State officials proceeding with plans to get system running before the NFL season starts

The four major professional U.S. sports leagues and the NCAA have sued Delaware in an attempt to stop the state from implementing sports betting.

Delaware’s legislation “would irreparably harm professional and amateur sports by fostering suspicion and skepticism that individual plays and final scores of games may have been influenced by factors other than honest athletic competition,” the plaintiffs said in the suit, which was filed in federal court in Delaware.

The National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and the National Collegiate Athletic Association contend that Delaware is overstepping Congress’ intent in 1992 when it banned sports betting but grandfathered in four states (Nevada, Montana and Oregon included) where it was already legal.

They say federal law authorizes in those states only the kinds of betting that were in place before the ban. This would rule out single-game betting in Delaware, so the suit claims. For the same reason it also would preclude betting on all sports. Before the ban Delaware operated only football betting.

Delaware officials hope to have sports betting in place for the start of the NFL regular season in September.