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Delaware Online Sports Betting Bill Advancing in Committees

NCAA Basketball: Delaware at Xavier

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

  • A bill to expand Delaware online sports betting advanced out of the House Administration Committee this week
  • The bill now finds itself in House Appropriation committee
  • The bill opens Delaware online sports betting up to six total operators

A bill to open Delaware online sports betting up to multiple sports betting operators is progressing through the state.

Rep. Franklin D. Cooke’s (D-16) bill, HB 365, would allow each of the three Delaware casinos to partner with up to two online sports betting operators. Currently, BetRivers is the lone online sports betting operator through a Delaware Lottery partnership.

The bill advanced out of the House Administration Committee this week and now awaits a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee.

Delaware Looking to Expand Market?

Cooke’s bill will open Delaware up to several online sports betting operators, with license holders paying a $500,000 fee for a five-year term in the state. His bill sets a sports betting tax rate at 18% of the operator’s monthly adjusted gross sports betting receipts.

Operators will also be required to contributed 1.5% of their monthly adjusted gross sports betting receipts to fund horse racing purses in the state.

The bill advanced out of the administration committee by 4-0-1 vote. The House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the bill within 12 legislative days.

Each of Delaware’s three casinos will be able to partner with up to two online sports betting operators. The eligible casinos are as follows:

  • Bally’s Dover Casino Resort
  • Casino at Delaware Park
  • Harrington Raceway & Casino

State Report Suggested Expansion

The bill takes several recommendations into consideration from the Internet Sports Lottery Legislative Working Group. The group submitted a report to the Delaware legislature this past December with a recommendation to expand online sports betting in The First State

Members of the Internet Sports Lottery Legislative Working Group pointed to the online sports betting models of neighboring states such as Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey as potential approaches Delaware could consider. All three states feature online sports betting with multiple online sports betting operators that could provide Delaware with a “more competitive and economically thriving sports wagering market.”

The group suggested the following recommendations to the Delaware legislature:

  • Delaware needs to have an online sport lottery
  • Delaware needs to have multiple online sports operators
  • Delaware should provide for a tethered model with existing video lottery agents
  • Delaware should protect the horse racing industry and purse contributions
  • Delaware should provide additional resources for problem gambling

Within the recommendations, the group included revenue estimate from Eilers & Krejcik. If Delaware transitions to a multiple operator system, the state could generate $30.7 million in sports betting tax revenue across its first five years, and $9 million per year after.

BetRivers Currently Holds Sports Betting Monopoly

Rush Street Interactive (RSI) has an exclusive contract with the Delaware Lottery to be the only sports betting and iGaming operator in the state. It reached the agreement last August and took nearly six months to launch in the state.

BetRivers launched in the state on Dec. 27.

Rush Street Interactive was selected by the Delaware State Lottery as the lone vendor for the state’s online gaming business. The contract was for an initial term of five years, renewable for additional one-year terms for an additional five years pending regulatory approvals.

The company replaced 888 as the state’s sole vendor.

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