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Delaware Gives Up on Single Game Betting

1st October 2009 8:09 am GMT

Delaware's plans to expand its gambling initiative and allow single-game betting on a variety of sports looks to have finally come to an end, after the U.S Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request to rehear arguments in a lawsuit filed by the four U.S professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Delaware state lawyers filed a petition last week with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case. In court documents signed earlier this week by Judge Thomas Hardiman, the court denied the request.

Judge Hardiman was one of the three-judge panel who ruled unanimously in August that the Delaware sports lottery violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and was not covered by an exemption granted to the state under federal law which allows it to engage in sports betting (more).

"Obviously, we are disappointed with today's ruling. We realise that it is rare that the Third Circuit will hear cases with all 12 active judges, but this was an important issue for the State of Delaware and we thought the State should have a chance to make its case at trial," said Michael Barlow, Delaware Governor Jack Markell's Chief Legal Counsel.

The case was brought by the four professional sports leagues and the NCAA, who argued that Delaware's entitlement to offer sports betting was limited to NFL parlay bets only, as single-game betting was not offered in Delaware in 1976 when sports betting was last abandoned by the state.

Delaware officials said that over $316,000 was wagered on parlay bets during the second week of the NFL season, up from $258,000 in its first week since being introduced, still well short of the level needed to achieve the state's original revenue target of $3 million in the first year.

"It is important to remember that the NFL tried to shut down Delaware's sports lottery entirely, but today Delaware has the only legal sports wagering east of the Rocky Mountains," said Barlow.

"The sports lottery has already - in three weeks - had more wagered than the entire 1976 Delaware sports lottery season. We will continue to work with the racinos to attract players, benefit Delaware's taxpayers, and create new jobs."

The state of Delaware can still appeal this latest ruling to the U.S Supreme Court, however a spokesman for Governor Markell said that it is unlikely they would pursue it.

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