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✳ JUNE 14 - 20, 2007


State is considering allowing sports betting Lobbyist would like to see betting parks in Sussex slots bring in, he pointed out, “we would be in even worse shape than we are now.” Venables challenged Minner’s assertion In its push to find money for the 2007that allowing sports betting would hurt 2008 budget, the Delaware Legislature is young people. “I don’t see that sports betconsidering legalizing sports betting. Proting would be any different from having ponents say that sports betting would the slots. It would be no more harmful to mean an additional $70 million in the children,” he said. state’s coffers. Lofink’s bill would allow sports betting And while legislators are talking about only at the state’s three “racinos,” or race allowing sports betting only at existing tracks and casinos. But Gary Ward, a lobracetracks, at least one area man would byist with Delaware Sports Betting, is loblike to see “sports betting parks” set up in bying for “sports betting parks” to be alSussex County, including one in the Laulowed throughout the state. rel area. He would like to see three such parks A bill introduced last week by state built in Sussex County, in the Lewes-ReRep. Vincent Lofink (R – Bear) would alhoboth area, near Fenwick Island and in low people 21 and older to place bets on college and professional sports. Lofink in- the Seaford-Laurel area. “We need for peotroduced his bill deple to rise up in Susspite Gov. Ruth Ann ‘We need for people to rise up in sex County, and tell Minner’s statement legislators that we on Wednesday that Sussex County, and tell legislaneed something she would veto any tors that we need something down here,” said sports betting bill Ward, who grew up that passes the House down here. We have three racein Laurel and lives in and Senate. tracks in the state, but Sussex Seaford. “We have Minner has said County doesn’t have anything.’ three racetracks in that she is concerned the state, but Sussex about the effect County doesn’t have sports betting could Gary Ward anything.” have on young peoLobbyist, Delaware Sports Betting Ward estimates ple. But state Sen. that each betting Robert Venables (D – Laurel), chairman of the Joint Bond Bill park would bring in about $3.6 million for the state. Delaware Sports Betting’s proCommittee, said that the state could use the money that sports betting would bring. posal calls for five percent of that money to go to the state’s racetracks, and another “We are the only state east of the Misfive percent to horsemen. “That would sissippi that is allowed to have sports betmean an increase in purse money at ting,” he said. Because the state already Delaware’s racetracks,” he said. had sports betting when the federal law Each betting park location would mean was passed outlawing it, the state’s sports 40 to 50 jobs, Ward added. betting provision was grandfathered in. “I’m a Laurel boy, and I would certainThe practice was outlawed by the state after the federal law was passed, but now “it ly like to see something like this come to Laurel,” he said. seems to me that it is one thing that Ward declined to say where the betting should be considered,” Venables said. Venables acknowledged that “gambling parks would be located. But he did say that there are no plans to is a poor way for us to make money.” But, include such a park in the Discovery Prohe added, the state will need to find addiject planned for U.S. 13 between Laurel tional sources of revenue if services and and Seaford. jobs are not to be cut. Venables did not give the idea of bet“All taxes are down, all development is ting parks much chance of passage. “We down, and there is not enough money to are just talking about sports betting at the do what we are supposed to do,” he said. race tracks now,” he said. Without the $200 million a year that the By Lynn R. Parks



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June 14, 2007  

ALUMNI OF ALL AGES - LHS class of 1957 celebrates 50-year reunion, page 18. And DHS holds commencement ceremony for brand new grads. Page 20...