Delaware Proposes Online Gambling Bill


Posted by on Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Delaware is the latest state attempting to pass online gambling regulations, as the state’s Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 is expected to be introduced sometime this week.

Facing increased gambling competition from Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the Blue Hen State is proposing a measure to legalize online casino games and an online lottery. In addition, the proposed bill would permit keno and sports betting to be expanded in the state’s land-based casinos.

Delaware currently has three casinos that generated revenue of approximately $570 million in 2011. Hoping to increase that total, the proposal would first need to advance through the House and Senate prior to approval from Governor Jack Markell. But some feel that the measure has good odds of passing, as Delaware lawmakers are often not as confrontational as legislators in other states.

“Delaware moves quickly, and we tend not to fight all that much,” said Brian Selander, the governor’s Chief Strategy Officer.

As with other states that are proposing or contemplating online gambling legislation, the impetus for Delaware’s foray into the Internet gambling realm is the U.S. Department of Justice opinion released last December that found the 1961 Wire Act as being applicable only to sports betting. The First State will now join New Jersey and California as states with active bills pending in their state legislatures.

Delaware’s anticipation of peaceful progress in advancing the gambling bill is believed to be a far cry from expectations in California, where the horse racing industry, existing card rooms and Indian tribes all are said to be gearing up for a battle to get as much online gambling revenue as they can. New Jersey’s proposal is currently on hold until later this month as lawmakers focus on state budgetary concerns.

That puts Nevada way in the lead to be the first state to offer online poker on an intrastate basis. The Silver State approved regulations in December and is inching closer to issuing licenses, with an online poker up-and-running projection of sometime this fall.


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