Online Gambling Legalized In Delaware


Posted by on Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Delaware has joined Nevada as the only states to legalize online poker, as Gov. Jack Markell signed into law a gambling expansion bill that is expected to have online poker sites up and running in the state by early 2013.

The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 became law less than 24 hours after state senators approved the measure in a 14-6 vote that required 13 votes for passing. The First State becomes the second state to legalize online poker within its borders.

Other provisions in the bill that will permit online casino games and poker include brick and mortar gambling expansion of NFL betting in more than 20 non-casino outlets. Also, keno will be widespread in more than 100 locales throughout the state.

Delaware moved quickly in passing HB 333 because of lost revenue due to expanded land-based gambling in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The neighboring states have poached a number of the gamblers who previously patronized Delaware casinos, forcing state legislators to look elsewhere for additional revenue.

The state has three “racinos,” a combination of horse racetracks and casinos, that have already hinted about wanting to launch online gambling sites on their own. Delaware is one of the least populated states with about 900,000 residents. In order to increase liquidity in the online poker market, industry scuttlebutt has it that Rhode Island and West Virginia may forge an interstate partnership with Delaware, which would allow the trio of states to garner a substantial pool of players.

Nevada is still expected to be the first state to launch online poker sites, having enacted legislation last December and recently awarding online poker licenses to Bally Technologies and International Game Technology. The Silver State is looking at December 2012 or early 2013 as a launch date for intrastate online poker. If Delaware authorities can move as quickly on establishing Internet sites as they did on enacting legislation, then they may not be far behind.


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