Delaware opens legal sports betting as NJ bill moves forward

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MONMOUTH PARK -

New Jersey sued, paid $9 million in legal bills and won after a Supreme Court decision last month allowed legal sports betting in other states outside Nevada.

And now Delaware has become the first non-Nevada state to take legal bets, beating New Jersey to the punch and potentially taking revenue away from the Garden State.

Gamblers quickly crossed state lines to make their bets a day after legislative committees in Trenton advanced a bill that would legalize sports betting here.

Darryl Huvert, of Bridgeton, says he drove down to Wilmington, Delaware, to place bets for himself and his friends.

Mario Satirin made the drive from Penn's Grove.

"A lot of people say, 'I know a bookie,'" Satirin says. "But now you don't have to look for an underground bookie. Just come here."

The president of the Monmouth Park Racetrack says that if the bill passes the full Legislature Thursday and earns Gov. Phil Murphy's signature, the racetrack would be ready to take bets by Friday afternoon.

"I always believed this day would come," says Dennis Drazen, the park president. "We persevered in the fight."

Representatives from several major sports, including baseball and golf, argued against the state bill yesterday, saying they should receive an integrity fee to police betting corruption.

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