Delaware loves being first. It was the first state to ratify the Constitution of The United States of America, and seems to really know how to set an example. It kept this trend going all the way to 2012 when Delaware signed the Gaming Competitiveness Act into law which made it the very first state to legalize online gambling. The state’s Governor, Jack Markell, proposed the bill to Delaware’s legislature by pointing out the loss of revenue that the state’s 3 casino racetracks were experiencing the years prior.
Online Gambling in Delaware
The ability to place real money wagers on Delaware’s online casinos is restricted to only Delaware residents who can prove their age and residency with an ID. This contrasts to New Jersey, which allows anyone you happens to be visiting the state. Delaware online gambling regulations have put in place a series of checks within their software in order to bar underage people from being able to gamble and also ensure that out of state players are not able to make deposits or play for real money.
Despite the effect measure in place for deterring underage and out of state players, Delaware actually fosters the least stringent atmosphere for their online casinos to operate in, compared to other states with online gambling legislation. The state’s lottery commision utilizes revenue that it collects from the online casinos, and is then able to forgo mandating big ticket licensing fee on the state’s land based casino operators.
Notably, Delaware has created an interstate compact with Nevada that allows online poker players in both states to play against one another and enter into the same tournaments. This is a great benefit for poker players living in Delaware to have access to the larger and more competitive pool of players that exists in Nevada.
When the Department of Justice altered its interpretation of the Wire Act and later reversed its ruling of the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act), this left decision about whether or not to regulate online gambling up to each individual state. It was just six months later that Delaware moved forward and led the way with legalizing online gambling.
In June of 2012, when Delaware’s General Assembly passed the Gaming Competitiveness Act Governor Markell projected that the state’s new implementation of taxed online casinos would generate approximately $3.75 million in revenue in just one year.
Unlike some other states Delaware had never prohibited online gambling through previous legislation or laws, meaning it never criminalized its citizens for gambling at online casinos prior to creating a state hosted online gambling network. The law was in turn more of a gesture meant to attract the players whom were already wagering at sites not based within the US, not to mention Delaware. Retaining this cash flow in state and preserving it within the state’s economy was a preferable action.
Unlike Nevada, which only allows online poker, Delaware, as well as New Jersey, makes casino games, video poker, and online slots all available. In Delaware players must be at least 21 years of age in order to gamble online. Unlike at the state's land based casinos which offer not only casino games, but bingo, lotteries, dog and horse racing, along with poker rooms and allow players as young as 18 to make wagers.