In early November of 2013, Delaware officially became the first state to offer full-scale legal online gambling. And while the first year did not bring in the amounts of money the state and the casinos had hoped for, there has been a steady increase in money earned monthly since the gaming websites went live. The last available numbers by Delaware State Lottery, which runs iGaming in the state, show a massive 42% revenue increase over the previous month.
For now online gambling in Delaware is available only on desktops and laptops, but not on mobile devices. Technology for smartphones and tablets is being developed, but no specific date when it’s going to be implemented.
Legalized gaming via the internet is new to the US, and something that more states are considering each year to bring in revenue like state lotteries do. Delaware set up its system, where the state is given first $3.75 million made in the year before the casino can begin to see any profit.
During the first year that mark was not met, but the amount of money played each month did start to increase and was at close to $7 million for November, 2014. Much of the disappointing earnings are being blamed on a slow start up with a number of technical issues, that have since been worked out.
Delaware-Nevada Players Sharing Deal
Technically Nevada did offer legalized playing online a few months before Delaware, but only for poker. In Delaware, the online casinos opened not only with poker, but with the chance for players to gamble on a roulette, blackjack, slots, and even lottery tickets.
Now there are negotiations in place that will allow players in these two states to share online poker pools, increasing the winning pot size for players. Although the interstate gaming compact was signed by Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval in April 2014, an exact date for this shared network has not been set yet.
On January 10, 2015 a significant step was made to bring that project to reality. The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) officially adopted the group’s Policy Framework for the Regulation of Internet Gambling. It contains a section necessary for states to share player pools or otherwise cooperate on iGaming. This should contribute launching shared network in the first half of 2015, according to OnlinePokerReport. It will be opened for other states with legal iGaming — for example New Jersey — to join.
How it works
The same jurisdiction, which governs the Delaware state lottery, is also in charge of the online sector. The poker sites offer games to their users through a special platform that 888 Holdings provides, and the state monitors.
Players have to be physically located within the state in order to play any of the games. Consent is given by the user that allows the site to detect the location. The player can then set up an account in any one of the three sites being used in Delaware for playing:
All three have been provided by 888 Holdings, which is the same company responsible for sites like WSOP.com. This enables them all to carry the same variety of games, features and benefits plus the added bonus of sharing the same player pool for poker games. Difference between three platforms are design and welcome bonus size: on Dower Downs it reaches $110, on other two it's $100.
Gaming Sites and Games
As mentioned above, there are only three gaming sites that are legally accessible in Delaware: Dover Downs, Delaware Park and Harrington Raceway. To get started with any of these online casinos you will first need:
An internet connection through a laptop or desktop
To be 21 years of age
A valid social security number
A cell phone that can receive text messages
- Chrome 23 and higher
FireFox 13 and up
Internet Explorer 7 and higher
Opera 12 and up
You can have a total of 3 accounts: one per each of the three gambling sites. Each of your accounts will be linked to your ID data. That means you won’t be able to create two or more accounts on one site. It also will prevent you from playing at more than one site at the same time.
Once you are registered and set up with an online account, you will be able to play a number of casino games and poker. All three licensed sites include a similar set of games:
Blackjack — along with Classis and American blackjack;
Roulette — with European, European Pro and French variations;
11 kinds of slots;
Jacks or Higher video poker;
Poker — Seven Card Stud, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, Omaha Hi-Lo. With poker games you can use a webcam, that allows play in real time and face to face between opponents. The software is also set up, so that multi-tabling is allowed, table resizing and player notes.
According to Delaware State Lottery statistics, in November 2014 table games and video lottery products accounted for $152,084 of revenues; the state’s online poker tables generated a further $32,814.
Before a player begins, he/she should note the following:
Deposits: You can make deposits by using a Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card or by bank transfer (ACH) into the account. At this time, there are no deposit methods available using other types of accounts such as PayPal or Skrill.
Withdrawals: You can make a withdrawal from your online account with a bank transfer or a check. There are no withdrawal methods provided to transfer money back to a credit card or by using a PayPal account. There are no fees for withdrawal services.
Transfers: There is no transferring of money between accounts allowed, nor can one player transfer money to another.
According to Tom Pohlman, general manager of Golden Nugget Atlantic City, about 70% of Visa transactions and 25% of MasterCard credit card transfer transactions were declined in 2014 industry wide. One the one hand, it is a result of contradictions between state and federal regulations over online payments. On the other hand - part of banks' and credit card companies' policy to reduce payments to gambling sites. This glitch is slowly ironing out in two ways:
By online gaming company providing opinion letters from a lawyer stipulating to the game’s legality;
By adding new transaction codes that identify a legal site — as it was done in New Jersey.
Can remote control software be used?
Due to online gaming regulations in Delaware, remote control software cannot be running while using gaming sites.
Can I use my smartphone to gamble online in Delaware?
At this time, there is no mobile device accessibility for players in Delaware, but the governing authority in Delaware is hoping to bring that technology to users shortly.
What is ACH?
ACH – Automated Clearing House – is the system used by the casino to conduct secure transfers from your banking account into your online gambling account.
- What type of documents should I send to verify my identity?
According to Delaware legislature and for security reasons you may be requested to upload through your account some or all of the following documents; photo ID, credit/debit cards, proof of address, notarized documentation.
Why do I need a cell phone to play?
Your mobile device is used to verify your location.
After the first year of disappointing sales, Delaware is already working on making improvements in the form of better-branded slot machines like Wheel of Fortune, mobile access and shared pots with other states. With these additions, there is a good chance that online gambling in Delaware will grow in popularity and player’s convenience, adding revenue to the state and casinos.