Gov. Jack Markell, joined by legislative leaders, signed the sports betting bill at Delaware Park racetrack and Casino today.


Standing in front a screen displaying lines for the NFL, NBA and MLB, Gov. Jack Markell today signed his controversial sports betting bill into law at a ceremony inside the VIP room at Delaware Park racetrack and casino.

After signing the legislation Markell said his administration looks forward to working with the state's three racinos to make the Delaware sports lottery as successful as possible.

“There is tremendous interest in the sports lottery throughout our region and nationally,” he said. “My administration looks forward to working with the racinos to market their terrific facilities and make the sports lottery as attractive to customers as we can.”

In addition to reauthorizing sports betting in the state, the law also increases the state's share of gambling revenues and provides for the introduction of table games at the racinos "as soon as possible."

The jury still is out on what form of sports betting will be allowed in Delaware; single-game betting or a parlay system. The governor has requested advice on the issue from the state Supreme Court, but the court has yet to provide an answer.

Sports betting also is facing challenges from the NFL and the NCAA.

Earlier this week, the NFL filed a legal brief with the state Supreme Court claiming Delaware has overstepped its bounds by allowing sports betting. In the brief, the NFL argues that sports contests cannot be termed a "lottery" because they rely on skill, not mere chance.

The NCAA repeatedly has said it will ban Delaware colleges and universities from hosting playoff contests as long as sports betting remains in effect.

Reporter Doug Denison of the Dover Post and reporter Antonio Prado of the Community News contributed to this report.