Unsurprisingly so, The First State wears its name well, even when it comes to Delaware Online Casinos. Indeed, the small east coast state was one of the first to realize how Delaware Online Casinos could benefit them. So, long before, NJ and PA enjoyed the fiscal benefit of legalizing online gambling. Delaware Online Casinos were already increasing the state tax revenue.
Delaware boasts less than 1 million habitants. So, it’s normal for the online casino DE industry to make less noise than more established ones. For example, the last April 2021 report from The Delaware Lottery (DL) indicated that the legal online casinos in the state generated a total of $874,012. Sure, online casinos aren’t thriving as much as the ones in other states. But make no mistake, the state of Delaware is one of the most permissive ones when it comes to online gambling. And it’s growing too.
A time-lapse of Delaware Online Casinos
While some states have faced significant hurdles when it comes to legalizing online gambling in all its forms, things were relatively smooth in the first state. As of today, all forms of gambling are legal online and offline. But did you know the road to easy online gambling legislation started back in 2009? It was then that the DL allowed racetracks to offer lottery terminals and table games such as poker to their guests.
In April 2011, what is now known today as “Poker Black Friday” would drastically change Delaware Online Casinos laws. Indeed, right after the United States Department of Justice ordered 3 major poker brands to close their websites. Delaware made it clear that it wanted its citizens to enjoy the game still online. Hence in 2012, The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act was agreed upon, and DE is one of the few states to allow interstate poker.
The bills that changed the Delaware Online Casinos landscape
To understand how the DE online casino legislation and to appreciate the milestones surrounding it. We must first acknowledge that it’s the federal ban on poker that kicked off Delaware Online Casinos. First Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Racecourse were authorized to offer online poker. But, they understood to make the game a hit. And, of course, to attract significant players (on and off the table), they had to find ways to increase their player pool. This was when Gov. Jack Markell signed the interstate poker agreement with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.
Then in 2017, it was Gov. John Carney who put his signature to bill 249. And consequently, he made DFS a reality. Delaware Online Casinos took their first DFS wager in August of 2017. Back then, it was estimated that the fan base could reach up to 100,000 folks. In 2018 DE legalized online sports wagers.
The rise of Delaware Online Casinos
Like all States, DE too had to find a way to bypass the wire act to make Delaware Online Casinos legal on all fronts. Yet, after the United States Department of Justice clarified that the wire act applied only to Sportsbook. It’s Senator Bushweller who became the voice for HB 333.
In essence, without HB 333, the rise of Delaware Online Casinos would not have been possible. In fact, it’s HB 333 that essentially legalized gambling in Delaware Online Casinos today. This bill took only 1 month to get signed. Yet, it took over 1 year for the first DE online casino to accept a wager. Most of the hurdles surrounding the opening of any online casino DE revolved around establishing legislation because, at the time, there were none. And, of course, finding, auditing, and approving vendors or a combination of vendors that would work for all Delaware Online Casinos.
Delaware Online Casinos – trendsetters for geolocation and age verification
Without DE, the world of gambling would be quite different in America today. Indeed, we must appreciate before Delaware Online Casinos became a reality, the diamond state casinos were never faced with customer verification issues.
In essence, one hurdle that a DE online casino had to overcome before accepting bets was to prove that all its patrons came from DE. Of course, now today, it’s straightforward. But back then, only a handful of geotagging systems were strong enough to prove that an Online casino DE only accepted wagers within its borders. What’s more, the same venue also had to find a way to age-verify its customers. The 21+ legal gambling age also applied online. And that took some workaround. Lastly, DE was also a trailblazer as its representative worked with Nevada to create the Multi-state Internet Gaming Association guidelines, which today New Jersey benefits from.
The challenge of synchronizing Delaware Online Casinos with the national self-exclusion program
Another challenge that Delaware Online Casinos faced was how to manage self-exclusion. Indeed, Delaware is one of the few states to have a database that people can subscribe to if they have a gambling addiction. The voluntary self-exclusion program prohibits those on the list from gambling in any form in DE. And that had to include all Delaware Online Casinos too. Some say it’s predominantly this issue and the Geotagging that caused delays in launching Delaware Online Casinos. Nonetheless, even if late to the party, online casinos are a reality today in the Diamond state. And it even paves the way to the industry across America.
Delaware Online Casinos cannot make friends with who they want…
While the legalization of Delaware Online Casinos was a game-changer for America, what’s even more striking is that bill HB 333, and the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act include a close for “Poker black Friday bad actor.” In other words, this means that any payment gateways that manage PokerStars, Full Tilt, or Absolute Poker. And, of course, any executive for these companies is not welcome to do business on DE’s turf. Back then, it was agreed that each potential vendor wanted to distribute their iGaming software. Or be involved in any way, shape, or form in Delaware Online Casinos’ operations would first need the green light by DE’s Lottery Director.
So because regulated casinos can’t pick their vendors and may only have 1 skin, in this state, the monopoly belongs to only 3 companies Scientific Games (SG), WMS, and 888. Well, at least when it comes to Casino, Sportsbook, and Poker.
What games can you play online in DE?
Because DE allows charity gambling events, you won’t have to look long to get “your game on” offline. But online, your choices are a bit more limited. Thankfully 888 holdings, which propels most lobbies, can entertain you with slots, progressive jackpot games, table games like roulette. And they, of course, offer classic blackjack too. Yet, it’s worth noting. While 888 sure is famous for poker. However, they only have a few slots under their belt because they’re not an aggregator or game studio.
But thankfully, SG has much expertise in this area. And thanks to company buy-out and special deals. They can entertain players with titles from third-party content creators such as NextGen, Barcrest, NYX, and WMS. Sadly, Online slot specialists such as NetEnt, Playtech, Ezugi, Evolution, Red Tiger, Big Time Gaming (etc.) have few chances to ever go live in DE unless SG can ink deals with them too.
Which online games are the best to play in Delaware?
Well, it all depends on what excites you. But to be frank, DE’s casinos’ jackpot collection is small. It still includes 15 titles, and the legendary Mermaid’s Million slot game is on the list. So, it’s a must-try if you’re looking for a game that could change your life in a spin. The progressive jackpot selection also includes a copycat of IGT’s iconic Cleopatra, Rise of the Pharaohs, which boasts a progressive prize pool. So you might want to give it a try.
Fans of video poker (VP) are sure to have a good time if they opt to wager online. Indeed, many VP variations are currently live in DE, such as Aces and Faces, Joker’s Wild, Bonus Poker, Jacks, or better, and the iconic Deuces wild is live pretty much anywhere. So what’s missing? Keno and scratch cards are hard to come by. And so are Live Dealer games.
Do you have to pay tax on your online winnings in Delaware?
If you are a resident of DE, you will only pay tax on your slot, poker, and sportsbook winnings (24% to 28%) to the federal government. As always, this tax is payable to the IRS and after you have filed your annual income reports. The truth is, in DE, it’s only Lottery tickets winning that are subject to income tax.
Lastly, you might be interested in knowing that while DE is kind to online casino winners. The diamond state does receive 100% of all profits of all its online casinos that generate $3.75 million or less. Any operators that exceed this hard-to-reach revenue threshold will further have to pay taxes, but way less. And, of course, specific to each product. DE’s online gambling tax structure is one of the most complicated. Some believe that the complex tax system makes it almost impossible for casino companies to make sound investments online.