Delaware eyes swift sports betting legalisation
Delaware is poised to become the first state to legalise sports betting in the wake of this week’s US Supreme Court ruling, with plans to launch as early as June.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court voted to repeal a federal ban on sports betting in the country, allowing states across the US to individually legalise such activities.
The federal 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) had blocked states from launching a regulated market –with the exception of Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana – but a bid led by New Jersey to overturn the Act has proved successful.
However while New Jersey may have been the driving force behind this effort, ESPN reports that Delaware has seemingly pulled ahead in the race to become the first state to legalise sports betting post-PASPA.
Delaware Governor John Carney said state officials have not yet identified legal obstacles that would stop Delaware from expanding its current NFL American football parlay system and offer a full sports wagering service.
A statement from the Delaware department of finance said in a release that staff training is due to begin next week, with plans to roll out the regulated service in June.
“Following Monday’s ruling by the US Supreme Court and consultation with the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, we are confident that Delaware has the legal and regulatory authority to authorise sports gaming in Delaware,” the Delaware department of finance said.
“The Delaware Lottery has had plans in place for months, and we will begin training lottery and casino staff early next week.
“We will continue to provide public updates as we prepare to launch full-scale sports gaming in Delaware next month.”
Delaware is also one of only three states, along with New Jersey and Nevada, where it is legal for punters to access online gambling services.
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney told ESPN that new legislation in the state will be passed to Governor Phil Murphy for signature on June 7.
Sweeney said: “I think he can sign it right then and then.”
Meanwhile, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has suspended its championship host policy on sports betting after the Supreme Court ruling.
The NCAA had been openly critical of plans to expand sports betting in the US due to concerns over its impact on the integrity of college sports.
However, NCAA president Mark Emmert said that while the organisation supports a federal model for legalised sports betting, it will now allow championship events to take place in states where such activity is legal.
Previously, the NCAA prohibited championship competitions from running in any state that allowed single-game sports wagering
Emmert said: “Our highest priorities in any conversation about sports wagering are maintaining the integrity of competition and student-athlete well-being.
“Sports wagering can adversely impact student-athletes and undermine the games they play.
“We are committed to ensuring that laws and regulations promote a safe and fair environment for the nearly half a million students who play college athletics.”
“While we recognise the critical role of state governments, strong federal standards are necessary to safeguard the integrity of college sports and the athletes who play these games at all level.”
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