Distance from Baltimore:69 miles
Distance from New York: 122 miles
Distance from Boston:355 miles
Situated in the very northernmost point of this country, in the city of Wilmington, Delaware Park Racetrack is your most conveniently accessible venue for people in New York and New England.
It is also the most attractive of the trio, the casino centre nestled close to the banks of the Delaware River and also a grassy green hill. In the exterior, Delaware Park seems to be just another stately three-story estate, but as soon as you step foot inside you will feel like you have walked onto the casino floor in Las Vegas.
Between the slot machines, bright lights, and golden trimming, this place is similar to the Golden Nugget than your typical rural racetrack.
Once you discover the sportsbook places — which are situated in the clubhouses around the 1st and 3rd floors — you’ll be greeted by an array of brightly colored miniature lightbulbs displaying the day’s lines and odds. These betting boards used to be cutting edge in vegas about 10 years back, but Sin City has phased them out in favour of high-definition television displays instead.
However, you know what they say about a man’s trash being another’s treasure, so Delaware Park is pleased to have the gambling boards on site.
Just ask William Fasy, who serves as president of Delaware Park. Through an interview with Deadspin to celebrate his sportsbook opening for company, Fasy touted his place’s most prominent technological flourish:
“These planks were purchased eight years ago, and they’re no more used anymore in Vegas.
But they are the best boards in Delaware!”
If you are unfamiliar with a sportsbook betting board that the picture below will show you exactly what I am discussing.
Sports Book Beting Board
As you can see, every game or bet is coded with a base number (401, 402, etc. in the example picture above). When betting on 401 in the image above, you’d be financing the Minnesota Vikings (-10) over the Los Angeles Rams. This (-10) figure refers to the point spread, so in this case, the Vikings will be putting 10 points to the Rams.
If you wanted to take Minnesota with no spread, just look for the positive or negative amounts to the right of the point spread. These figures are known as the”moneyline,” plus they reflect true odds on your bet. For the Vikings example, you’d be financing a large (-600) favorite, while a wager on the underdog Rams would offer (+400) on your cash.
Each team or participant will have their own number, which means you’d simply tell the clerk”$100 on 401moneyline please” to place a c-note back on the Vikes.
In addition to the fancy gaming planks, Delaware Park has also set up a bank of self-service wagering kiosks. These weren’t up and running just yet when I visited the centre, but they looked like ATM machines in the early 1990s. Think a boxy framework, small screen, and no-nonsense interface and you will get the idea.
You can bet for your heart’s content at Delaware Park, which provides daily actions on Major League Baseball (MLB), and also the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals, along with a ton of daily golf clubs and tennis tournaments.
If you’re considering futures betting, have a shot at the upcoming 2018 World Cup soccer tournament, or try and forecast which NFL team will take the Super Bowl title this season.
Fasymade it apparent in a round of meet and greets with the regional media that Delaware Park would be going”all in” on its sportsbook. According to him, each form of gambling will be on the table, save you:
“I feel the only thing we’re not going to provide is’in game’ wagering.
You are likely to have prop bets. You’re just not likely to have in sport prop bets going on.
And you’re going to have a mobile device.”
The concept of in-game betting was popularized by online sportsbooks, with players able to put extra wagers even as the game is ongoing. Say your team drops right into an early hole, and you’re keen on balancing the ledger. Placing an in-game bet on the other side offers valuable protection against upsets and unforeseen circumstances.
While the in-game gambling fad will not be coming into Delaware Park just yet, Fasy did allude to the emergence of mobile and online wagering down the road.
Don’t forget, Delaware is one of just three states — along with Nevada and New Jersey — where a regulated and legal online gaming business has already gone live. With internet casinos and poker rooms currently hosted by the state’s three casino / racetracks, it will not be long until you can download the Delaware Park sportsbook program straight for your smartphone or mobile device.
When it comes to customer support, Delaware Park really hit the ball out of the park. Under guidance from Fasy — who is clearly enthused about turning the area into a sports bettor’s haven — the team here are educated and considerate. Sure, a couple hiccups could be observed concerning incorrect tickets and so on, such as my futures wager on the Miami Dolphins season win total being entered as a Miami Marlins moneyline by error.
However, those growing pains should be expected for any new sportsbook. Because of the helpful attendants, I managed to cancel the Marlins ticket and then exchange it to the Dolphins in a couple of minutes.
Overall, I can not recommend Delaware Park enough, based both on the venue’s contemporary sense and Fasy’s clear commitment to producing the nation’s best sportsbook.
Dover Downs Hotel and Casino
Address: 1131 North DuPont Highway; Dover, Delaware
Distance from Philadelphia: 78 miles
Distance from Baltimore:106 miles
Distance from New York: 165 miles
Distance from Boston: 388 miles
When I first laid eyes on Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, my very first thought was of the glittering Off-Strip casinos scattered across the Las Vegas desert.
Places like the South Point and Red Rock Resort, which unite sprawling hotel towers crossing a number of stories with classical design — that is what Dover Downs is going for.
And the illusion isn’t broken one bit when you walk through the doors. Vaulted ceilings, fancy art, and marble floors all unite to turn the area into a casino connoisseur’s dream come true. This location has convention halls, shopping outlets, and naturally, a racetrack in which NASCAR events are hosted each year.
Head through the primary entry and find the closest bar off to the side, and you will be smack dab in the sportsbook. Just look for the large comfy chairs and massive projector displays overhead, and you are there.
