Delaware officials have expanded sports betting from the state’s three casinos to more than 30 other locations.
Officials said Wednesday that betting on National Football League games is now available at 31 retail locations, including restaurants, pubs and nightclubs.
The expansion of sports betting was authorized under a new law that also allows online slot machine and table game wagers.
State officials have said revenues from the expanded gambling opportunities would allow them to eliminate millions of dollars in fees paid by the casinos, which have pledged in return to spend an equal amount on traditional business expenses such as marketing, capital improvements and debt reduction.
Casino officials complained that the fees were a huge financial burden as they struggle to compete with casinos in neighboring states.
Also Wednesday, the racino at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York City reported to regulators that more than a billion dollars was bet by nearly a million customers last month.
The $1.13 billion wagered in July at the Resorts World Casino New York City in Queens and the net gambling revenue of $59.75 million for July were monthly highs since its opening in October.
The casino has about 4,500 flashing, multicolored video slot machines and 500 electronic table games such as baccarat.
One gambling analyst said a big factor for in Resort World was its “monopoly position” in the massive New York City market.
“It’s like owning the only liquor store in town,” Washington, D.C.-based gambling analyst Jeff Hooke said. “If you can’t make a lot of money off that, you know you’re doing something wrong.”
Even though state law bars New York’s racinos from offering blackjack and other table games available in neighboring states, the racino at Aqueduct raised fears in the gambling industry that it would “cannibalize” customers in a Northeast market already crowded with casinos in nearby Atlantic City, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Gamblers visiting Aqueduct this week said proximity was a big draw.
“I don’t like the machines, but Atlantic City is too far from home, so this is OK,” said Patricia Bonadonna, a 75-year-old retiree from Brooklyn.