Delaware Already Has $1 Million In Sports Betting Revenue, But Is It Sustainable?

Written By Martin Derbyshire on August 7, 2018 - Last Updated on September 25, 2023
aerial view of Delaware Park racetrack

It looks like anyone who bet on the success of sports wagering in Delaware has a winning ticket. Although it’s clear the tiny state of Delaware isn’t exactly supporting its new sports betting market all on its own.

The state released figures this week showing its three casino sportsbooks have taken in more than $15 million in bets since the launch of full-scale legal sports betting just under two months ago. This is a huge amount considering Delaware has a population of just 961,939 people.

No matter where they come from, sports bettors in The First State have proven good at picking winners as well. In fact, the figures show that the sportsbooks have paid out a whopping $13,691,103 to winners. Additionally, some amount of the $15,218,490 bet across 192,184 separate wagers was bet on futures, where the outcome of the bet is still pending.

Here is a look at how each of the three sportsbooks has fared so far:

Delaware ParkDover DownsHarrington RacewayState Total
June Total Bet$5,232,878$1,180,447$590,400$7,003,725
June Total WonN/AN/AN/A$6,003,478
June Net Proceeds$653,277$143,952$77,987$875,216
July Total Bet$5,823,029$1,674,262$717,474$8,214,765
July Total WonN/AN/AN/A$7,687,625
July Net Proceeds$331,295$91,196$38,735 $461,226
2018 Total Bet$11,055,907$2,854,709 $1,307,874 $15,218,490
2018 Total WonN/AN/AN/A$13,691,103
2018 Net Proceeds$984,572 $235,148 $116,722 $1,336,442

Delaware Park leads the market

As expected, because of its close proximity to neighboring state Pennsylvania and New Jersey, most of the money was bet at Delaware Park. Delaware Park is just a 45-minute drive from the major city of Philadelphia. Philadelphia itself has a population of approximately 1.568 million people.

Delaware Park has taken in $11,055,907 in bets up to July 29. Over the same period, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino brought in $2,854,709 in wagers. Moreover, Harrington Raceway & Casino brought in just $1,307,874.

Before PASPA was deemed unconstitutional, the Delaware Lottery already offered NFL parlay betting. Because the legal framework for sports betting was already there, it became the first state outside Nevada to offer full-scale sports wagering at lottery-run sportsbooks inside its three casinos. New Jersey and Mississippi have since launched legal sports betting as well. Plus, several other states are lining up to do the same.

Will competition impact Delaware in the near future?

These numbers are solid so far for such a small state. However, the competition is only going to grow in the coming months.

Pennsylvania has legalized sports betting. However, the state wants to impose a 36 percent tax rate and $10 million licensing fee on sports betting operations. Perhaps, as a result, none of its casino license holders have applied to operate a sportsbook. Plus, Pennsylvania residents looking to make legal sports bets appear to have been flocking to neighboring states like Delaware and New Jersey where they can do so.

From the June 5 launch until June 24, state figures show Delaware sportsbook operations pulled in $7,003,725 in bets. However, in the first full month of legal sports betting in the state in July, the operations saw a total of $8,214,765 bet. It is unclear how much the launch of New Jersey wagering impacted Delaware’s bottom line since this is the first full month of returns for the state.

After removing the amount won by gamblers, and $190,924 in vendor fees for things including the central computer system, terminal equipment, and risk management, Delaware sportsbook operations have netted $1,336,442 in revenue since launch.

Photo by Felix Mizioznikov /

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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