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Defenseman Henri Jokiha

The market for legal sports gambling in the United States widened significantly on Tuesday with expanded betting in Delaware [url=http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ryan-switzer-jersey]Raiders Ryan Switzer Jersey[/url] , putting legal wagering within driving distance of three major East Coast cities less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for states to accept the bets.

Instead of flying to Las Vegas or betting illegally, fans in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington can make a short drive to legally bet in Delaware on the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Final or the World Cup. More states are likely to join the action by the time the NFL starts its season in the fall.

"Giants and Yankees, all day, every day," Manhattan native Karriem Keys said Tuesday after betting on the New York Giants to win the Super Bowl next year.

Keys, 53, who now lives in Dover, was one of a couple of dozen people laying down early wagers at Dover Downs as Delaware became the first state outside Nevada to offer legal gambling on individual sporting events.

"In New York, we would go right to the corner store, to the bodega, and bet," Keys said. "That's not legal, but, you know [url=http://www.sanfrancisco49ersteamonline.com/customized]Customized San Francisco 49ers Jerseys[/url] , everybody was doing it. But now it's legal so it's great."

Gov. John Carney had the honor of placing the first bet, wagering $10 on the Philadelphia Phillies to beat the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

"I'm a big sports fan, a big Philadelphia sports fan," said Carney, who traveled to Minnesota in February to watch the Eagles win the Super Bowl.

Dover Downs casino workers took in 36 bets within the first 20 minutes of legal wagering. The offerings at Delaware's three casinos include bets on professional baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, golf and auto racing.

Because of a failed sports lottery experiment in 1976, Delaware was partially exempted from the 1992 federal ban on sports gambling that was recently struck down by the Supreme Court.

That exemption led to broader sports betting legislation passed in 2009 and Delaware's NFL parlay wagering system, which gave the state a head start in offering more wagers.

"I just had to get in on the action, you know what I mean?" John Celatka of Dover said after betting on Tuesday night's Colorado Rockies game and Wednesday night's NBA Finals game.

Celatka said he's done pretty well with NFL parlay wagers and single-game wagers was a logical next step.

"I'm excited to get started with football season," he said. "I like my chances."

Fans in three other states could be placing bets by football season.

In New Jersey, which successfully challenged the federal ban, lawmakers hope to have a bill signed by the end of this week that resolves competing proposals to allow sports betting at casinos and horse racing tracks.

In Mississippi [url=http://www.steelersfootballauthentics.com/terrell-edmunds-jersey-authentic]Terrell Edmunds Game Jersey[/url] , where lawmakers proactively legalized sports gambling at the state's 28 licensed casinos in anticipation of a favorable Supreme Court decision, regulators have proposed rules that could be voted on as early as June 21. That means casinos could start taking bets in late July.

West Virginia also passed a sports betting law before the Supreme Court decision, and officials there hope to have sports betting when football season kicks off. The West Virginia Lottery Commission is working on draft rules and regulations but has given no timetable for when they might be ready.

"We're not going to start until we know we can do it 100 percent correctly," lottery director Alan Larrick has said.

Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has said he wants state officials, professional leagues and casinos to reach an agreement on what the leagues have called an "integrity fee" 鈥?money that the leagues would use to police betting patterns 鈥?but the subject was not addressed in a recent special legislative session.

Thus far, no state law has made it to the books with the integrity fee attached.

Pennsylvania also prospectively legalized sports betting last year, but it could be months before regulations are in place that would allow sports books to open. State officials have not produced an estimate of what sort of tax revenue the activity could mean for Pennsylvania, which already rakes in more in taxes on casino gambling than any other state. But some gambling industry officials are warning that Pennsylvania's 34 percent tax rate 鈥?plus another small cut for local governments that host casinos 鈥?and the $10 million licensing fee will make it unprofitable to run a legal sports betting business.

In the meantime, Pennsylvania gaming officials notified casinos last week they could begin applying for licenses. So far, none has submitted an application.

