All three of Delaware’s sportsbooks had an uptick in revenue for March, according to the Delaware Sports Lottery, which oversees legalized sports wagering in the state.
Bettors in Delaware wagered $10,483,128 in March, up from $8,487,867 in February. Delaware’s three sportsbooks collectively paid out slightly more in March than in February ($8.6 million compared to nearly $8.5 million) but the boost in total handle meant that the state had net proceeds of $1,644,164 for March, way up from $22,152 the previous month.
Delaware Park, just outside Wilmington – the state’s largest city – and about 30 miles outside of Philadelphia, collected a little over $1 million in revenue from $6.6 million wagered. Dover Downs, in the state’s capital, earned $328,147 in revenue off of about $2 million wagered. And Harrington Raceway, 16 miles south of Dover, had $279,454 in revenue from nearly $1.8 million wagered at its facility.
Delaware’s sports betting industry has not been the overwhelming boon many anticipated on June 4, 2018, the day the state became the first outside of Nevada to legalize sports betting when its casinos began accepting wagers. But sports betting still has been a considerable revenue-generator.
Through the first quarter that ended March 31, the state has brought in $3.1 million in revenue. In total, since Delaware sportsbooks began accepting wagers on sporting events last June, the state has collected about $11.8 million in revenue.
The increased revenue at Delaware’s sportsbooks in March was likely brought about by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the most lucrative sports betting event in the United States, according to a study commissioned by the American Gaming Association and released just before the tournament began.
Last year, a record $305.5 million was wagered in Nevada sportsbooks on the NCAA tournament.
As for this year, Americans were expected to wager an estimated $8.5 billion on the tournament this year, with 1 in 5 adults placing a bet of some kind, according to the AGA study. New Jersey, which also legalized sports betting last June, had an increase in revenue in March that sportsbooks operators in the state attributed to March Madness.
This year’s basketball tournament was the first since May, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. That 2018 ruling lifted the federal ban on legalized sports betting outside of Nevada.
That decision prompted Delaware, New Jersey and several others states to pass legislation that legalized sports betting. There are now eight states with operational sportsbooks, and several other states that have already passed similar legislation or moving toward doing so.
“During this year’s tournament -- the first in post-PASPA America -- sports fans are expected to bet 40% more than they did on this year’s Super Bowl,” AGA’s president and chief executive officer Bill Miller said in a statement last month. “Unlike any other sporting event in the country, March Madness attracts millions who fill out brackets, make casual bets with friends or wager at a legal sportsbook, which Americans can now do more than ever before.”