The AP reports: The state Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would authorize Delaware to become the only state east of the Mississippi River to offer sports betting, sending it to Gov. Jack Markell for his promised signature. The Senate passed the bill 17-2 without a committee hearing, suspending its rules before voting. The decision came on the first day back in session after hours of closed-door negotiations. “I’m pleased they acted so quickly,” said Markell, who fought to resurrect the bill after an initial House defeat last Tuesday. Markell and other administration officials negotiated for hours last Thursday with House Republican leaders who had led early opposition to the measure and were finally able to reach a compromise. Because of a brief unsuccessful experiment with a sports lottery in the 1970s, Delaware is one of only four states, along with Nevada, Montana and Oregon, exempted from a 1992 federal law banning sports gambling. As the only state east of the Mississippi River that can offer sports betting, Delaware has a distinct edge against slot machine competition in neighboring states.