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Delaware sports betting continues to struggle in August


Delaware’s sportsbooks endured another difficult month in August, with amounts wagered dropping 42% year-on-year.

Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway took just $4.4m (€4.0m/£3.5m) in sports lottery wagers, down considerably on the $7.7m staked in August 2018, according to figures released by the Delaware Lottery.

Despite the year-on-year drop, the figure for the month ended 25 August was up by around $500,000 on July’s $3.9m – which was the poorest month in terms of handle since sports betting was introduced in June last year.

Revenue compared to handle remained high, with the three sportsbooks keeping $505,006 (11.4%) of the amount wagered. This revenue figure, however, represented a 28.5% decline compared to August 2018.

Despite the decline in revenue and handle, the total number of wagers placed actually rose year-on-year, to 131,276. This also represented a marked improvement on the prior month, when 111,870 bets were placed.

Delaware Park again dominated wagering in Delaware, taking $2.8m – or 63% of bets placed in the state. Harrington Raceway saw a 48% month-on-month rise in stakes to $758,077, but was still just behind Dover Downs, which handled $813,912.

After eight months of 2019 some $57.6m has been wagered in Delaware with revenue of $6.4m. In the six full months of betting in 2018, Delaware saw $87.0m wagered and revenue of $10.2m.

Delaware has been negatively impacted by increased competition from neighbouring states such as Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York. It is also proximate to New Jersey, which began offering sports betting in 2018. Delaware does not offer legal online betting.

Delaware Lottery announced last week that revenue from the online gambling market increased 30.4% year-on-year in August, with player spend rising to $12.5m.

Revenue for August came in at $290,200, compared to $222,500 last year, making it the highest monthly total since the $313,600 generated in May 2019.

Image: Calstanhope