Delaware chose Halloween night to deliver some frightfully good news to its state’s residents and visitors. The First State made history as the first state to deliver what Delaware legislators are calling a “full suite” of Internet gambling options for real money. After the United States Department of Justice gave each individual state the go-ahead to either legalize or disallow Internet gambling for real money within state boundaries, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey quickly passed legislation to provide some type of real money Internet gambling. And even though Nevada has been offering legal online poker for months, Delaware made history by also offering casino style gambling.
This means that in addition to Internet poker, Delaware residents can enjoy playing a variety of games at the new Delaware online casinos, including blackjack, roulette and even slots games for real money, as long as the PC or smartphone they are using shows them as located within physical Delaware state boundaries. The state’s physical casino properties have been pummeled financially by neighboring border states which have ramped up their brick-and-mortar casino operations. This new legislation allowing casino and poker gambling online in Delaware is funneled through the state’s physical gambling casinos, in hopes of rejuvenating their financial picture.
Delaware stated that the typical gambler in that state is in his or her late 50s, and this new online offering of a full suite of casino and poker gambling for real money is targeted at individuals between the ages of 28 and 35. Delaware’s research shows that demographic is constantly online on their smartphones and PCs, and also noted that they do not tend to go to brick-and-mortar gambling businesses as frequently as the older demographic. Internet gambling is a perfect attraction for this group, as they already engage in free play gambling on social media giants like Facebook. To enjoy online poker, blackjack, roulette or slots under the new legislation, you must first sign up at one of the online websites maintained by Delaware’s three racetrack casinos.
Anyone can sign up, it is free to do so, and you may even register if you do not live in the state. Delaware originally rolled out a soft launch with limited participants and games offered, and by November 8 the entire slate of casino and card games will be available to anyone 21 years of age or older located in Delaware and registered. Ed Sutor is CEO at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, and he said that Delaware is wise to be first with full-fledged Internet gaming. He commented that, “the Internet is part of everyday life” and that states considering Internet gambling “are either going to get on the train or be left behind.” Thomas Cook, Delaware’s finance secretary, agreed with Sutor about the prevalence of Internet usage, and the importance of Delaware in establishing itself as a leader in this young virtual gambling industry in the US.
Cook made sure to stress that the goal is to generate new customers, and not just move customers from the physical casino to their couch. And with Nevada (3 million residents) and New Jersey (9 million) also offering Internet gambling in some form, Delaware is pushing forward to legalize interstate gambling compacts with other states already legally offering some type of online wagering for real money. Delaware has less than 1 million residents, and both Sutor and Cook said that while it is a great achievement that the state made history by offering a full slate of casino and card games in its initial Internet gambling offering, interstate gambling compacts will ensure the longevity and financial rewards the state is looking for.