Bettors run up score in Delaware Sports Lottery


DOVER — Playing favorites and giving the points, bettors cashed in nicely this football season.

The Delaware Sports Lottery did relatively well, too, and profited by $3.2 million before today’s Super Bowl.

Bettors will rake in another $900,000 if the Patriots cover the pointspread, $500,000 if the underdog Falcons earn their first Lombardi Trophy.

According to Delaware Lottery director Vernon Kirk, a record $46.1 million was wagered on National Football League results this year.

For the first time in the lottery’s eight year history, more than $3 million was wagered during three separate weeks.

Many sales came from re-invested winnings from bettors on a roll.

“When they have success one week, they often want to play off that and win evern more,” Mr. Kirk said.

In the Futures contest where players pick a Super Bowl winner throughout the year with varying odds, the state gains $128,700 if New England triumphs, $15,000 if it’s Atlanta.

Simply put, more bettors picked favorites and the favorites won more than ever. The same trend followed in Las Vegas, meaning Delaware’s risk managers were in step with the year-around professional industry members.

The previous two seasons, Delaware profited by $5.4 million (2015-16) and $6.7 million (2014-15).

When it’s all counted up, the Sports Lottery has generated roughly $30 million for the state’s General Fund since its inception.

“It goes up and down, but we’ve been pretty far up there the past few years,” Mr. Kirk said.

“We are still winning, but not as much as usual.”

According to Mr. Kirk, several favored teams made fourth-quarter rallies to live up to their status and “parlays are not as easy as bettors made them look this season.”

The state turned a record low 16 percent profit on sales, eclipsing the previous bottom line 21 percent in 2012-13.

The record high was 39 percent during 2010-11.

Covering the state with approximately 100 locations to place three-game or more parlay bets, Mr. Kirk believes market saturation is in a good place.

The Sports Lottery was available in 30 spots when unveiled in 2009.

Also, the card offerings remained the same from “crazy teasers to standard half-point parlay cards,” he said.

“We call it gaming, not gambling,” Mr. Kirk said. “It’s entertainment.”

Retailers accounted for $27.6 million in sales, with racetracks and casinos generating $18.5 million. Retailers received $1.5 million in commissions, tracks $900,000. Vendor fees (risk management and system network) cost $1.6 million.

It’s possible that play cards may be available on mobile devices next season, though officials are in an exploratory consideration stage.

“The technology is there, and we just need to find the right application,” Mr. Kirk said.

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