“The sports lottery has
already — in three weeks — had more wagered than the entire
1976 Delaware sports lottery season.”
CHICAGO, Sept 29 Delaware’s appeal of a ruling
that its plan to allow betting on professional sports violates
a federal ban will not be heard, a federal court ruled on
Hardiman was one of the three judges who ruled unanimously
in August that Delaware’s plan violated federal law.. The court opinion agreed with the leagues that
Delaware was generally limited to what it offered in 1976, when
it allowed gamblers to bet on winners of several NFL games.
A 1992 federal law known as PASPA prohibits betting on
sports, although that law was grandfathered in Delaware,
Oregon, Montana and Nevada, and allowed them to offer such
wagering if it was limited to plans the states had operated
between 1976 and 1990.
Markell signed the betting law in May, saying at the time
it would bring in $50 million and help close the state’s budget
shortfall, which for fiscal 2010 has been estimated at $800
“It is important to remember that the NFL tried to shut
down Delaware’s sports lottery entirely, but today Delaware has
the only legal sports wagering east of the Rocky Mountains,”
Barlow said of the parlay betting. Jack Markell’s legal counsel,
said in a statement. Third Circuit Court of
Appeals, No. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in court
documents signed by Judge Thomas Hardiman, denied the request
for a rehearing before the larger court.
The North American professional leagues for baseball,
basketball, football and hockey filed suit to block the state’s
plan, arguing it violated federal law and that it might taint
their sports with accusations of cheating.
Delaware could ask the U.S. The case is In re Office of the Commissioner of Baseball,
et al v. Jack Markell, et al, U.S. Supreme Court to take the case,
but Markell spokesman Joe Ragolsky said that was unlikely.
Delaware had planned to allow point-spread bets on
individual games in all major sports from three racetrack
“Obviously, we are disappointed with today’s ruling,
Michael Barlow, Delaware Gov. “We realize that it is rare that the Third
Circuit will hear cases with all 12 active judges, but this was
an important issue for the state of Delaware and we thought the
state should have a chance to make its case at trial.”
The NCAA, or National Collegiate Athletic Association, also
joined the complaint by the leagues.
The state can offer parlay bets — which depend on the
outcome of several matches — on National Football League
Delaware offered parlay bets on NFL games for a few months
in 1976. 09-3297.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman, editing by Maureen Bavdek)