Nuckols reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Jeff Amy in Jackson, Mississippi, Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia, contributed to this report.

The Chicago Blackhawks are taking a closer look at their house after missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade.

They aren’t sure just yet if a complete teardown is necessary.

The Blackhawks are heading into one of their most intriguing summers in years after finishing with 33 wins and 76 points [url=http://www.authenticsmiamidolphins.com/cheap-mike-gesicki-jersey]Mike Gesicki Jersey Elite[/url] , their lowest totals since they went 31-42-9 during the 2006-07 season. While they might not make any big changes, improvement next year is mandatory, general manager Stan Bowman said Monday.

”This year was extremely disappointing,” Bowman said. ”Last year was more abrupt, but this was equally disappointing. I’m not happy with where we are. We’re going to examine everything, look long and hard at ways to improve through personnel.”

The Blackhawks have been on a downward trend since winning the 2015 Stanley Cup. They were eliminated by St. Louis in seven games in the first round of the 2016 playoffs, and then were swept by Nashville in the opening round last year.

They stumbled all the way to last in the Central Division this season, falling short of the playoffs for the first time since star forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were rookies during the 2007-08 season.

Bowman said the team’s top priority is keeping the young players who impressed this season. Rookie Alex DeBrincat had a team-high 28 goals, one more than Kane, and Vinnie Hinostroza showed flashes of promise after beginning the year in the minors.

”That’s the direction we’re headed,” Bowman said. ”They’ve showed they’re part of the future.”

His second priority is free agency, and Bowman said he’s more interested in short-term deals than longer pacts that would tie his hands in the future.

He could look for goaltender help after Corey Crawford missed the final 47 games with an upper-body injury. He also could focus on his blue line after top defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook showed signs of age this season.

”This was an off year in about every category,” coach Joel Quenneville said. ”From every individual except two or three, we expect more next year.”

Both Bowman and Quenneville expressed confidence in a healthy return for Crawford, who went 16-9-2 with a sparkling 2.27 goals-against average in 28 games. Anton Forsberg, Jean-Francois Berube and Jeff Glass all struggled in goal after Crawford got hurt.

”He’s on the right track [url=http://www.chargersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-justin-jones-jersey]Chargers Justin Jones Jersey[/url] , close to being ready to go,” Quenneville said.

Toews, who missed the last eight games with an upper-body injury, said previous successes ”happened naturally, organically. Now there’s a lot of issues you need to find solutions. We need to take a creative approach to finding solutions. It’s humbling to a certain degree. You feel like you’re starting over.”

LOTTERY FEVER

The NHL draft lottery is April 28, and Chicago has a 6.5 percent chance of winning the top pick. The Blackhawks drafted Toews with the third overall pick in 2006 and got Kane with the No. 1 selection in 2007, fueling their run to three Stanley Cup titles.

TIPPING POINT

Crawford’s injury just before Christmas turned the season around. They were in a playoff position on Dec. 23, his last appearance, and fell out of contention soon after he was placed on injured reserve.

WRONG NUMBERS

The Blackhawks allowed 256 goals, 67 more than they gave up during the 2014-15 season. Keith, a two-time Norris Trophy winner as the league’s top defenseman, finished with a career-worst minus-29 rating, the worst such number on the team.

GOODBYE

One of the most memorable moments of the season was Patrick Sharp’s final game at the United Center. The 36-year-old Sharp is planning to retire after finishing with 10 goals and 11 assists in his 15th NHL season. The team honored Sharp with a highlight video in the third period of its home finale, and he waved his stick and tapped his heart to acknowledge the sustained roar of the crowd.

NEXT UP

Defenseman Henri Jokiharju could get a long look during training camp in the fall. He was selected by the Blackhawks in the first round of last year’s draft, but he doesn’t turn 19 until June.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Kane has decided to keep playing. USA Hockey announced Monday that Kane will captain the U.S. team for the world championship in May in Denmark.

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