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The neighboring states of New Jersey and Delaware have been racing to legalize sports betting in the wake of the United States Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which banned licensed sports pools in 49 states.
Delaware's first legal sports books opened at a trio of race tracks last week as New Jersey lawmakers were approving a similar measure that Governor Phil Murphy signed into law on Tuesday.
States - Form - Sports - Years - Thursday
Ultimately as many as 32 states could approve some form of legal sports gambling within the next five years. But by Thursday morning, only two states outside of Nevada - Delaware and New Jersey - will have any skin in the game.
That distinction is hardly a surprise.
Delaware - Sports - Lottery - Fans - Events
Delaware, for one, already offered a sports lottery where fans could parlay several events into one wager; and New Jersey's own history is inextricably linked with gambling: Atlantic City's first casino was built way back in 1978, long before HBO's Tony Soprano was running numbers in Essex County, and President Donald Trump famously dumped billions into three boardwalk casinos only to make four separate trips to bankruptcy court.
In fact, it was the Garden State's legal challenge that ultimately led the Supreme Court to end PASPA - also known as the Bradley Act after former New Jersey Senator and New York Knicks forward Bill Bradley.
States - East - Coast - Las - Vegas
But even if the two Mid-Atlantic states are vying to become the East Coast's Las Vegas, Delaware and New Jersey will struggle to replace The Strip as America's top gambling destination.
Whereas Vegas offers cavernous sports books lined with colossal television screens, plush seating, and full assortment of lavish accommodations, New Jersey and Delaware's sports books are opening at the kind of aging racetracks frequented by local regulars. Atlantic City casinos offer more for tourists, but...
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