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Delaware Online Gambling Will Launch Later this Week

by: Steve Larson - - posted on: 28-Oct-2013

Those wishing to dress up for Halloween this Thursday in Delaware will have a costume choice they didn't have last year, that being online gambler.

The regulated marketplace – which will include online poker – is set to go live in that state this Thursday, October 31, making Delaware the second state in the nation to begin allowing residents and visitors to place legal, real money Internet bets.

Delaware beats New Jersey to the punch

Though it has attracted none of the attention that the upcoming launch of regulated online wagering in New Jersey has, probably in part due to its tiny population (the state has less than one million residents according to Wikipedia) and partly because Delaware's gambling economy doesn't find itself in the dire straits that near-neighbor New Jersey's does, adding up to a good deal less anticipation.

Still, Thursday will mark an historic day, and officials from the Delaware State Lottery, the agency tasked with overseeing Delaware's iGaming operations, said that since the state launched play money sites back in August there has been high demand and a positive response from players.

Delaware's online gambling business will function somewhat differently than those in Nevada and New Jersey, thus far the only two states to also regulate some form of online gambling. Unlike in Nevada, where only the game of online poker is permitted – a status quo that is likely to continue for the near future, according to Nevada gaming officials – in Delaware and New Jersey comprehensive Internet wagering will be allowed.

As mentioned, the Delaware Lottery is in charge of the market, and has appointed 888 in partnership with Scientific Games to provide game platforms and oversee operations. In New Jersey and Nevada, state gaming regulators have – or will – issue permits to a variety of operators and casino companies.

New Jersey iGaming scheduled to go live at the end of November

Over in the Garden State, there has been a great deal more excitement surrounding the commencement of Internet betting, which will officially get underway on November 26 after a soft launch period lasting five days that will start on November 21. During the soft launch period in New Jersey, only invited players will be able to access iGaming web sites, however how those players will be invited and whether they will be able to play using real money during that timeframe remains to be seen.

In New Jersey, state regulators and the state's casino industry have long been looking forward to the start of the online wagering market, which is expected to generate up to $1 billion in revenue per year. New Jersey's long struggling gambling economy, on the decline since peaking in 2006 as gamblers and their attendant revenue drive to newer casino properties in nearby Pennsylvania, pushed hard for the passage of the state's Internet wagering legislation, which was signed into law by first-term Republican Governor Chris Christie in February of this year.

Governor Christie, a much talked-about possibility for the GOP presidential nod in 2016, has said repeatedly that he supported the bill in large part because of the need to infuse a new source of revenue into the flagging Atlantic City casino industry.

Though more states are expected to follow suit in 2014 and over the next few years, since the April launch of Ultimate Poker in Nevada, the Silver State has been the only place in the U.S. where players over the age of 21 are legally allowed to place any type of online wager, a situation that is poised to change in coming weeks with the start of iGaming in New Jersey and Delaware. In all three states, players must be physically located within the state's respective borders when logging accessing real money games, and will need to undergo checks to verify both age and location.

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