NEWARK, Del. -- Delaware became the only state east of the
Mississippi River to allow betting on sports after the governor
signed the legislation.
Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill into law Thursday.
Officials say they expect to have sports betting running in
three months and table games such as poker, blackjack, craps and
roulette in play in no more than six months.
The sports lottery is key to Markell's plan to address a
projected shortfall of more than $600 million for the coming fiscal
But sports betting could face a legal challenge by professional
According to the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal, the NFL already has filed a legal brief with the state Supreme Court, arguing that games cannot be considered a situation of chance because skill "plays an impermissible" role.
The state Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing for May 21 to hear arguments on the matter.
Delaware is one of only four states, along with Nevada, Montana
and Oregon, grandfathered under a 1992 federal law that bans sports
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.