While numbers are up in the second week of parlay sports betting in the state, officials are waiting to see if the trend continues.
New figures from the Department of Finance show the state’s sports betting plan is growing in popularity, despite being limited to parlays on NFL games only.
Delaware’s three racinos took 44% more wagers during the second weekend of the NFL season than they did over the opening weekend, and handled an additional $58,000 in total bets, according to Acting Director of Finance Tom Cook.
Numbers for week three won’t be available until later this week, but officials are hopeful the growth will continue.
“Delaware's three racinos worked hard to build attractive facilities for the fans and we are looking forward to even more players participating as the season progresses,” Cook said in a press release.
Though the state originally projected yearly net revenues in the neighborhood of $17 million from full-service betting on all professional and college sports, it now expects to bring in approximately $6.7 million.
The public won’t know if the state is on pace to meet that goal until September’s monthly financial report is released.
Of the $6.7 million, the parlays themselves are projected to generate $500,000. The other $6.2 million is supposed to come from so-called “crossover play” on slot machines and other video lottery games.
Though some experts have said true sports bettors don’t play slots, the state’s numbers indicate otherwise.
Through the first two weeks of the season, slots revenues are up from where they were a year ago.
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino President Ed Sutor is confident the trend will continue and early indications from week three are positive. But he admitted it will be hard to tell how much of last weekend’s business represents true growth, since Dover was packed to the gills with NASCAR fans.
“It appears as if there is momentum,” he said. “I’m very pleased that for the third week in a row we’ve seen growth, but I’m sure it had something to do with having 100,000 people here on a Sunday.”
Sutor thinks sports betting may have started off slower because many people thought sports betting was completely shut down by the courts.
“I think some people misunderstood that court opinion, they think there is no sports betting,” he said. “I’ve heard that from people from New Jersey and reporters who call, they think we don’t have it.
“We have to get the word out that we do indeed have sports betting.”
Email Jeff Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports betting growth
Number of wagers: 14,500
Total bet: $257,870
Number of wagers: 20,946
Total bet: $316,828