Delaware Sports Betting Information
by Trevor Whenham - 8/20/2009
Barring a legal setback, the state of Delaware will be starting to offer single-wager sports betting on football and baseball games starting at the beginning of September. This is a very important move, and it will be watched closely by other states who would like to offer sports betting themselves, and by pretty much everyone involved in the sports betting industry in any way. It's not at all clear how this bold experiment by Delaware is going to turn out (or even if it will be allowed to happen because of legal challenges by the major sports leagues and the NCAA, but that's a different story), but the stakes are obviously high. If this is successful in Delaware then the pressure will be on for the federal government to allow other states to legally bet, and sports betting can come out of the shadows where it has always lived and into the respectable daylight where it belongs.
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The state of Delaware is in a budget crisis, so they need to find any revenue that they possibly can. The potential for sports books are huge - 30 million people live within a two hour drive of the state, and sports betting brings in more than $2.5 billion in revenue in Nevada each year. They need to make sure that this experiment succeeds, and that it's as successful as it can possibly be. To its credit, the state has realized that it isn't an specialist at running sports books, and that this needs to be run properly if it is going to work. Instead of trying to run the sports books themselves they have contracted with two main partners to run the books. Here's a look at the companies which are involved:
Scientific Games - After a quick but comprehensive review process, Scientific Games came out on top and will be the primary service provider for the sports books. They provide a wide range of supplies and infrastructure to the lottery and gaming industries - everything from lottery scratch tickets to pari mutuel systems and sports betting terminals. They operate in more than 60 countries and had revenues exceeding $1.1 billion in 2008.
Scientific Games is responsible for providing the technical backbone for the sports betting system and for managing it once it is in place. That means that they will provide terminals in the three racetracks, and those terminals will be linked to a central processing system. They will be responsible for monitoring the operation of the system, and the auditing and accounting functions. They have been rewarded an initial six-year contract, and they also have four one-year options after the initial contract expires.
The financial terms of the contract haven't specifically been released. What is known, though, is that Scientific Games will get a portion of the revenue from the sports book operations, and that they will split that with the other operating partners. The remainder of the revenues will be split between the states and the tracks.
Brandywine Bookmaking - Brandywine will be providing the bookmaking services for Delaware. Based in Las Vegas, they currently operate 11 Lucky's sports books throughout Nevada. The company is just more than a year old, but it has grown aggressively since then. They are one of three independent sports wagering operators in Nevada along with Leroy's and Cal Neva.
At the head of Brandywine is John Asher, a former lawyer who now runs the company. He may be relatively new to the sports book business, but he knows the tracks he will be operating at in Delaware well - he has held management positions and called races at both Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway - two of the three sports book sites. Asher is from Delaware, and that had to give his company an edge in the competition.
Asher has one of the legendary linemakers on his team. Jimmy Vaccaro has opened and run sports books at the Barbary Coast, MGM Grand, Golden Nugget and Mirage in Las Vegas, as well as the Atlantis in the Bahamas. The respected linesmaker will have primary responsibilities for setting and managing the lines in Delaware as he does at the Lucky's locations in Nevada. Brandywine will be setting lines for college football, the NFL, and baseball. They will be taking straight, money line and total bets, and will also offer props, futures, and other offerings. Lucky's has been known for offering strange and interesting prop bets, and will likely continue this in Delaware.
Stadium Technology Group - This is the third contractor, and the one that the least information is available about. Stadium offers software solutions for sports betting operations, and will likely be working along with Scientific Games to create a system that best meets the needs of Delaware. The company operates out of Las Vegas.
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