We informed you earlier about the efforts of Delaware Governor Jack Markell to get sports betting legalized in his little state, while the Guv tossed out some barbs about the NFL & NCAA’s apparent hypocrisy along the way.
Well, the proposal finally made it to the state’s House of Representatives on Tuesday night for a crucial vote. And unfortunately for Markell, the betting bill was defeated - by two votes.
DELMARVANOW.COM reports that after three hours of debate, the vote ended 23-15 in favor of the bill. However, the final tally fell two votes short of the required three-fifths majority needed for approval.
And the defeat may have been helped by a little political wheeling ‘n’ dealing from the Delaware’s other gambling industry - in-state casinos:
Representatives from the casinos, which have a state-granted monopoly on gambling in Delaware, have pushed for sports betting for years. But they lobbied heavily against Markell’s proposal because the of the increased split for the state, which they suggest will cause financial hardship and could even put one of the racetrack casinos out of business.
So it appears the state of Delaware will have to suffer the financial hardships instead:
House Majority Leader Pete Schwartzkopf, the primary sponsor of the bill, said its defeat means lawmakers will have to find an additional $55 million in spending cuts or revenue increases to help close a projected shortfall of $750 million for the upcoming fiscal year.
Does this mean sports betting in Delaware is dead? Don’t bet on it. Gov. Markell proclaimed that “This isn’t over“, adding that he’ll continue to work on passing a bigger & better betting bill.
Good luck on that, Jack. Maybe you can bring in Ravens QB & ex-UD Blue Hen Joe Flacco to help shore up support for your next proposal.