Delaware casinos loving their early sports betting returns


delaware-sports-bettingDelaware’s legal sports betting market is off to a roaring start, with one of the state’s three casino sportsbooks emerging as the clear winner.

According to figures issued by the Delaware Lottery, total sports betting handle has hit just over $7m in the first 20 days after Gov. John Carney took the state’s first legal wager on June 5. Carney’s wager marked the first legal single-game wager outside Nevada following the US Supreme Court overturning the federal betting ban in May.

All told, the state’s three operators held $1m of the $7m wagered, for a win rate far in excess of the average 5% hold reported by most books. Scientific Games Corp, which already powered the Delaware Lottery’s parlay sports betting offering, reaped vendor fees of $125k from these winnings.

Carney made his inaugural wager at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, which accounted for $1.18m of the state’s betting handle, while the Harrington Raceway took in wagers of just over $590k. But Delaware Park’s sportsbook was the clear wagering winner, handling bets of $5.23m and collecting the lion’s share ($653k) of the betting revenue.

Delaware Park was also the clear leader in the number of wagers at just under 51k, while Dover Downs handled 11,657 bets and Harrington took in just over 7,100.

The state’s three gaming venues got some more good news after state legislators approved a bill last weekend that will cut the tax rate on slot machine revenue by one percentage point to 42.5%, while the table game tax rate will be cut from 29.4% to 15.5%.

The casinos can reduce their slots tax rate by a further 2% if their capital expenditure equals or exceeds 3% of net slots revenue. Casinos can also be spared their annual licensing fee by hitting certain investment targets. All told, the cuts are expected to provide a $11m benefit to casinos in 2019 and up to $17m in the following years.