Tiny Delaware Struggles Most Among States with Legal Online Poker

3 min read

Online gambling activity in Delaware has dwindled so much so that few would even notice if it suddenly ceased to exist.

Fenwick Island, Delaware
Delaware is a beautiful state, but not a great place to play online poker. (Image: VisitDelaware.com)

After finishing the year with a lousy December performance, Delaware’s online gambling market saw an 18 percent decline in revenue for 2017 compared to the previous year, with the state’s three online casinos combining to generate just $2.39 million in revenue.

December showed a significant drop, with total money wagered at the state’s online casinos down 56 percent compared to December 2016. Net revenue generated was 9 percent lower year-over-year.

Poker rake was only worth 8.7 percent of the total internet gambling revenue during December. Table games (19.1 percent) and video lottery (72.2 percent) were the main sources of income.

Delaware Online Poker
Net Revenue – December 2017

Delaware Park ($10,424)
Dover Downs ($5,504)
Harrington ($2,332)

Totals ($18,261)

Delaware is one of three states that currently have licensed and regulated online gambling and poker sites in operation. Pennsylvania, after recently passing legislation, will soon become number four.

Struggling State

Even in light of the state’s small population (945,913 in 2015), internet poker in Delaware has delivered less than anticipated, and seems to be on a downward trajectory.

In 2016, Delaware’s online casinos raked in a not-so impressive $376,000 from poker. In 2017, those same poker rooms generated just $231,000 in net revenue, a 38 percent drop.

Delaware’s online poker revenue pales in comparison to nearby New Jersey, a state with 8 million more residents. Delaware’s annual online poker revenue comprises just 13 percent of what New Jersey raked in for just July, the state’s worst month.

The $231,000 in poker revenue generated throughout the entire year was merely 13 percent of the money raked in by New Jersey’s online poker rooms…during it’s worst month (July). The Garden State turned a $2,338,866 profit from internet poker last January, its best month of the year.

Delaware Pride?

Delaware has never been a hotbed for poker, live or online. Only one player from the state has more than $1 million in lifetime live tournament winnings. You may recall the state’s winningest live tournament player, Abraham Korotki?

He burst onto the poker scene in 2006 by winning $433,000 in the inaugural WSOP Circuit Atlantic City Main Event, and just last year won another $350k by taking down a $2,500 Borgata Summer Poker Open event. But it was a $21,000 score that brought him the most notoriety, when he took first place in the 2009 WPT Borgata Poker Open Ladies Event.

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