Not surprisingly with the legalization of sports betting in neighboring states, Delaware is experiencing some difficulties posting strong betting results. The state’s total sports handle dropped by 42%.
Delaware’s Latest Results 42% Drop in Handle
Delaware’s sportsbook took a tumble in the overall sports handle they generated during the month of August. While Pennsylvania’s result soared, Delaware continued to decline. The amount that was lost on total wagers reached the staggering 42% year-over-year.
The main sportsbooks in the state, to name Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway claimed mere $4.4 million which was grossly below the $7.7 million staked in August 2018.
The sports lottery wagers data came directly from the Delaware Lottery. Delaware came close to hitting its all-time low from July, 2019 when the state posted merely $3.9 million in total handle.
Yet, the percentage of revenue remained fairly high compared to the poor overall performance of the segment. Overall, though revenue dropped by 28.5% compared to the same month last year.
Interestingly enough, the number of total wagers placed was 131,276. The figure improved on August’s results when 111,870 bets were committed by bettors. What this showed was that people had been making smaller-value wagers overall, but more of those as well.
Delaware Park managed to bite the bulk of all bets, with $2.8 million going its way or 63% of all wagers in the state. Second came Harrington Raceway, which notched up a 48% month-over-month increase and raked in stakes worth $758,077.
Delaware overall has been affected by expanding sports betting in native states, including Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia. As a result, fewer people have been willing to cross state borders to place a wager, which has directly affected the overall financial performance of the state.
Expansion Hurts Delaware
A fairly small state with population below $1 million people, Delaware has been one of the first states to introduce sports betting, legalize online gambling and join a compact with Nevada and New Jersey.
Until 2018, the state’s unique geographical location allowed it to pull sports betting enthusiasts from across the state line, but this has now changed as more states are in the process of legalizing.
Each of Delaware’s neighbors has legalized or is on the way to legalizing the industry, leaving the small state with a smaller active base of players. Delaware is unlikely to recover – instead the state will need to establish a new baseline which will reflect the current legal changes in neighboring states.
With this being said, the news isn’t ideal for Delaware, but it isn’t necessarily bad to begin with. For instance, this hasn’t stopped natives to keep developing their sports betting businesses. The landscape for sports betting in the United States is changing for the better.