The state of Delaware authorized online gaming in June of last year when Governor Jack Markell signed the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012. Markell signed the Act in order to save the state’s casino industry by making it more competitive, as well as to create more jobs.
Prepping for Partners and Profit
The Delaware Internet Lottery is a single-provider system established to oversee the new industry. Officials then set up a joint venture whereby Scientific Games, which already provided live slot machines to the state, and 888 Holdings, which is known for its global online gaming software, partnered to create the Internet gambling system. The State Lottery was determined to garner 43.5 percent of the online slot revenue and 34 percent of table games, including online poker.
Well Received Pre-Launch
As Nevada launched its first online poker sites in 2013 and New Jersey launched a fast-track system to prepare its online gaming sites to launch in late November, Delaware quietly plugged away with its own singular online gaming plan. Last week, Delaware Lottery Director Vernon Kirk told CardPlayer that it will launch its online gaming site on October 31.
Kirk said that the process thus far has been a “pretty big technological challenge,” but the free-play online games launched months ago by DoubleDown showed a great amount of interest from the public and provided a learning experience for the organization. The free-play site will likely be taken down eventually but possibly run concurrently with the real-money site for some time.
The new site which launches on October 31 will offer online poker as well as video poker and online slot machines, all on the 888 platform. Meanwhile, Scientific Games will handle the geo-location verification, player identification, and other details per the state’s regulations.
Talks With Other States
Kirk also revealed that talks have begun between Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. “My guess is that, certainly with Nevada, they are definitely anxious to compact with us, and us to them likewise,” he told CardPlayer. “Once we get up and running we will be pursuing that more aggressively… That will be one of the very first steps we take after launch.”
Online Gaming to Reignite Revenue
The state’s gaming industry needs the revenue. A recent Delaware Lottery and Gaming Study Commission meeting revealed that land-based casinos have suffered due to large casino operations in neighboring states. Naturally, the casinos were also victims of the 2008 recession. Delaware hopes that the state’s casinos will not only benefit from the online gaming venture, but from future partnerships with other states that will improve liquidity and make the state a force in the newly growing industry.