Court Ruling Scuttles Del. Sports Gambling Plans

Grandfather clause doesn't apply to single-game expansion: judges
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2009 4:29 PM CDT
Maryland defensive players tackle Delaware's wide receiver Mark Duncan in the third quarter of a college football game Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008, in Colege Park , Md.   (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A federal court quashed Delaware’s bid to legalize single-game sports betting today, ruling that the gambling expansion violated a 1992 federal law, the News Journal of Wilmington reports. State lawyers had argued Delaware was exempt from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act under a grandfather clause, but a three-judge panel ruled the exemption allowed only the kind of gambling permitted before the law was enacted: multi-game “parlay” bets on football.

The state had plans to kick off sports betting next week. “We're very disappointed—we were counting on this revenue to help balance our budget,’’ said Michael Barlow, the lawyer who represented Gov. Jack Markell. Delaware has 14 days to ask for a hearing before the larger appeals court to possibly reverse the ruling; it may also choose to appeal to the US Supreme Court.