The arrival of football season translated to huge sports betting gains in one of the nation’s smallest states.
Delaware saw its sports betting handle jump 161.8% in September over the previous month, and its total sports betting revenue surge 606% over that same span. The $7,869,679 wagered in the state’s three physical sportsbooks was the highest number since January, and the $5,833,076 wagered through sports lottery retailers was a high for 2021.
The total September sports betting handle in Delaware of $13,702,755 easily outpaced the state’s August total of $5,233,471, according to figures released by the Delaware Lottery. For the calendar year so far, Delaware Park in Wilmington has taken in $33,704,381, Harrington Raceway has had a handle of $13,952,004 and Dover Downs has taken $13,392,321 in action.
It’s not unusual for the onset of the NFL season, especially in markets near big metros like Philadelphia-adjacent Delaware, to spark a surge of sports betting in states where the practice is legal. In 2020, the First State’s three physical sportsbooks saw September handle rise 145% over August. The trend was even more pronounced in pre-pandemic 2019, when September brought a total sportsbook handle of $11.839 million, a 167% jump from the previous month.
Note: There is no mobile sports betting in Delaware.
Those big handle increases can also translate into substantial rises in revenue. September saw sports betting in Delaware generate $3,202,534 in revenue, compared to a mere $453,642 in August. Physical sportsbooks accounted for $1,357,478 of that revenue (up from $459,968 in August), while sports lottery retailers reported revenues of $1,845,056 after losing $6,326 during the previous month.
Among the state’s physical sportsbooks, which have allowed full-scale betting since 2018, Delaware Park led in September revenue with $684,985, while Harrington Raceway followed with $355,455 and Dover Downs with $317,038. All three gaming facilities enjoyed their best revenue month since January. Delaware also features 114 sports lottery retailers across the state.
Delaware’s sports lottery retail outlets only offer football parlay cards, so the difference between football season and the other times of year are even more pronounced in The First State than they are elsewhere. There is no mobile sports betting in Delaware.
On the iGaming front, results for Delaware in September were mixed. The state’s September iGaming handle of $25,969,647 was up 19.6% from the $21,718,722 taken in during August, but the revenue of $794,644, represented a drop of 16% from the August total of $945,512.
Delaware is one of five (about to be six) states that allow online casino gaming – in this case poker, slots and table games through the websites of its three physical casinos. Delaware’s iGaming has been established for a few years alongside the markets in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In early 2021 Michigan joined the list, and Connecticut is set to launch its online casino market on Tuesday.
Among individual locations in Delaware, the largest September iGaming handle was at Delaware Park, which generated $11,104,045. Dover Downs followed with $7,788,675 and Harrington with $7,076,926. Harrington led in September iGaming revenue with $276,604, edging Delaware Park at $261,370 and Dover Downs at $256,669.