As the First State, you’d like to think that Delaware was up there as one of the best when it comes to online casinos. The truth is that this small set cost state was somewhat of a trailblazer and has had a wide-ranging impact on gambling throughout the states.
Delaware needs to be seen in context before the performance of its online casinos is judged. The thing is, this is a relatively small state and there are less than 1 million residents living there. So, you may think that the annual revenue generated by casinos, standing at $874, 012 last year, isn’t overly impressive. The truth is that, given just how small the state is, its online casino industry has grown well and is beginning to flourish. Let’s take a look at Delaware’s journey into online casinos and consider where we are now.
Delaware does it differently
If you’ve looked at our pieces on New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or maybe Michigan, you’ll see that these states all struggled to legalise online gambling. There were many battles, and numerous bills, before these states were able to embrace all that online casinos had to offer. The story in Delaware isn’t quite like that.
The road to online gambling in Delaware was a relatively smooth one. There were no significant objections and today the state can boast the fact that all forms of gambling are legal, both on and offline. This makes Delaware, despite its size, one of the best states in the US when it comes to choosing where you’d like to wager your money.
Even the state’s reaction to ‘Poker Black Friday’ was phenomenal. This was back in April 2011 when the United States Department of Justice enforced the closure of three major poker websites. Delaware was already famous for offering every kind of online gambling and it was determined to keep the name that it’d created for itself. This saw, in 2012, the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act. What this act means is that Delaware is one of the very few states that allow interstate poker.
The rapid rise of Delaware online casinos
Delaware, like every other state, needed to find a way around the Wire Act if it was to legalize online casinos. What Delaware came back with was Bill 333. Without this bill, you can be sure that Delaware online casinos would not be in the great position that there are now.
What’s even more remarkable here is that such a significant bill was passed in just a single month. Unlike other states, there were no ongoing arguments. No unfounded worries around crime, and no moral issues cited against gambling. What was seen was a way to provide fun and entertainment. While also generating a healthy income for the state itself.
Delaware is somewhat of a beacon. Its journey to the legalization of online casinos shows the rest of the country just how easy this can be. The hope would be that other states are keen to follow suit and act with the speed that Delaware did.
Delaware and online casino firsts
The impact that Delaware has had on online casinos can not be understated. The reality is that, without Delaware embracing this, gambling in America right now would be very very different. What did Delaware achieve that set the standard for online casinos across the states? Well, it showed us all how to deal with customer verification.
For online bets to be made, there needed to be proof that the customers were actually from Delaware. What seems relatively simple nowadays certainly wasn’t back then. As well as proofing a location, there was also the need to verify that players were at least 21 years old.
Delaware found the solutions here. What this state managed to pull off was replicated across states and the result is that the online casino space became that more credible and trustworthy.
Other benefits that Delaware has brought to the table can be seen by looking at the Multi-state Internet Gaming Association guidelines. It was representatives from Delaware, partnering with Nevada, that set these in stone. Even now, states such as New Jersey still benefit from this.
The state’s self-exclusion program
Another step that Delaware took that made the online gambling space safer, was the creation of a self-exclusion program. In fact, even now Delaware is one of very few states that have a database that players can subscribe to if they are experiencing issues with gambling addiction. Anyone who voluntarily registers on the database is prohibited from all forms of gambling in Delaware, both online and off.
There were delays, even after the passing of bill 333. Before anyone was able to wager at an online casino in Delaware. Many believe that the reason for this is that they were trying to ensure that geotagging was done correctly and that vulnerable players could be offered the protection that they’d requested.
Who’s behind the games at online casinos in Delaware?
As a result of the ‘Poker black Friday’ issue, and Delaware’s response to it. The state found itself in a somewhat unique position. It was agreed that online casinos could only have one skin and that any game developers would need the okay of the DE’s Lottery Director.
This has led to a fairly limited number of vendors and developers. In fact, the whole online casino scene in Delaware is dominated by just three: 888, WMS, and Scientific Games.
What online casino games can be played in Delaware?
What’s available at online casinos in Delaware doesn’t really match up with what you can find at land-based casinos. This is down to the limited number of developers who are operating in Delaware. That being said, any 888 casinos will give you access to great games such as roulette, poker, and, of course, blackjack. The issue with 888 is that slots are fairly limited.
Thankfully Scientific comes to the rescue in terms of slots. With a much more extensive catalogue, there are plenty of titles for players to choose from.
The best online games to play in Delaware
If you’re looking for games with jackpots, what’s on offer in Delaware is a little limited. That being said, there are still games such as Mermaid’s Millions which is certainly worth a go. There are also progressive jackpot titles such as Cleopatra that can lead to life-changing wins if Lady Luck is on your side.
Something that Delaware online casinos seem to do very well is Video Poker. There are an abundance of titles so fans of this game are unlikely to ever become bored. Where online casinos fall a little is when it comes to games such as keno and live dealer ones.
Where to play blackjack in Delaware
When it comes to blackjack rules in Delaware there is no set standard. Each casino is free to implement the rules that it wants to. This means that you may well experience a mix and match as you play at different casinos. There are six land-based casinos offering blackjack to choose from, and these are the ones that are regarded as the best:
The Wilmington Delaware Park Casino
With blackjack tables having limits as low as $2, you can see where players are more than happy to visit here. There’s more to Wilmington than just blackjack though. As you visit you’ll find that there are plenty of slots to try out, as well as a racetrack.
The blackjack rules here are among some of the more attractive. The dealer here must draw to 16 and must stand on all 17s. The casino will even allow players to split aces which is not a common feature.
Harrington Raceway and Casino
Referred to as the “Premier destination for table game fans on the Easter shore”, you’d expect Harrington to have plenty to offer. Well, it doesn’t disappoint. There’s a great selection of slots and there are over 30 table games to choose from. What you’ll notice here, when playing blackjack, is that there are plenty of side bets on offer.
What kind of blackjack games will you find online in Delaware?
It has to be said that the range of online blackjack games is limited. That’s especially the case if you compare what’s on offer here to other states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The issue here is that only 888 is regulated to offer online play and so the selection is a little on the small side.
What about taxes on winnings in Delaware?
If you live in Delaware and you’re a winner. There are going to be taxes to pay on those winnings. Generally, you will pay 24% to the federal government, but there are occasions when this can rise to 28%.