Terrell Suggs Is Worried About Legalized Sports Betting In Delaware …..

May 13, 2009 |

In case you’ve missed the BIG NEWS, legalized sports betting is coming to our own backyards …..

With last night’s “State Senate Blessing,” Delaware Governor, Jack Markell, is expected to legalize sportsbook, as a revenue generating tool. And, he’s dead set on having such an enterprise operational in time for the 2009 NFL Season.

At this point, the sportsbook with be limited to parlay bets. But, Governor Markell has already asked the Delaware Supreme Court to examine the legality of “head to head” betting. You know what they say about getting a foot in the door …..

Delaware’s venture back into the sports betting business hasn’t come without a chorus of critics. Those dissenting, include the NFL and NCAA governing bodies. The NFL doesn’t want Delaware wagering on its games. To his credit, Governor Markell doesn’t want Roger Goodell telling him how to run his state.

You gotta love CAPITALISM …..

There are several fears when it comes to legalized sports betting. One of those fears regards the impact on NFL franchises. To date, there isn’t a legalized sports betting venue within 250 miles of an NFL team. In September, such a venue will be within 100 miles of TWO NFL TEAMS.

And, according to the Baltimore Ravens’ Terrell Suggs, there are some potential problems. In an interview with ESPN, Suggs conceded some fringe/lesser talented players might be persuaded to selling information to gambling sources.

In the interview, Suggs indicated gamblers might target marginal players to reveal “tightly guarded secrets regarding injury reports.” Suggs said “there are guys who, for a little extra money, might say such and such is hurt and he ain’t gonna play this week ….. that goes a long way in the gambling world.”

Personally, I think Suggs could be onto some valid concerns. Thus, I understand the NFL’s opposition to legalized gambling, in Delaware. However, the burden of credibility and good character rests with each respective player. I don’t think such temptations are plausible reasoning in forbidding legal sportsbook.

Additionally, I am concerned about the economic effect on Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania sports-entertainment establishments, when legalized betting debuts at Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Midway/Harrington, in September.

The threat of Delaware’s sudden popularity will extend beyond sports betting, too. In order to gain the support of the three horse tracks/casinos, Governor Markell had to include table games, such as craps, roulette and poker in the bill. He did and it passed.

Thus, as we sit here on May 13, 2010, Delaware’s horse tracks/casinos will have slots, sportsbook and table games. As you’ve probably guessed, this news isn’t well received in New Jersey …..

Lawmakers in that state are busily trying to push Congress on federal laws that prohibit sports betting in ANY state, except Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states were “grandfathered” into the 1992 law that outlawed sports betting, across the United States.

Will autumn weekend getaways to Ocean City and Rehoboth Beach relocate to Dover? Will those Atlantic City bus trips divert to Delaware Park? Will the Delaware State Fair, at Midway/Harrington become the mecca of fairs?

And, we’re due to witness a historical event, in conjunction with Delaware’s foray into legal sportsbook. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Dover International Speedway, in late September. The Speedway and Dover Downs are part of the same complex. You can literally walk out of the casino and onto the racetrack.

September’s race will mark the first time in modern American history when a major “team” sporting event takes place at a venue where it’s legally wagered. This will definitely be interesting and I’m just wondering about NASCAR’S stance on this isuue.

The next few months promise to be tumultuous and unsettling. Will Delaware’s venture into legalized sports betting impact the Ravens, Eagles and other NFL franchises? Will resorts and establishments suffer? Will NASCAR pull its races from the Monster Mile? Will slots even make a difference in Maryland?

A lot of questions need answers ……