After decades of Las Vegas being the only haven for sports bettors to reside (on the books, at least), another state in our great union has decided to join in on the fun.
Following the recent historic U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow state’s to make their own gambling laws, Delaware became the first state to take advantage of the decision and legalize full-scale sports betting. Delaware Governor John Carney placed the first legal bet in the state, putting $10 on the Philadelphia Phillies against the Chicago Cubs at +200. The bet hit as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-1.
The bet comes after the May 14 Supreme Court ruling that struck down a federal law that prevented states from legalizing sports gambling. The justices ruled that while Congress can ban sports betting itself, they cannot mandate what state Legislatures do or don’t pass.
According to gambling experts, the landmark Supreme Court decision is expected to have far-reaching effects, as some experts suggest that illegal betting in the United States is a $50 billion to $150 billion industry — but for the time-being, Delaware will be the only new state in the sports gambling business. Delaware officials predict an economic effect on their state as well, as they expect the launch to make a significant contribution to tourism in Delaware, estimating that 17 percent of visitors will participate in gambling.
Stu Feiner, a well-known professional gambler and internet personality, was also in attendance, placing $500 each on the Pirates, Reds, Orioles and Padres to win games Tuesday night. Only the Orioles bet was successful, as the Pirates, Reds, and Pirates all lost. Ironically, Feiner was wearing a shirt that said “I’ll Kill Your Bookmaker” when he placed the bets.
At this time, Delaware is the only new state in the sports gambling business. Nevada legalized sports gambling before the federal law was passed in 1992.
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