It’s no trick; online gamers in Delaware will be treated to regulated gambling domains within the state beginning on Halloween. The state, nicknamed ‘The First State’ will live up to its moniker as the first state to mandate a full suite of online casino games to US-based players.
Online gambling reform in the US has been an ongoing saga for years. Unlike in Canada where players are allowed to place bets on offshore gaming sites, US players were prohibited from making their own bets following the passing of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Betting Act.
But many players continued to find ways around the law, and states decided to authorize online gambling in their jurisdictions, circumventing the federal ban. Unsurprisingly Nevada was the first state to go live with real-money betting, but players were restricted to online poker in the desert.
Delaware, on the other hand, went further with its legislation and was first to extend bets beyond the poker tables. This position allows players to bet on online slots, roulette, blackjack, and other table games. A similar law was passed in New Jersey, but sites are not scheduled to go live in the Garden State until the end of November.
The Delaware law authorizes online betting sites managed only by the state’s three physical casinos, and powered by the 888 Casino gaming platform. The state is home to over 900,000 residents, and managers of the internet domains expect to attract a large percentage of gamers who currently bet on offshore sites.
Ed Sutor, President of Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, believes the purpose of the online gambling sites is twofold. One is to position Delaware online casinos into the expanding internet betting market, while the other is to bring players and tourists back to the First State.
“It is going to bring customers back to the brick-and-mortars.”
For Delaware gamers, Halloween won’t be a day just for candy this year.