Delaware is currently one of only three states in the US to legalize online gambling within its state boundaries. Just this week, state officials with the Delaware Lottery named a vendor that would be handling their online gambling. Scientific Games International and UK online gambling giant 888 Holdings joined in a limited venture and bid on the rights to offer their services for online gambling in Delaware, and they posted the winning bid for that right.
Delaware has promised a launch of online gambling by September of this year, and is naming the new state-wide virtual internet system iGaming. Scientific Games had a major in-road in the bidding process, as they already retained the contract to deliver Delaware’s video lottery system. 888 Holdings is a dominant player in many European countries’ online gambling communities, and their multiple websites offer sports betting, online bingo and poker, as well as Las Vegas style casino games.
888 has in the past run US online gambling websites, but Congress in 2006 outlawed gambling on the Internet in the United States, and to appease regulators and also retain their positive reputation, 888 pulled out of the US online gambling picture. Ed Sutor is the CEO of Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, and he recently said that the Sci Games/888 partnership “narrowly beat out” a similar agreement between Bally Technologies of Las Vegas and online gaming creator Amaya Gaming Group.
Sutor also revealed that the state of Delaware told him that the deciding factor to go with Sci Games/888 was the years of experience 888 had in delivering online gambling. Delaware enlisted the aid of their three physical casinos in preparing the bidding documents for online gambling, and casino officials even sat in on presentations to the Lottery Office by prospective online gambling providers. Online gambling legislation passed in Delaware will require that the physical casino’s websites offer the first slate of Internet gambling through their brick and mortar locations.
This is the initial and most important online gaming contract to be awarded in Delaware, and the only one thus far. Delaware still has to find vendors to provide individual online games, businesses to handle age and ID verification, and companies to offer online payment processing. Delaware was the second state in the US after Las Vegas to legalize online gambling, which they did last June. New Jersey has since also legalized online gambling through its physical casinos in that state, and the first legal online poker play actually took place just one week ago in Nevada.