A Delaware Senate committee has approved HB333, the online gambling bill passed by the state’s House last week. The bill – which would permit online poker, slots, table games and keno as well as expanding the number of retail outlets offering Delaware’s three-game-parlay sports betting product – will now head to the Senate floor, where it must receive the support of a 60% majority to pass. The Delaware Senate website has HB333 listed on the agenda for Tuesday, June 26, meaning bill supporter Gov. Jack Markell could have the signature-ready legislation on his desk before the current legislative session ends June 30.
The only voices speaking out against HB333 during Wednesday’s Senate committee meeting came from the usual sources, i.e. religious groups opposed to gambling on moral grounds, and harness racing outfits opposed to gambling over which they don’t hold monopolistic control. Which is really sad, because the US horse racing industry has enjoyed the right to offer online wagering to racing fans for years, and we don’t remember poker players showing up to speak out against their bids.
Consider the fact that eBet USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Penn National Gaming Inc., likes to brag that it has been offering online wagering on the ponies for a dozen years now. (Twelve years!) New York’s Batavia Downs is the latest track to saddle up with eBet, pending final approval from the state Racing and Wagering Board. They’ve even got a snazzy domain picked out on which the advance deposit wagering fun will be offered: BataviaBets.com.
More horse favoritism is on display in downtown Indianapolis, where racing fans will soon be betting on their smartphones. Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle off-track betting operation is already offering mobile betting via 7-inch tablets provided by the facility for use on-site. Punters can make their wagers via the tablets without having to leave their restaurant booth or barstool, but come the July 4 weekend, punters can also use their smartphones, iPads or Android tablets to access the FastBet Mobile betting service. The technology is already in use at five tracks in other states but this is an Indiana first. Winner’s Circle general manager Tricia Lavore told the Associated Press that “customers like the freedom” that mobile wagering offers. People like freedom? Now there’s a concept that could really catch on…