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Delaware Sports Betting Plan Gets Sacked by US Supreme Court

Delaware's last hope to resurrect its sports betting program, blindsided by an appeals court decision limiting the types of gambling available, was lost as the US Supreme Court rejected hearing the case.

Play the Best Slots at Superslots Casino! The US Supreme Court this morning denied Delaware's writ of certiorari, meaning the Justices declined to hear the case to overturn a federal court decision severely limiting sports betting options for the state. The ruling means the case is effectively dead, leaving Delaware race tracks and lawmakers to hash together a crimped-together sports gambling plan using only NFL parlays.

Most of the US is forbidden to operate sports betting by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. This law forbids gambling on sporting events, with exceptions for the four states that had previously operated sports wagering, including Nevada, Montana, Oregon, and Delaware.

But Delaware was informed, after passing legislation to place sports books at state race tracks, that the state was limited to the same form of betting that had existed before the PASPA, meaning in Delaware only parlay betting on NFL games could be legal.

The shocking finding was delivered to the state by a federal appeals court hearing a lawsuit against the state by a consortium of sports leagues, led by the NFL. Delaware's tracks had already invested millions hoping to lure regular sports gamblers, but parlay wagers produced barely a million dollars this past season.

Delaware's hope for full-fledged sports gaming may rest on lawsuits like the one filed by New Jersey, saying the PAPSA is unconstitutional based on its discriminatory treatment of states. Legislative pressure has built in other states, who would love to tap into sports betting revenue, which currently is handled by organized crime and generates no taxes.

Governor Jack Markell released a statement saying he is disappointed the Court declined to hear the case.

Published on May 3, 2010 by TomWeston

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