House members aim to create open sports betting market in Delaware

Delaware Expand Sports Betting
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Delaware lawmakers are considering changes to the state’s sports betting legislation.

The Delaware House has introduced House Bill 365, which proposes an amendment to the state’s active gaming law to create an open sports betting market. In 2018, Delaware became the second U.S. state to offer single-game wagering behind Nevada. Delaware initially authorized online gaming with 888 as its exclusive operator before Rush Street Interactive secured a five-year deal in 2023 to make its BetRivers brand the state’s iGaming and sports betting provider.

“Regardless of whether we’re talking about consumer products or sportsbooks, the consumer benefits from healthy competition in the marketplace,” said Sen. Spiros Mantzavinos. “By creating a regulatory structure that allows our casinos to partner with multiple sportsbooks, we can better ensure legal gaming sites are providing consumers with the best value.”

HB 365, sponsored by Rep. Franklin Cooke and William Bush, aims to expand Delaware’s sports betting market by allowing video lottery agents to partner with operators. The state’s video lottery agents are authorized to partner with up to two online operators. Under HB 365, operators are required to pay $500,000 for a wagering license, which lasts five years.

The proceeds from licensing fees are to be deposited into the state’s General Fund.

Licensed operators that want to renew must dish out $250,000 for an additional five-year term. Delaware is home to three video lottery agents allowing up to six new sportsbooks. Patrons who are looking to partake in sports wagering must be 21 or older under HB 365.

Potential new tax framework in Delaware

HB 365 calls for licensed operators to be taxed at an 18% rate on adjusted gross receipts with proceeds deposited into the state’s Lottery Fund. About 3.5% of proceeds, or at least $400,000, will be applied to the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to fund programs. An additional 1.5% of the proceeds are to be allocated toward the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission or the Delaware Harness Racing Commission.

HB 365 has garnered support from the Internet Sports Lottery Legislative Working Group, a bipartisan coalition established by House members last year. The measure has been assigned to the House Administration Committee, which will discuss the bill within the next 12 legislative days, according to the General Assembly.