In light of the Department of Justice (DoJ) ruling last December stating that only online sports betting is illegal, Illinios took their lottery sales online at the end of March. It was instantly successful. This week the Delaware House passed a bill to bring Internet gambling to “The First State”. “The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012” plans to offer Internet lottery games to the public. Obviously meant to expand and grow their gaming industry, Delaware also included in the bill the ability to operate their sports lottery at venues other than the tracks that currently offer them, such as bars or convenience stores.
There have been talks in Illinois about bringing poker online next. Card Player magazine reported that “an amendment to an existing bill was filed on Tuesday” to provide for a Division of Internet Gaming within the Illinois Lottery. The story went on to say that Illinois could have poker “operational” in 7 to 10 months. Card Player also reported that West Virginia and Rhode Island might be potential partners for Delaware if online poker is introduced.
But what really is on the horizon in Delaware is NFL football parlay cards online. Let’s face it it’s the one competitive advantage that Delaware has in the regional gambling market right now. For 20 weeks of the year, they can offer betting.. Yes, it is a watered-down version with just teasers and parlays of at least 3 teams, but it is the only place east of Nevada, where a bet on football can be placed legally. It only makes sense, that once the Lottery goes online, parlay and teaser cards will be right behind. In fact, the timing of introducing the Lottery could not be more perfect. Once the technology is in place, tested and tweaked and re-tested again, it will be football season. Touchdown!!
The bill still has to be signed by the governor but while this may be just another baby step, we are already seeing a race to see who can get poker up first. Nevada has begun a licensing endeavor and New Jersey, Illinois and California all are ringing the poker bell, trying to be first. Well, the First State can make another first for itself. “The first state to have football betting online.” While the lawyers and lobbyists put on their helmets and shoulder pads we wish the best of luck to them.