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Fiona Simmons June 15, 2023 3 min read
Delaware Champions Single Mobile Sports Betting Option Despite Lack of Interest
The Internet Sports Lottery Legislative Working Group is still trying to decide how to best introduce Delaware’s mobile sports betting
Presently, Delaware argues that mobile sports betting is legal in the state, but there is no single platform that offers it to consumers and fans. The reason behind this is rooted in the way that the state wants to run its betting industry, as a monopoly that is split with a single operator.
To this end, the Internet Sports Lottery Legislative Working Group has been trying to find a bidder to set up the state’s betting framework and propel Delaware on a journey to mobile betting, but there have been no takers. This has come as a bit of a shock to the state as well.
The group’s co-chair, Rep. Franklin Cooke said that nobody expected the lack of interest from companies when only one licensing spot was up for grabs. Commenting on the developments, Cooke was utterly uncomprehending of what had been going on:
That should be a concern to you also saying, ‘how come they didn’t bid?’ That’s like have a racetrack and none of the horses want to come in, but you have a racetrack. You should be saying, ‘how come these horses ain’t coming?’ Something has got to be wrong or right or something, something. I’m just shocked at that answer just saying, ‘I don’t know.” These guys are leading mobile gaming.Rep. Franklin Cooke
Single Betting Operator for Delaware’s Mobile Vertical Wanted
The Delaware Lottery director Helene Keeley has been a staunch supporter of the idea of introducing a single betting platform as well, arguing that it would be best for everyone – the state and players. The single betting option would significantly boost Delaware’s online presence and expand the gambling industry to mobile sports betting once and for all, offering a substantial revenue windfall.
There would be various gambling options for sports fans. Not everyone agrees, though. The Sports Betting Alliance, represented by companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings, has objected. Similar things have been tried in New York and notably in the District of Columbia. In Washington, DC, sports betting went dark due to a technical glitch during the Super Bowl in 2022, costing the state a lot of potential revenue. This would not have happened if DC was running a market that invited private competition, argues SBA representative Jon Mandel.
Regardless, Delaware and the group seem to be laser-focused on introducing a single sports betting operator for the state, which it contends is the best possible option. Private operators disagree and they have refrained from submitting their bids.