Delaware is not typically a state that you think about when sports betting in the United States is discussed. That might be true, but it was Delaware that accepted the first legal sports bets outside of the state of Nevada after the fall of PASPA.

Sports betting in Delaware remains a very small market, and all of the bets have to be placed in-person at one of the racinos. This is not a state that has a strong sports culture and that has kept the overall numbers down as well.

The Delaware state legislature might have been the first to get a new law passed, but there are still some very restrictive laws as well. Sports bettors in the state do have some great locations that accept betting on sports, but some travel is involved.

Other states have been able to fly past Delaware in terms of size and strength of the sports betting market, but Delaware will also hold the title of first state to offer sports betting outside of Nevada.

History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Delaware

Not only was Delaware the first state to offer legal sports betting when it became an option, but this state was also offering a smaller form of sports betting before that time. The Delaware State Lottery had some options available, but those were some pre-built parlays that only focused on the NFL.

In 2009, House Bill 100 was passed in Delaware as state lawmakers attempted to expand legal sports betting. That law was ultimately challenged at a higher level, and it was decided that the parlay betting was going to be the only option that was available.

That House Bill 100 was still lurking in the background though, and it was technically still legal to place bets on sporting events in Delaware. After the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban in 2018, Delaware lawmakers officially made it legal to accept wagers on sporting events again.

Most states had to spend significant time putting together new sports betting legislation, but that wasn’t required in Delaware. The state did have to meet and discuss how this new industry would look, and it simply allowed for the horse racing tracks and casinos to begin accepting wagers.

Financial History behind Legal Sports Betting in Delaware

The sports betting revenue is taxed at a rate of 51% in Delaware, and that is one thing that has helped the state bring in some much-needed funds. Delaware still hasn’t been able to put up the numbers that it would like to see, but that is due to the fact that all bets have to be placed in person.

Since legal sports betting launched back in June 2018, the total sports betting handle in the state is $542.3 million. That looks like a big number on the surface, but there are at least 10 different states that have posted a number larger than that in just one month.

Total sports betting revenue since June 2018 has come in at $82.1 million, and that’s from the sportsbooks winning over 15% of the wagers during that time. The national hold rate is close to 8%, and sportsbooks in Delaware have nearly doubled what most states are seeing throughout the country.

The high tax rate in Delaware has allowed the state to cash in on $54.6 million in tax revenue, but there were much higher projections when sports betting was initially being discussed. There has also been talk of lowering the tax rate on sports betting revenue, but that would hurt the numbers that are rolling in.

Sportsbook Apps in Delaware

When Delaware legalized sports betting, the law only allowed for retail sportsbooks to be established. The sports betting law in Delaware has changed a bit throughout the years, but there has never been the opportunity to allow for online or mobile sports betting.

Delaware law requires all of the wagers to be placed at one of the three retail locations in the state, and no mobile bets can be accepted. This keeps companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel out of the state, and ultimately makes it harder to place a legal sports betting wager.

As you can expect, Delaware has struggled to keep up with some other states throughout the country as those markets do allow for mobile wagering. There has been some discussion about offering mobile betting at some point, but a clear launch date does not seem like a realistic possibility.

Since Delaware is surrounded by other states with legal sports betting, residents can travel across the border and place a legal online wager in those states that have that as an option.

Land-Locked Locations to Bet on Sports in Delaware

Delaware is not a very large state in terms of surface area, and it can be pretty easy to travel throughout the state. There are three locations in Delaware that accept legal wagers on sporting events, and all of those are casinos located at horse racing tracks.

Bally’s Dover Casino Resort is located in Delaware, and it is built at the site of Dover Down Racetrack. This is a race track that tends to have a busy schedule throughout the year, and the retail sportsbook is going to be open even if horse races aren’t taking place.

Delaware Park is another popular race track in the state, and the Delaware Park Casino & Racing is accepting wagers on sporting events. This sportsbook is located in Wilmington, DE and it’s another location that is known for staying pretty busy.

The third retail sportsbook in Delaware is located at the Harrington Raceway & Casino. This particular spot is not as well-known as the two other options in the state of Delaware, but it is another spot where legal wagers can be placed.

Sports Teams to Bet on in Delaware

You aren’t going to find any professional sports teams in the state of Delaware and that is one of the reasons that the total numbers are much lower than in some other states. Delaware could combat this by allowing betting on in-state college teams, but that is outlawed as a part of their current sports betting legislation.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any popular sports teams with fans in Delaware as the state is surrounded by plenty of big teams. The NFL and NBA tend to drive legal sports betting, and fans in Delaware have some historic franchises to choose from in both sports.

Most sports fans in Delaware tend to follow teams from Philadelphia, but there are also some that look at teams from Baltimore or Washington D.C. as well. When it comes to the teams from Philadelphia, it is the Eagles (NFL) and the 76ers (NBA) that tend to attract the most wagers.

Philadelphia is also home to the Flyers (NHL) and the Phillies (MLB) and those are two other teams that tend to attract some big wagers. The Flyers and Phillies are two other franchises that have had plenty of success and that always gets the bettors going.

Since betting on the NFL continues to be the most popular sport, the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Commanders will help drive sports betting in Delaware as well. Even though some professional sports leagues are looking at expansion, you shouldn’t expect to see this state getting any new teams.

FAQ for betting in Delaware

When did sports betting launch in Delaware?

The first Delaware sportsbook officially launched on June 5, 2018, as the state became the first to offer sports betting in the U.S. outside of Nevada. Delaware lawmakers were working on a sports betting bill before the decision was made by the United States Supreme Court.

How old do you have to be to bet on sports in Delaware?

The minimum age to place a bet on sports in the state of Delaware is 21 years of age. Since that is the age that is required to enter the racinos in the state, it makes sense that this is the legal sports betting limit as well.

Are there any sports betting apps in Delaware?

No, as of 2023, online or mobile sports betting is not available in Delaware. All of the sports betting is limited to the three retail sports betting locations that can be found throughout the state. That could change in the future, but it would require a new law to be passed.

Can I bet on college sports in Delaware?

Retail sportsbooks in Delaware are allowed to accept wagers on college sporting events, but no bets can be made on in-state college teams. Many states have a rule in place regarding college sports, and it’s not uncommon to see a ban on in-state college teams.

Is betting limited to Delaware residents?

No, betting is not limited to residents of Delaware, but all of the wagers do have to be placed from inside of the state. You can create a Delaware sports betting account from anywhere, but location services will need to verify that you are inside of the state before you can make a bet.