Legal sports wagering in the Delaware Valley? Bet on it

U.S. Supreme Court kills federal ban.

Mike DeNardo
May 14, 2018 - 1:44 pm
Atlantic City

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A landmark ruling Monday from the U.S. Supreme Court made sports betting legal throughout the nation. The 6-3 ruling mans that the ability to bet on sporting events may soon be coming to casinos and racetracks in the Delaware Valley.

The ruling is a major win for New Jersey, which challenged a 1992 federal law banning sports betting. The Supreme Court has struck down that law.

"What the Supreme Court has said is that the federal ban on sports betting is gone and states are free to implement whatever forms of sports wagering they wish to implement," said Chris Soriano, a partner at law firm Duane Morris who focuses on sports gaming.

Soriano says this could mean action at Atlantic City casinos during traditionally slow seasons.

"It's March Madness. It's football weekends. It's the Super Bowl. It's times when Atlantic City traditionally may have less visitation," Soriano said. "You know, Atlantic City is very busy during the summer, but outside of that period the visitation is a little bit less."

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy released a statement saying he's thrilled at the high court's decision and he's looking forward to working with the legislature to enact a law authorizing sports gaming. 

Delaware Gov. John Carney says laws there are already in place and pending a legal review, full-scale sports wagering could be available in Delaware casinos by the end of June.

So how soon could sports wagering come to our area? Soriano expects in a matter of weeks, legislatures will authorize casinos and racetracks to accept sports bets.

The major sports leagues argued against overturning the ban for years. Now, Soriano says, they've been lobbying for laws granting them a percentage of sports gaming revenues to fund so-called "integrity monitoring," to make sure players on the field aren't influenced by the wagers in the casinos.