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Covid-19 disruption pushes DE sports betting revenue down in 2020


Sports betting revenue in Delaware fell 32.8% year-on-year in 2020 to $8.4m, as the state felt the impact of the suspension of activities due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Players wagered a total of $57.6m on sports over the past 12 months, a drop of 43.9% from $102.6m in the previous year. Some 1.3m bets were placed in 2020, down from 2.5m in 2019.

Operators in Delaware were forced to suspend operations for more than four months between mid-March and July as a result of state-wide restrictions related to Covid-19.

Delaware only permits land-based sports betting, and as all gambling venues had to close for more than four months, this meant punters were not able to legally bet during that time.

Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway reopened their sportsbooks in July, but the retail facility at Delaware Park remained closed during the month and did not resume operations until August 30.

However, despite having closed for the longest period of time, Delaware Park was the leading operator in the state, generating $4.5m in sports wagering revenue, down 42.3% on 2019. Some $31.3m was wagered at the venue, less than half the $64.1m that was spent in the previous year.

Harrington Raceway ranked second with $2.1m in revenue, only slightly down from $2.2m in 2019, despite the venue’s handle slipping 21.0% to $13.9m.

Dover Downs posted $1.8m in revenue, down 30,8% year-on-year, while player spending at the venue also declined 22.0% to $12.4m.

In terms of how Delaware’s market ended 2020, sports betting revenue for December amounted to $1.1m, down 31.3% from $1.6m in the same month in 2019. Player spending also declined 33.8% from $13.3m to $8.8m.

Delaware Park led the market in December with $681,708 in revenue from $5.4m in bets.

Harrington Raceway posted $237,915 in revenue and $1.9m in total wagers, while Dover Downs generated $205,052 in revenue from $1.5m in sports bets.