New Business: Delaware native launches sports wagering resource

Anthony Bonanno holds Delaware Lottery football parlay cards at Grottos Pizza in Milford. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

MILFORD — For someone who’s never placed a sports wager, the process can be a bit intimidating.

Despite this, many new gamblers have sidled up to retail betting locations throughout the state since legislation broadened what forms of betting were legal last year. It’s for this reason Delaware-native Anthony Bonanno, has decided to launch BestBet302 — an subscription-based resource for sports wagering.

This year marks the second NFL season with full-scale sports betting, thanks to a May 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision. Delaware, which launched NFL parlay wagering in 2009, was ready to roll after the decision came down, and it opened expanded betting less than three weeks later. Delaware had the advantage of being one of the few states that could provide betting on NFL games in 2018.

In the fiscal year ended June 30, about 2.6 million bets totaling almost $159 million were placed across all sports, according to the Delaware Lottery. Football — both college and pro — accounted for more than half that sum, bringing in $86.6 million. Profits totaled $25.7 million, with the state taking half of that and the rest being divided between the casinos and retailers.

The state is providing the same options again this year. At Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway and Casino, bettors can place wagers on the over/under, parlays, teasers and futures. There are no prop bets.

Mr. Bonanno says he hopes to act as the average bettor’s advocate, to help ensure that they place bets intelligently to increase their chances of winning, and responsibly so an enjoyable pastime doesn’t being a damaging addiction.

His website — that launched earlier this year — contains resources like access to exclusive industry podcasts, state-specific sports wagering content, membership in a “text group” and an invite to a weekly “buddy program” mixer at various locations throughout the state where novice and experiences bettors can meet up, Mr. Bonanno said.

“What I’ve created is a one-stop shop of information for people who want to learn sports wagering in Delaware,” he said. “It’s hard to find somewhere to feel comfortable and learn because it is a very intimidating thing for people who don’t know anything about sports wagering to just walk up and place a bet. I mean, there are pamphlets available, but they don’t really tell you much. It almost deters people from trying it because they’re worried that they have no idea what they’re doing and don’t want to have a bad experience with it. This way, they have a comfortable place to go to learn at their own pace.”

Mr. Bonanno’s most basic piece of advice for beginners? Be aware of why you’re interested and your limitations.

“For me, it’s all about bankroll management,” he said. “The first thing I’d ask is why are you doing it — what’s your reasoning? For most people it’s just for entertainment — but either way, you should set some limits. People can learn how to be very effective and have a great time with only very small wagers too, just going to the local sports bar with friends on a Sunday. It’s really about not overextending yourself and understanding how much you really want to put down. I’ve been around sports wagering my whole life, and I’m a single dad with three children. I’ve been able to have fun with it without going broke and I want to help others learn how to enjoy it responsibly too.”

Mr. Bonanno says that both the “stigma” around gambling in general and getting information from the source that’s taking your bets can be a turn off for some people. That’s why he believes his service acts as a third party — aimed at educating and assisting the bettor.

“There’s been zero education,” he said. “As far as I know, there’s no one in the state that’s even attempted to advocate and promote sports wagering education at any of the locations. It’s like: ‘here it is, you’re on your own.’ The reality is, the casinos want your money, so it doesn’t really make sense to give you anything that will give you an edge. BestBet302 will give you all the information you need in one place to place a well-educated bet, and really just get the most out of the activity.”

Mr. Bonanno says sports wagering on college and NFL football is currently open at 110 retail locations across the state until January. At the close of the season, all wagering returns to the state’s three casinos until next September.

For more information on BestBet302, visit bestbet302.com/ or email info@bestbet302.com. “All access passes” start at $19.99.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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