At first glance, the sportsbook facility at Dover Downs appears to indicate a flourishing enterprise set to capitalize on the demise of PASPA. And to be sure, the centre has expanded its offerings to include the full complement of single-game wagers, props, and futures.
However during my time there, the attention from staff and clients alike stayed on horse racing. This makes sense I suppose, what with the venue’s longstanding affiliation with the”Sport of Kings.”
I was curious, but about the apparent absence of buzz concerning ordinary sports betting, particularly with the NBA and NHL Finals going on at the moment.
Just a little digging around told the tale, like I found the following quotation from Dover Downs president Ed Sutor in an article printed by theDelaware Public:
“It’s wonderful to have. [But] at Nevada, where they’ve had it for 50 decades, it only represents about two percent of their revenues.
A lot of people are mistaking the numbers bet as the earnings.
It is not a massive take for the business.”
Sutor wasn’t the only Dover Downs executive who appeared to be lukewarm at best as it came to enlarged sportsbooks in the nation:
Dover Downs Gamingchief executive officer Denis McGlynn threw cold water on the idea that sports gambling are an economic boon for the state when talking to Delaware Online:
“There’s a lot of rhetoric that gets thrown around down there that doesn’t have any foundation in fact.People need to control their expectations on this.
The dollars that are left over after you pay back the winners are very little and you split it among a variety of people within this state.
When (surrounding countries ) get up and running, we are going to see a draining of people who are coming here, as we’ve observed from the regular casino business and before that in the horse racing industry.”
Even though a pragmatic company standpoint certainly makes sense, particularly from an operator’s standpoint, I’m not sure I know Dover Downs’ angle on this.
By failing to adopt the entire spectrum of sports betting options open to Delaware, the venue risks being left in Delaware Park’s dust. And maybe that’s already true.
This past year the state of Delaware accumulated $1.9 million in revenue on its parlay card games. From this figure, Delaware Park dominated the marketplace with $1.2 million, almost three times that obtained in by Dover Downs ($422,000).
The lack of religion expressed from the higher-ups at Dover Downs seems to have trickled down to the team level. Clerks didn’t seem very informed when I asked about futures and unless you were wagering on the ponies, nobody voiced the type excitement I felt back at Delaware Park.
And that is a shame too, because from the outside , this venue boasts the type of conveniences every gambler appreciates.
Harrington Raceway and Casino
Address: 18500 S Dupont Hwy, Harrington, DE 19952
Distance from Philadelphia:99 miles
Distance from Baltimore:87 miles
Distance from New York: 186 miles
Distance from Boston:409 miles
Harrington Raceway is located incentral Delaware, only an hour and a half from Baltimore and Philadelphia.
However, you’ll be forgiven for driving right by the location without even noticing.
This casino has been affixed to a small harness racing course, along with the entire grounds was built outside in the middle of nowhere.
The casino building’s exterior resembles that of non-denominational church, rather than much adorns it to imply gambling and amusement is afoot. It’s an interesting design choice to say the very least, and things do not exactly improve when you head indoors.
If you’ve ever been into the older Downtown district in Las Vegas — home of”fabulous” Fremont Street — you then know what to anticipate at Harrington Raceway. Rundown slot machines, aging d??cor, along with a generally sullen scene would be the defining features of the casino floor.
Fortunately for bettors, the sportsbook place does offer a bit of advancement — but only barely. Things fell more straightforward in there, however, the set up of private cubicles with attached TV monitors — typical for racebooks — is not exactly inviting. The projector displays overhead are large and bright however, so I will give them that much.
Interestingly enough, Harrington Raceway’s chief executive officer Patti Key has yet to comment publicly about the legalization of sport betting. Whether that speaks to some companywide philosophy highlighting horse racing across the sportsbook is not for me to say — but Key staying tight-lipped is pretty interesting.
Due to the monitor’s standing as a serious harness racing facility, the sportsbook is usually crowded ahead of scheduled start times. If you are there for sports just, be sure to catch a copy of the daily racing form to see when the lines will probably start stacking up.
A nice byproduct of the venue’s serious approach to horse racing is that the staff are prepared and ready to roll. I needed to fix a couple of ticket writers from time to time in both of the other sportsbooks, but the folks at Harrington batted 1.000 in relation to accuracy.
Overall, the experience surpassed that which I would’ve anticipated when I saw the building, which is likely why they say to never judge a book by it’s cover.
Depending on where you call home, among the three venues listed above will be the most suitable based solely on proximity. That is probably reason enough to select a favorite, but because Delaware is a small state, you can hit all three inside a weekend to view them up close and personal.
In terms of my tour of the nation’s sportsbooks, I favored Delaware Park, Harrington Raceway, and Dover Downs in that order.
Delaware Park benefits from the excitement of its leadership, as Fasy attracts a real interest in the sports betting industry to the table. His staff are genuinely eager to assist new bettors learn the ropes, which goes a long way in my own book. When the very first online sportsbooks go live in the First State, I’ll bet my bottom Delaware Park is running the series.
Harrington Raceway may not be much to check at, but the place knows how to run a racebook. The staff can answer questions and guide you through the process with ease. Whether that victory extends to sports betting remains to be seen, but I have a feeling severe bettors will call this place home.
In terms of Dover Downs, my feelings about the situation are easy — if the people in control don’t enjoy sports betting, they won’t enjoy sports bettors . Until I hear word about a change in tone coming down the chain of control, I just wouldn’t anticipate the mistakes and malaise here to be solved anytime soon.
Read more: newyork-info.com