As we reported in the first week of August, sports betting was made legal in Delaware-based casinos.  For all of you sports gambling fans living near the First State, you can cancel your “family vacation” to Delaware this Fall. Single game sports betting is now illegal… again.

In a unanimous 3-0 decision (which beat the spread by a wide margin), three judges from the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals declared that single game sports betting does indeed violate a federal law passed in 1992.

The decision took casino operators and Delaware state officials by complete surprise.

“It’s a complete shocker,” Ed Sutor, chief executive officer of Dover Downs casino, said yesterday. “We did not expect this at all.”

Delaware’s three casinos have already invested millions to add new sports book areas to their casino floors.

Not only are the casinos losing out on their investments, Delaware lawmakers now have to struggle to find new ways to cover the state’s enormous $800 million budget deficit.

“On a per-capita basis, our budget hole is deeper than almost any other state’s,” said U.S. Senator Thomas Carper (D, Delaware).

While representatives of the sports leagues were elated by the decision, they have done little to actually curb betting on their games.

According to a 1999 study, over $300 billion is wagered illegally on sports games every single year, a large portion of which is online.  If the goal of stopping Delaware from allowing sports betting was to “preserve the sanctity of the game”, they still have a long way to go.

Why do you think the leagues want to ban gambling on their games?  Is it really to protect the games from corruption? If so, what should they do about the $300 billion wagered illegally every year?

Let your voice be heard in the comment section below!

Jeff White

Jeff has been an active gambler from the age of 18 when he won a small local poker tournament in San Jose, CA. He moved on to playing other casino games shortly thereafter, with a great interest in the statistics and mathematics involved. He has studied the historical gambling systems of nearly every popular casino game played today, and has written strategy books for several of them including blackjack, slot machines, craps, and roulette. Jeff has been a daily contributor to the Silver Oak Casino blog since the beginning of 2009.