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SBD/Issue 161/Sports & Society
Supreme Court Declines To Hear Delaware Sports Betting Case
Published May 4, 2010
Delaware's "last-ditch bid to have Las Vegas-style sports betting met a quiet but certain death Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the state's case," according to Cris Barrish of the Wilmington NEWS-JOURNAL. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell's administration wanted the Supreme Court to "overturn an August ruling by a federal appeals court in Philadelphia that limited Delaware to parlay betting on at least three pro football games," but the decision not to hear the case "means Delaware's three racetrack casinos cannot offer bets ... on sports such as basketball, college football, NASCAR or baseball, nor can they let gamblers place wagers on the outcome of single" NFL games. Dover Downs CEO Ed Sutor: "We thought it had a chance and had our fingers crossed." Markell said that he is "disappointed but not surprised that Delaware won't get a chance to argue before the Supreme Court." He added that Delaware "will still continue to benefit financially from sports betting." Markell: "It would have been nice to have more, but the Supreme Court has made its decision, and that's the end of it" (Wilmington NEWS-JOURNAL, 5/4). In Philadelphia, Suzette Parmley reports major professional sports leagues said that they "were happy" with the decision. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly: "We obviously think it's the right result and the one the major professional sports leagues have collectively sought since the beginning of the litigation last year." NCAA Associate Dir of Public & Media Relations Stacey Osburn said the NCAA is "pleased with the decision." NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said that the league "had no comment on the decision." Meanwhile, Parmley reports the decision "could have ripple effects on New Jersey, which is working for the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which restricted sports betting to four states: Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware." But New Jersey state Sen. Ray Lesniak, who is "working to overturn the federal ban on sports betting there," said yesterday's ruling would "have no legal effect" on the state's efforts. Lesniak added that the decision "could help Atlantic City in one respect." Lesniak: "Delaware won't have this form of expanded gambling to lure customers from Atlantic City to its racinos" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/4).