Delaware Online Sports Betting Market Could Expand With Additional Operators

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Delaware Online Sports Betting Market Could Expand With Additional Operators

The goal of legislation that was recently introduced in Delaware is to increase the number of online sports betting operators in the First State.

Despite being one of the first states to permit bettors to wager on professional and collegiate sports at brick-and-mortar establishments, Delaware only legalized online sports betting in December of last year. Following the addition of Rush Street Gaming's BetRivers as a new iGaming and sportsbook partner last summer, the state extended sports gambling online.

As the operator of iGaming and sports betting for the Delaware Lottery, BetRivers took over from 888 Holdings. State Representatives Franklin Cooke (D-District 16) and William Bush (D-District 29) have introduced House Bill 365, which would allow other sportsbook companies to enter the market and terminate BetRivers' online sports betting monopoly. 


"The addition of online sports betting in the First State means additional revenue will benefit programs for the treatment, education and assistance of compulsive gamblers and problem gambling,” Cooke said.


Cooke and Bush estimate that an extra sportsbook online may increase the state's yearly revenue from online gambling by $400,000. 


Bill Specifics

Bally's Dover Casino Resort, Delaware Park Casino, and Harrington Raceway & Casino are the three land-based casinos in the state that would be permitted to collaborate with two more independent internet sportsbooks under the terms of HB 365. At the moment, the casinos can only collaborate with BetRivers for their online sports betting operations. The casinos run live dealer table games and slot-like video lottery terminals (VLTs) on behalf of the Delaware Lottery. 

Each online sportsbook license would cost $500,000 for five years. Gross revenue would be taxed at 18%, with those proceeds allocated to the lottery. Another 1.5% of the net sports betting win would be directed to horse racing purses. The remaining 80.5% would be divvied up between the online sportsbook and casino.

At the three state-run casinos and the numerous retail sports betting sites with wagering kiosks, BetRivers would continue to have exclusive access to retail sports betting.

The House Administration Committee has been tasked with conducting an initial evaluation of HB 365.


Unknown Interest 

With just one million residents, Delaware is the 46th most populous First State. Given the limited population, sportsbooks may not be very interested in paying $100,000 annually and approximately 20% of gross revenue in taxes if HB 365 is passed into law.

In comparison to the sports betting tax rates in the majority of other states where online sportsbooks are legal, the proposed 19.5% effective tax on online sports betting earnings would be higher. 

In Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, and Wyoming, the rate is higher than that which is applied to online sportsbook earnings.

From the company's December inception, BetRivers has performed well, according to numerous governmental officials. When compared to 888's online casino business, iGaming income has increased dramatically, and online sports betting is off to a great start.

During Delaware's first two full months of offering online sports betting, the lottery's sole partner processed wagers totaling roughly $30.8 million. $2.34 million was the action's total gross proceeds. For the two months, BetRivers made almost $929,000 after the state's share.

Delaware is a seasonal state that sees an influx of visitors during the summer months with its more than 380 miles of shoreline.