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Sports Betting Gets Underway In Delaware

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WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) -- Legal sports betting is now underway in Delaware.

The First State ushered in the new era of gambling Tuesday afternoon, just three weeks after a U.S. Supreme Court decision which cleared the way for states to offer legalized sports betting.

The first bet was placed by sports radio's Glen Macknow and hundreds soon followed.

Dozens lined to fork over their cash as the betting board flickered odds on professional football, basketball, hockey and baseball games.

sports betting delaware cbs3
Sports betting gets underway in Delaware. (Credit: CBS3)

Since 2009, gamblers at Delaware's three casinos have only been allowed to make professional football parlay bets. Wages were limited to that sport and gamblers had to accurately predict the winners of at least three games.

Now, Vegas-style betting on all professional sports is allowed.

"You're going to have futures bets, straight bets, you can still do the parlays," said Bill Fasy, president of the Delaware Park Casino.

And gamblers hope the new law levels the playing field with the Vegas casinos.

Fans in three other states could be placing bets by football season.

In New Jersey, which successfully challenged the federal ban, lawmakers hope to have a bill signed by the end of this week that resolves competing proposals to allow sports betting at casinos and horse racing tracks.

In Mississippi, where lawmakers proactively legalized sports gambling at the state's 28 licensed casinos in anticipation of a favorable Supreme Court decision, regulators have proposed rules that could be voted on as early as June 21. That means casinos could start taking bets in late July.

West Virginia also passed a sports betting law before the Supreme Court decision, and officials there hope to have sports betting when football season kicks off. The West Virginia Lottery Commission is working on draft rules and regulations but has given no timetable for when they might be ready.

Pennsylvania also prospectively legalized sports betting last year, but it could be months before regulations are in place that would allow sports books to open. State officials have not produced an estimate of what sort of tax revenue the activity could mean for Pennsylvania, which already rakes in more in taxes on casino gambling than any other state. But some gambling industry officials are warning that Pennsylvania's 34 percent tax rate — plus another small cut for local governments that host casinos — and the $10 million licensing fee will make it unprofitable to run a legal sports betting business.

In the meantime, Pennsylvania gaming officials notified casinos last week they could begin applying for licenses. So far, none has submitted an application.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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