Online gambling in Delaware took the next step towards fruition this week. Beginning at 6am on Wednesday August 28, the state’s three government-backed casinos launched web portals with free casino games available through Facebook.
Delaware will become the first state in the US to offer real-money online gambling, which is scheduled to go live by the end of October. Nevada legalized online poker near the end of 2012, and New Jersey will go live with a full slate of online casino games before the end of 2013. Despite being the first state to legalize online gambling, Delaware has received less attention from regulators and operators than its sister states.
Tom Cook, Delaware’s Secretary of Finance, says the lack of attention from the industry is one of the main reasons for the social gambling promotion. The websites of each of the state’s casinos direct players to DoubleDown Casino, which is linked to power the social casino games on Facebook. The games include a collection of online slots, roulette, and blackjack games as well as a free online poker room.
The free social games are open to all players in the US, Canada, and other markets around the world. But Cook says the real-money games scheduled to go live by the end of October will only be accessible to Delaware-based players.
“This first phase will allow us to really get the players acclimated to the virtual world in a legalized environment.”
Delaware will continue to offer the free casino games after the real-money options go live. Cook assures gamers that many of the online casinos’ branded slots and table games will allow real-money and play-money bets after October – though he reiterates that the real-money options will only be allowed by players in Delaware.