Third Circuit nixes single-game betting in Delaware

John O'Brien Aug. 24, 2009, 2:35pm


PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - A federal appeals court has sided with the NFL and four other major sports organizations, deciding Monday that Delaware's proposed sports-betting plan violates a 1992 law.

A three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit made the ruling, which prevents Delaware from implementing its scheme in September. The NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and NCAA were asking for a temporary injunction to delay the start of sports betting until their lawsuit against Gov. Jack Markell and Wayne Lemons, the director of the State Lottery Office, was resolved.

Instead, the panel decided to rule on the legality of the law, which was approved by the state Supreme Court in May.

The panel heard two hours of oral arguments Monday, according to a report on Philadelphia-based KYW Newsradio's Web site.

The sports organizations are making a case against single-game bets in the state, which decided earlier this year to revive sports betting.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, enacted in 1992, prohibited most states from offering sports betting, but four states were grandfathered in the legislation because they had previously operated it.

Delaware was one of the states and would become the only state east of the Mississippi River to allow it.

The complaint says Delaware, though, had never offered single-game wagering during its 1976 sports lottery, which only allowed parlay bets on NFL games.

Since Delaware didn't allow single-game betting then, it shouldn't be able to now, the sports leagues say.

Along with forbidding single-game betting, the ruling prohibits betting on any sport other than professional football.

Bettors will be able to wager on three-game parleys, the report adds.

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