– Sports betting was dealt a significant blow today. A federal court of appeal was supposed to rule on the sports leagues’ attempts to get an injunction to stop Delaware from starting sports betting on September 1. They decided not to stop there, though – they went all the way and ruled that the whole thing broke the law. Delaware can still appeal to the Supreme Court, or even ask the court of appeals to reconsider, but the chances of success seem bleak. The NFL has admitted that the state is allowed to take multi-game bets – parlays and the like – but they can’t do single game bets. It’s the single game bets that were going to be the most attractive, so the state may not even bother going forward with their plans now. Very disappointing.
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The major sports leagues in the U.S. are not just going to sit back and let Delaware legalize sports betting. They obviously fear that it would establish a dangerous precedent. If you haven’t followed it, here’s a quick summary – the state of Delaware has decided to legalize sports betting as a way to raise more revenue for the state. There will be a lottery as well, but the controversial idea s that they will have Vegas-style sports books located in the existing race tracks in the state. Other states, especially New Jersey, are watching very closely because they would be interested in doing the same – in Atlantic City in New Jersey’s case. The state pushed through the legislation quickly and intends to have it up and running in time for the wildly lucrative football season. The leagues aren’t happy about it at all. They are outwardly opposed to gambling in any form, and their position is that they fear that widespread gambling will lead to corruption within the sport, or at least it will allow questions to be raised each time there is a close finish or a controversial call. In an attempt to stop progress in Delaware the four major sports and the NCAA have banded together and have sued the state.