Delaware Gov. Jack Markell last week signed into law a bill that allows legalized sports betting, an initiative that officials expect will bring in new revenue.
Delaware now joins Nevada as the two states that offer legal sports wagering in the U.S., as they are exempt from a federal ban on sports betting. Oregon and Montana are also exempt, but do not conduct legalized wagering.
Officials anticipate the state could gain $50 million of revenue in its first year of legalized sports betting. The state expects to have the Delaware Sports Lottery ready and accepting bets in the fall, according to Joe Rogalsky, spokesman for the governor.
“This will generate critical revenue to fund our core commitments as a government, including public safety, education and economic development,” Markell said in a press release. “Working together, this will also generate new revenue to our partners, Delaware’s three racinos.”
New Jersey is also looking to shift back-room sports wagering to casinos and racetracks. State Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, in March filed suit in U.S. District Court to overturn the federal ban on sports betting in New Jersey. Gov. Jon Corzine may join that suit in the next few weeks, according to a source who requested anonymity as the governor has yet to announce his decision.
If the federal restriction is lifted and lawmakers and residents approve the initiative, such gaming could generate $100 million per year for the Garden State.