As reported here last month, the House Gaming and Parimutuels Committee in Delaware voted on May 17 to pass a proposed online gaming bill forward to the House of Representatives in that state. Approval by the Delaware Gaming Authority doesn’t mean automatic acceptance of the bill by the House, but it is an important first step nonetheless. After the bill sponsors got together and made two amendments to House Bill #333, the resulting piece of legislation was evidently satisfactory to ensure passage, as the vote was a resounding 29 to 8 in favor.
The actual long title of the bill is “AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 4 AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE STATE LOTTERY.” If the bill eventually becomes law, it will work in partnership with the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 and allow legalized Internet gaming in the state of Delaware for its residents and visitors, operating under the control of the Delaware Lottery. Legalization would be concerning online casino contests, including poker and other games.
With Delaware owning one of the smallest populations of any US state, they are wisely attempting to partner up with Rhode Island and West Virginia in offering some type of triumvirate online poker deal. If and when those three states do legalize online poker play and online gaming, and if they do successfully enter a three-way partnership, the eventual player pool will rival Nevada in size. As you know, Nevada was the first state to legalize online poker play since the United States Department of Justice moved that responsibility to the state level.
The Delaware Governor’s office has repeatedly professed their support for state legislated Internet gaming, saying that it was crucial for the First State to keep its gaming industry at the forefront of upcoming change in the region. Recently New Jersey, New York and Ohio have also been pushing to become the second US state to adopt online poker legislation, and this latest move by the Delaware House effectively puts that state in the driver’s seat in that regard.
It is on to the Senate Executive Committee for the next hearing for House Bill #333, and every successive hurdle that is cleared lends the proposed bill more legitimacy in a state that has already professed a pro-online-gaming stance at basically every level of the state legislature. The synopsis of the bill begins, “The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 improves the ability of the Delaware Lottery and Delaware’s video lottery agents to offer services to lottery players in an increasingly competitive marketplace,” and the competitiveness of the impending online gaming marketplace in the United States is heating up exponentially with every passing day. This latest judgment by Delaware legislators places that state as a frontrunner in the race to become the second state to legalize online US-based gaming, while also providing its residents and visitors with a safe and reliable, legalized online gaming atmosphere.
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