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Delaware to Appeal Sports Betting Ruling to Supreme Court

20th January 2010 8:31 am GMT

With demand for the state's sports lottery gathering pace and weekly yield averaging at least $500,000 over the past three months, the state of Delaware says it will continue to fight for the right to offer unlimited sports betting to its residents and will appeal last year's ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S Supreme Court.

Delaware said it will ask the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling by the Court of Appeals, with the state's three racinos, Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway and Delaware Park, all agreeing to pay the costs of the appeal. The racinos are the only locations in the state permitted to offer sports betting.

In a blow to the state's expanded gambling initiative, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals last year blocked Delaware from offering single-game sports betting, with only parlay betting allowed to take place in the state (more).

The court found that the Delaware sports lottery violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and that it was not covered by an exemption granted to the state under federal law which allows it to engage in sports betting. The Court of Appeals later denied a request by Delaware to rehear the case.

The original challenge to Delaware's sports lottery was brought by 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 offered by the state.

Despite a disappointing start to the sports lottery, results from parlay betting have now increased substantially from an estimated $258,000 in its first week to a high of over $750,000 during November. Since October the sports lottery has generated more than $500,000 per week.

The state is expected to present new arguments in its appeal, which is due to be filed by the end of this month.

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