When Delaware Governor John Carney placed the first legal single-game sports bet in Delaware on June 5, his $10 wager on the Philadelphia Phillies was processed by Scientific Games technology.
Four days before Carney placed that historic bet – which returned double his money when the (+200) underdog Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs – the Las Vegas-based Scientific Games announced an extended sportsbook servicing contract with the Delaware Lottery.
Scientific Games had previously provided technology behind the Delaware Lottery’s NFL parlay cards, along with instant games, keno, and iGaming. But in the weeks after a Supreme Court decision decisively struck down PASPA – a 26-year old federal law banning sportsbooks in every state but Nevada – the company moved quickly to expand its presence in Delaware.
Pat McHugh – who serves as senior vice president of global lottery systems for Scientific Games – issued a statement celebrating Delaware’s status as the first state outside of Nevada to operate legal sports betting:
“Since Delaware is known as ‘The First State,’ it’s appropriate they were first in the nation to expand regulated sports betting after the PASPA ruling.
We are proud to support the Delaware Lottery’s long history of industry firsts, and thrilled to be their trusted provider of an integrated sports betting program serving both casinos and lottery retailers across the state.”
Delaware Lottery director Vernon Kirk offered the following comments on the organization strengthening its relationship with Scientific Games:
“In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on PASPA, we have been working with Scientific Games, our longtime sports betting provider, as well as training our lottery and casino staff, so that we were ready to launch full-scale, head-to-head betting on single games.”
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 banned 46 states from offering any form of sports wagering. Nevada’s preexisting operation of sportsbooks was exempted via a “grandfather clause,” while the state lotteries in Oregon, Montana, and Delaware were granted limited exemptions for parlay-style lottery games based on sports results.
After the state of New Jersey attempted to legalize sports betting in 2012 and 2014, a series of lawsuits filed by the NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL culminated in a Supreme Court ruling issued on May 14. That 6-3 decision found PASPA to be unconstitutional, violating the 10th Amendment’s anticommandeering clause which grants states the right to govern certain affairs absent federal legislation.
New Jersey had sought to offer the first single-game sports wagering outside of Nevada, but Delaware beat its neighbor to the punch after a last-minute taxation bill surfaced in the Garden State.
Delaware’s three racetrack / casino venues – Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway – began accepting wagers with Carney’s symbolic bet on June 5.
Each of the three sportsbooks is overseen by the Delaware Lottery, which takes a 50 percent cut of wagering revenue, and serviced by Scientific Games.
As the sole provider for all three facilities, McHugh stated that Scientific Games was fully prepared for the new era of legal sports betting in the region:
“The combination of Scientific Games and NYX Gaming Group earlier this year created a global leader across iLottery, iGaming and sports betting that offers unrivaled capabilities to lotteries worldwide.
As an integrated company, we are ready to serve our customers like the Delaware Lottery with the gaming entertainment industry’s leading sports platforms, content and services.”
In April, anticipating the repeal of PASPA, the company performed sportsbook servicing tests for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE). Scientific Games also partnered with Pennsylvania – which became the fourth state to legalize online gambling in December of last year – to run iGaming and lottery services.