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Delaware sports betting growth continues as expansion bill progresses


Delaware reported further year-on-year growth across sports betting handle and revenue in April, while a bill proposing plans to expand the state’s online market beyond its current monopoly has moved forward.

Introduced in April, House Bill 365 is seeking to open up the Delaware online market to more operators. This comes just months after the Delaware Lottery launched its first online sportsbook with Rush Street Interactive and BetRivers.

The Lottery’s sportsbook went live in January and has already had a marked improvement on the Delaware sports betting market. Monthly handle and revenue totals are higher, with this trend continuing into April.

Against this background of early success, lawmakers are already looking at ways to grow the market further. 

At the centre of this is HB 365, which this week was assigned to the House Appropriations Committee. The bill had been assigned to the House Administration Committee upon its introduction in mid-April, but no further action was taken. 

What is in the new Delaware sports betting bill?

The bill takes recommendations from a legislative study group, which was approved last year and posted its finding shortly before the Delaware Lottery’s online sportsbook went live.

The main takeaway from the group was that state tax revenue would increase more if the online market were to expand and become competitive. Estimates for the current market suggest handle will top $186.1m (£146.6m/€171.9m) in FY25 and $223.5m in FY26, then 5.0% growth in 2027. 

To put this into context, handle for FY23, which includes just four months of one online operator, was $65.3m. In FY22, prior to any online betting, player spending amounted to just $19.5m.

The bill aims to improve on these estimates by opening up the market to additional online brands. Each Delaware racetrack would be allowed to partner with up to two betting operators, which means as many as six online operators could join the current market.

Licences would cost $500,000 each and run for five years. As for tax, those successful in securing a licence would pay at a rate of 18% of sports betting revenue in Delaware.

Other aspects of the bill include an additional 1.5% charge on revenue. Funds from this would be sent to the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission or Delaware Harness Racing Commission to support the state’s horse racing industry.

There is currently no date set for when the bill would come into effect if it is approved.

Revenue and handle up in April

Focusing now on Delaware in April, total spending on sports betting hit $15.5m. This is some 400.0% higher than in April last year, with the state following a similar growth trajectory since the turn of the year. However, total spend in April was down 18.0% from $18.9m in March.

January saw Delaware Lottery roll out the new online sportsbook, powered by Rush Street Interactive and BetRivers. This has had a marked improvement on the state’s sports betting market over the past few months, including April. However, total spend in April was down 18.0% from $18.9m in March.

In terms of revenue, this amounted to $1.0m in April, up 171.0% year-on-year and level with March’s total. 

Delaware Park remains the runaway leader in the market, posting $622,160 in revenue from $10.7m in total bets.

Harrington Raceway placed second with $114,792 off $2.9m, then Bally’s Dover on $77,115 from $1.3m. An additional $86,049 in revenue came from $715,036 bets placed with retailers across the state.

Delaware igaming revenue tops $4.4m in April

Looking now to the igaming sector, total revenue in this market hit $4.4m in April. This is up 238.5% from the same month last year and only slightly behind March’s $4.6m.

Of this total, some $3.3m came from online slots, while the other $1.1m was generated by table games.

As for spending, players wagered $134.5m on igaming in April, up 240.5% from $39.5m last year and just 1.1% lower than $136.0m in March this year.

Consumers placed $85.7m in online slots wagers during the month and also spent $48.8m on internet table games.

As was the case with sports betting, Delaware Park again claimed top spot, reporting $2.0m in total revenue. Harrington Raceway took second with $1.4m in igaming revenue, ahead of Bally’s Dover on $1.0m.

Each of operator rolled out new online casino platforms in January, around the same time that the Delaware Lottery’s internet sportsbook launched.

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