In 1995, slot machine gambling was legalized in Delaware. Since that time, table games and sports betting have been added to the legal gaming mix in that state. Last August, free online slots, roulette, poker, and blackjack became available to residents through the state's three casinos. In November of 2013, these free online games became real-money operations.
Delaware is the second state in the U.S. to promote online gambling; Nevada was the first. Anyone who is physically located within the boundaries of the region can partake of real-money online gaming at one of the area's three casinos as long as they have the money to do so and are of legal gambling age.
More Freedom to Choose
In Delaware, residents who wish to gamble are no longer required to get up and physically go to a casino. They can gamble on their personal computer, tablet, or smart phone. They can gamble from home or from an Internet-serving coffee shop. The only requirement is that participants be physically present within the borders of Delaware when they play the games.
Delaware's Three Casinos
Three gambling facilities will oversee the online operations. These facilities are the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover, the Delaware Park Racetrack and Slots near Wilmington, and the Harrington Raceway in Harrington. All three businesses offer excellent attractions to in-the-flesh customers and convenient online attractions to cyber customers.
Dover Downs Hotel and Casino
This facility features horse racing, 2,500 slot machines, 41 table games, and a poker room. The AAA Four Diamond hotel offers rooms for rent from $129 - $275 per night and a multitude of convenient dining options. Guests can enjoy gaming, both online and off, as well as touring the local malls, museums, and Amish country of Dover.
Delaware Park Racetrack and Slots
This casino/racetrack combination is located just south of Wilmington and features thoroughbred racing, live table games, two dedicated poker rooms, and almost 2,500 slot machines. A country club and 18-hole golf course are also found on the grounds. Although it is not a hotel, the facility offers fine dining, free entertainment, and other enticing amenities which help guests feel relaxed and at home.
A prominent banner on this facility's online site directs interested parties to the casino's new online gambling venue.
Harrington Raceway and Casino
This racetrack and casino features live harness racing, 1,800 slot machines, and table games. Quality dining, dazzling entertainment, and alluring promotions draw customers from the Harrington area and around the state.
In-state parties can now access online poker, table games, and slot machines through the web address provided on the Harrington Raceway website.
Financial Benefits for Delaware
By June 30, 2014, a profit of around $176 million is anticipated from the state's gambling industry. Legalized online gaming is expected to draw additional revenue to the coffers. Although an added profit of only $5 million will probably come from online activities the first year, that figure is likely to grow as more and more people, particularly those between the ages of 28 and 35, become interested in Delaware's online offerings. Officials have stated that although they don't expect online gambling to be a major money maker, it will be a significant way for people to contribute to the success of the state's gaming industry.
Thomas Cook, finance secretary for the state, called the online expansion "another chapter" in Delaware's competitive history. The ultimate goal, Cook says, is to draw new customers to the gambling industry, thereby netting revenue for the state. If it so happens that online gaming begins to steal business from the state's brick-and-mortar casinos, Cook said the online gambling concept would be revisited. The goal is not to harm the success of brick-and-mortar casinos, he said, but to enhance business overall.
Cook expects the online expansion to keep Delaware in significant competition with casinos in surrounding areas.
Possible Interstate Compact
In the future, it is possible that regions of the United States will merge their online gaming resources much like Powerball and Mega Millions lottery resources have been merged. Cook indicated that a interstate compact is, indeed, a possible long term outcome that would benefit regions of the country.
A professional poker player from the state, Jennifer Leigh, indicated that an interstate compact would be the only way the industry could create a significant poker draw. If the states do not merge resources, she warned that online poker in Delaware would start to look just like a "ghost town" in only a few months' time.
Compliance is Required
People in other states and countries might wonder if they could dodge the location requirement and partake of Delaware's cyber casinos from afar. The answer to that question is no. GPS tracking systems are in place to monitor compliance with legal requirements. When a player registers with one of the three online Delaware websites, their IP address will be obtained by the casino. A text message will then be sent to the player's cell phone to determine his or her precise physical location.
Gamblers who try to gamble on Delaware sites from locations outside of the state could be caught and penalized.
Offshore Gambling Still an Option
U.S. citizens have been gambling for years with offshore sites. Although the law can seem murky, confusing, and even prohibitive of offshore gambling, people continue to find their way through the confusion with certain offshore brands. Until all 50 states legalize online gaming, offshore gambling is likely to remain a viable option for citizens of the U.S., particularly those that do not currently reside in Delaware, New Jersey (click to read), and Nevada.