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Sports betting in Delaware still on the lawmakers agenda

 Despite meeting strong opposition in the state Senate last year, the bill to legalize sports betting in Delaware is still on the lawmakers agenda. State Senate Majority Leader Tony DeLuca and House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf have confirmed to the media that a bill aiming to legalize lottery-style sports betting in Delaware will be one of the first pieces of legislation, once the lawmakers reconvene in March. And according to the high-ranking lawmakers, this time around the sports betting bill has a good chance of passing through all the channels and becoming a law. Last year a similar bill made its way through the House, but was shut down in the state Senate, with help from the former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner. But Schwartzkopf was quoted by USA Today "This year is different. A properly written bill stands a pretty good chance [of becoming law]."

 The lottery-style sports betting could be the answer for the Delaware's estimated $600 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that begins July 1st. A lottery-style sports betting is better known as parlay betting, i.e. people will bet on more than one sports betting event on a single bet, instead of placing a bet on a single outcome. Thus parlay betting relies more on chance, hence the "lottery-style" sports betting. Gambling in Delaware, in the form of slots parlors and horse racing, has met a heavy competition in the neighboring states of Pennsylvania and Maryland, which in turn results in less money in the state's coffers. The state is the only one on the East coast to be exempt from the 1992 federal law banning betting on sporting events, although is yet to take advantage of the exemption. And with a law allowing for sports betting, even if it's lottery style, the state revenue from gambling is bound to increase dramatically, even taking business away from the rest of the states around with legal slots and horse racing gambling.

 Published on 02/03/2009

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