With a narrow exception, Delaware's Sports Lottery violates federal law, a federal appeals court ruled today.
Although it allowed multi-game (a/k/a parlay), high-stakes wagers on NFL games, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled (see below) that "betting on all [other] major professional and college sports" violates a federal law.
Why? Because Delaware's law allowing for a sports lottery where players could gamble on all professional and college teams violated a federal prohibition against individual and over/under point-spread bets.
At issue was the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), 28 U.S.C. § 3701, et seq., a federal law that Vegas odds makers love, and states outside Nevada love to hate.
Putting some spin on today's decision against his state, Delaware Governor Jack Markell stressed that "Delaware is still the only state east of the Rocky Mountains that can offer a legal sports lottery on NFL football,"
You can read the new Delaware sports lottery opinion here:
- Delaware Sports Lottery and Gambling Lawsuit Screams: Go To Vegas!, FindLaw (Jul. 27, 2009)
- Court says Delaware must pare back sports betting, Reuters (Aug. 31, 2009)
- Markell Responds to Court of Appeals Opinion, Gov. Jack Markell (Aug. 31, 2009)
- Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, 28 U.S.C. § 3701, et seq.