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Betting in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey
Sports betting in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey © Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock.com

Betting in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey

While full-scale sports betting is legal only in Nevada, the opportunity has opened up on the East Coast.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, enacted in 1992, outlaws sports gambling everywhere except in states that had previously legalized sports wagering. This covers Delaware, Montana, Oregon and Nevada.

Delaware took advantage of its exemption and in 2009 authorized betting only on NFL games using parlay, or combined, betting cards. The limited sports betting has not deterred gamblers. The number of bets placed has increased every year, with nearly $38 million wagered in 2015.

Most online betting happens in New Jersey

In November 2013, neighboring New Jersey began offering online poker and other gambling options. According to a University of Las Vegas Center for Gaming Research study, New Jersey online betting accounts for more than 90% of the legal U.S. online gambling revenue. Online bets were up almost 32% year-to-date through June, according to New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement data. That helped increase the Garden State's total gambling income by 2.5% through the first half of 2016.

New Jersey also wants to offer legalized sports betting, but on Aug. 9 the state suffered a setback when a federal appeals court struck down a 2014 state law that would have allowed sports betting at casinos and racetracks. It's unclear whether Garden State officials will seek final word from the U.S. Supreme Court.

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