NFL joins slots and racing in Delaware, but Md. officials aren’t worried

Fans at the sports book at Delaware Park in Wilmington keep track of their wagers during Sunday’s games.WILMINGTON, Del. — It’s about 30 minutes before kickoff of the Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens game on Sunday. NFL jerseys dot the landscape, and lines swell to 20 people deep as fans rush to get everything in order so they can get back to their seats for the game.

But this isn’t M&T Bank Stadium — it’s Delaware Park, a race track and gaming venue just 65 miles up Interstate 95.

“I really wouldn’t come here without sports betting,” said Brian Taylor, 35, who came from Reisterstown with two of his friends to bet and watch the Ravens game. “I’ve been to [Las] Vegas to do some betting, and a one-hour drive is much easier than a five-hour flight out there.”

In the time between February, when Maryland accepted applications for slots operators, to last month, when the state awarded its first license, Delaware passed a bill legalizing sports betting and had it up and running for the National Football League’s opening weekend.

But Maryland officials say they aren’t too worried about one of its neighboring states offering yet another gaming option before slots arrive here, despite the number of Marylanders crossing the state line and wagering in Delaware on Sundays.