Court hands out guidelines for Delaware’s parlay betting

Sep 1, 2009 |

The federal appeals court that ruled against Delaware in its bid to offer single-game betting has given additional restrictions to the state's legalized sports wagering plan.

“Under federal law, Delaware may institute multi-game (parlay) betting on at least three NFL games,” Thomas Hardiman, a judge on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote in 23-page opinion for the eastern state.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell had made preparations (including spending millions of dollars renovating three racinos) in hopes of offering single-game and multi-sport wagers.

Markell says that Delaware is evaluating the written opinion and admits they are still discussing the state’s legal options. Delaware can still appeal the recent ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, but parlay betting on NFL games will be the limit of wagering in Delaware for this at least this year.

The panel construed that Delaware’s expanded betting plans would be a violation of the 1992 Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act. Delaware, which offered parlay betting on NFL games in 1976, is one of four states (Nevada, Montana and Oregon are the others) that have exceptions to the PASA.

“Expanding the very manner in which Delaware conducts gambling activities to new sports or to new forms of gambling – namely single-game betting – beyond the extent of what Delaware conducted in 1976 would engender the very ills that PASPA sought to combat,” Hardiman wrote in the report.

Delaware lost its bid at single-game, multi-sport betting last week, when appeal court agreed with the NCAA and pro sports leagues’ opinion that success in single-game betting was based on skill and not luck.

“While we are disappointed the decision does not provide the flexibility we had hoped for, Delaware is still the only state east of the Rocky Mountains that can offer a legal sports lottery on NFL football,” Gov. Markell said in statement.

Will tourists come to Delaware for parlay wagers on NFL games along? Tell us what you think.

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