The odds boards are outdated, and they are state-of-the-art in Delaware.
The actual odds on them are up to date, mind you. But the boards themselves are nearly a decade old. That’s what Delaware Park president William Fasy told me after I placed one of the first legal bets in Delaware on Tuesday.
“These boards were bought eight years ago,” he said, pointing to giant LED screens showing odds for football, soccer, basketball and other sports. “And they’re no longer used anymore in Vegas. And they’re the best boards in Delaware!”
So the start of sports gambling in Delaware was pretty low-key. No matter. Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling last month overturning the federal prohibition on sports gambling, agen sbobet Delaware is now taking legal bets. It’s the first place in the U.S. outside of Nevada to let people place individual wagers on sporting events. Although it was New Jersey’s law that led to the court decision, Delaware had tried to get sports gambling a decade ago and already had a limited system in place. Now it’s offering “Vegas-style” sports betting. To celebrate, I visited all three casinos in Delaware taking bets.
First I hit Delaware Park, a straight-shot hourlong drive from my place in Philadelphia to the racetrack and casino in Stanton, Del. I was warned not to speed in Delaware. The roads are basically designed for people to come from out of state to gamble; I didn’t even have to turn after I got off the highway. Designed by the horse track–architect branch of the du Pont family and opened in 1937, it’s by far Delaware’s prettiest casino. It’s well landscaped. There are lots of trees. Even the casino floor feels different than some of the cookie-cutter casinos popping up outside Atlantic City in the last 15–20 years. The sports wagering area is large and full of televisions; it’s going to be a great place to watch a World Cup game or a weekend of football.
Not that the start of single-game sports wagering was a big production there. There were those decade-old boards. There weren’t odds for everything yet—I couldn’t get golf odds anywhere until late in the afternoon. And the ceremonial first bet was placed by Glen Macnow, a longtime Philadelphia sportswriter and radio personality.
Macnow was still probably the most famous of anyone to place a celebrity first bet at a Delaware casino on Tuesday. At Dover Downs, the first bet was placed by Gov. John Carney. He bet $5 on the Phillies to beat the Cubs Tuesday night on the moneyline. He won! At Harrington Raceway & Casino, about 25 minutes south of Dover, the first bet was placed by Jerry Birl of Millsboro, Del. According to Jimmy Debutts in the Capital Gazette, Birl is a collector. He’ll be placing the 19 bets he made, totaling $104, behind glass frames. The state gets half of sports gambling revenue, so that’s 52 bucks into Delaware’s coffers.