My take: Even with new online gaming vendor, mobile sports betting will have to wait

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It was encouraging to see that the Delaware Lottery moved forward and selected Rush Street as the state’s online gaming vendor after an agreement with the former vendor expired earlier this year.  (Click here for an earlier post).

Rush Street operates the heavily promoted BetRivers app that offers casino games and sports betting in neighboring states.

If you are not into online sports betting, it’s natural to think it’s already available in Delaware, based on the nonstop advertising from other markets.

The question is whether Rush Street will quietly operate the back end of the current system, with each of the state’s casinos keeping their current sites. Moving to one app under the heavily marketed BetRivers brand would make sense.  But don’t expect to see online sports wagering anytime soon.

Although Delaware is one of the first states allowed to have sports betting, you must visit one of the state’s three casinos to place a bet.

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Meanwhile, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and, more recently, Maryland moved into the mobile app world.

Legislation to allow mobile sports gambling has not advanced.  A sports wagering working group was given until the end of the year to come up with recommendations.

One apparent thing –  Delaware is leaving money on the table under the current system.

In Maryland, online sports betting revenues in May were more than $3 million, compared to a paltry $245,000 in Delaware. The Delaware figure, adjusting for population, should be in the neighborhood of half a million dollars.

Promotion of BetRivers and other apps for those who traveled across states probably had an impact as online sports betting revenues were down 50% from the same period a year earlier. By contrast, revenues from online gaming in Delaware posted a hefty increase, based on the May numbers.

The General Assembly might get off the schneid next year due to the looming revenue crunch. Disappointing forecasts were a factor in legislation offering tax breaks remaining on hold. – Doug Rainey, chief content.

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