The big board at Delaware Park Racetrack and Casino was a veritable potpourri of wagering options. Everything from MLB to the NBA Finals to soccer was an option. The racetrack at Delaware Park has been around since 1937, but Tuesday was the dawn of a new day in the first state.
Full scale legalized gambling debuted at 1:30 p.m. In recent years, you could place a parlay bet (minimal three teams) during the NFL season. Now, take your pick. Straight, parlay, round robin, teaser, future. It's all on the table. Much to the delight of the betting public who showed up ready to lay down their cash for a little action.
I spent close to five hours Tuesday at Delaware Park. In addition to co-hosting a four-hour sports talk show for 94 WIP, I stuck around after the program to indulge in the action and mingle with the folks. It was a nice escape from the Eagles un-invitation from the White House.
The crowd started filtering around 11 a.m. By 1 p.m., the place was buzzing, and the masses were itching for some legalized wagering. For many, Day 1 was an education in the world of sports gambling. "How To Bet Guide's" were handed out as some novices attempted to decipher everything from futures to money lines to reverses to vigorish.
The overriding sentiment from people on hand was, they were happy to not have the stigma that is attached by some to illegal gambling. Show up, lay down your money, win or lose, pretty cut and dry. You had everyone from the professional gambler throwing down thousands of dollars to the first-timer dropping a 10-spot on their beloved team.
Naturally, I had to get in on the act. I went full-on homer. I placed two wagers, both $25 a piece. A straight bet on the Phillies, who were plus-200 underdogs with Zach Eflin on the hill in Chicago. Cha-ching. And a future bet for the Eagles to win the "Pro Football Championship" as it was listed at 9/2 odds. Obviously, I have to wait a bit on that one.
I can only imagine the action once college football and the NFL kick off in earnest. Delaware is the second state after Las Vegas to legalize sports gambling, but it won't be long before other states will be open for business. The way games are viewed, analyzed and broadcast will never be the same. You can bet on that.