New Jersey Take Notice: Delaware Casinos Say Sports Betting Lucrative

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Raymond Lesniak

As has reported throughout the last several months, the state of New Jersey is on the verge of legalizing online sports betting for its nearly 9 million residents.  Proponents for legalized sports betting in the state have suggested the new industry would result in1,900 jobs, $250 million in annual gross gaming revenue and up to $55 million in annual state gaming taxes.

State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union – pictured) has spearheaded efforts to pass legislation allowing betting, not just on sports, but poker and Internet casino games.  With the backing of a handful of online gambling enterprises to date, Lesniak is hoping to overturn a 1992 law that currently outlaws sports betting in 46 states.

"Sports betting in the U.S. is unregulated, untaxed and illegal," Lesniak said. "Rather than supporting thousands of jobs, economic activity and tourism, the federal ban supports offshore operators and organized crime."

New Jersey need only look across the river at Delaware to understand how lucrative legalized sports betting can be.

The first couple of weeks we saw a 100-percent improvement in revenues. We're happy with sports betting and hope it continues."

Legalized sports betting began in Delaware at the start of last year’s NFL season.  Only parlays are permitted and there is no wagering sports over the Internet.

Dover Downs Hotel and Casino CEO Ed Sutor realized the potential after just one week of legalization. 

"The first couple of weeks we saw a 100-percent improvement in revenues,” he told WBOC-TV.  “We're happy with sports betting and hope it continues."

Last week, a Senate panel in New Jersey cleared way for legalized sports betting in the state.

The Internet gambling bill also includes a provision for the racing industry, which is vital to New Jersey’s economy.

A percentage of the amount of tax generated by online gambling will go directly towards the horse racing industry, including augmentation of purses.

"New Jersey could become a global Mecca for Internet gaming," William Pascrell III, a lobbyist for the online poker sector, told the Standard Breeders & Association of New Jersey.  He added that any regulatory and licensing issues could be addressed within six to nine months after such a bill became law.

- Christopher Costigan, Publisher 

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