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Gambling In Delaware: Full Overview 2020

Delaware Global State Header
Online Casino
(legal since: 06/28/2012)
Online Poker
(legal since: 06/28/2012)
Online Sports
(legal since: 06/05/2018)
Online Lotto
(legal since: 06/28/2012)
Online DFS
(legal since: 07/26/2017)

When many people think of gambling in the United States, their minds immediately gravitate toward Las Vegas or Nevada. But the state of Delaware is one that has a very proud recent history of wagering that has made them one of the leaders in the industry as a whole in America. When it comes to online casino play, Delaware has legalized it. Sports betting is also legal in Delaware. And poker players can also enjoy legalized action in Delaware as well. As a whole, there aren’t many states where it is better to be a bettor than the state of Delaware. However, the opportunity to participate in sports betting online or play in online casinos has so far been reserved for the companies behind land-based racetracks and casinos. It is therefore necessary to inquire with the land-based companies if you are looking for online fun like sports betting, online poker or online casino.

Delaware gambling history and social importance

History: Plenty of firsts

If anything, the history of casinos Delaware has to offer, along with other forms of wagering, run parallel to the history of the state in general. Delaware became the first state back in 1787, so it only makes sense that the state has become one of the first to offer residents a wide range of wagering options that they can choose from.

Wagering in the state started with horse racing in 1760, with a track in Newark. Gambling wasn’t yet legal at that establishment, but private wagering did take place on a regular basis. This went on until the Great Depression, when revenue needs dictated that horse racing wagering be legalized.

Casino gaming wasn’t legalized in the state until 1994, when racetracks were authorized to offer slot machines in an effort to attract more people to those facilities. It took all the way until 2010 for the state to legalize table games, with three racinos offering those games to players today.

Regarding online gambling Delaware has had it since 2012, when they legalized online casino action in the state along with online poker. They have since legalized sports betting and daily fantasy sports in the state as well.

Social importance: A culture of first

For Delaware, the social importance of legalizing so many forms of wagering is twofold. First, being the first state and being one of the first states with a widely legal wagering portfolio makes them stand out in a part of the country where New York and the nation’s capital are so close by. And the fact that this state that is often overlooked has passed all of these measures with such efficiency when compared to other states serves as an impressive feather in Delaware’s cap as bettors can flock to the state from elsewhere to enjoy everything it has to offer.

Delaware Gambling

Legal situation of casinos and online casinos in Delaware 2020

Land-based casinos: Racetrack action

If one is looking for a Delaware casino, there are three locations to choose from. Harrington Raceway and Casino, Delaware Park Racetrack, and Dover Downs are the three land-based casinos that have been permitted in the state. These locations have been operating casino games since 1994, when they first introduced slot machine gaming to bring more people to their racetracks. Since then, they started offering table games in 2010 to meet the demands of players who wanted more than just online slots.

Legal situation for land-based casinos: Legal at the tracks

The legal situation surrounding land-based casinos in the state of Delaware isn’t complicated at all, as their operation is legal and there aren’t any obstacles to keeping it that way. While there are some complications that can arise from Native American casino representation in many states, Delaware is not one of those states. Instead, the land-based casinos are owned by organizations that include the Delaware State Fair and Dover Motorsports. The law that was put into place to first allow slots at racetracks was passed without being signed into law by then-governor Tom Carper. There have since been no challenges to that law or the 2010 addition of table games to those same facilities, an addition that has made them Delaware casinos with table games.

Online casinos: Online action available

Delaware online casino action has been allowed since the year 2012, and is overseen by the Delaware Lottery. The answer to the question “are online casinos legal in Delaware?” has been yes since that point, as players have had the opportunity to take part in Delaware casinos online since then. The situation surrounding these online casinos in the state is an interesting one, as there is a single provider in online casino Delaware play, with 888 Casino providing its services to power the online casino capabilities of the three land-based providers. While different, this provides consistency in what players see in the state.

Legal situation for online casinos: Legal through the lottery

At this point, there are no more legal obstacles for online casino action in Delaware. This is thanks to the passage of House Bill 333, which legalized online casino action in the state as of June 2012. The Delaware Lottery is what controls this action, with the Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement being involved as well.

Market prediction for the future

Delaware is in a strong place as it pertains to casino action online, but there is more that is likely to take place on this front in the future. The most obvious place to start in that regard is with the expansion of online casino play in the state in the form of other providers being able to get involved. The main way that this will happen in the future, if it does indeed take place, will be through the state doing away with the tethering of casino action to the three racetracks in Delaware. With the original goal of tying casino play to horse racing being to increase racetrack attendance, there might not be reason to keep that part of the requirement for casino and online casino operation around. If that domino were to fall, Delaware would have many more wagering options.

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Legal situation of sports betting and online betting in Delaware 2020

Land-based betting operators/racetracks: Multiple places to wager

Betting on sports is something that bettors should know how to do if they want to know how to gamble in Delaware. And thanks to the advent of sports betting in the state, bettors will be able to do just that at multiple brick and mortar locations. Just like with casino action, sports betting in Delaware is allowed at Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway and Casino. These are the same three facilities that have their hands in the rest of Delaware’s betting options, with sports being the latest of the areas where they can do business.

Legal situation for land-based betting operators/racetracks: Legal protections exist

Is Delaware gambling legal when it comes to sports? Yes it is, although it is legal in a way that is different from many other states. Unlike states that are legalizing sports betting through new legislation, brick and mortar sports betting in Delaware was already protected by law. Just like in Nevada, sports betting in this state was grandfathered in under previous protection from anti-sports betting legislation. The implementation of sports betting has been more of a recent phenomenon, though, with the industry growing as a whole both in and out of state.

Online sports betting: Not there yet

Betting on sports online has become extremely popular, and it is making its way to Delaware as a result. Sports betting has been legalized in the state, which means that bettors should be able to expect to put their money down on sporting events online in the near future. However, thanks to the processes required for legal sports betting action to take place, the situation surrounding the online sports betting industry in the state is not yet as far along as some would like.

Legal situation for betting sites: Legal, not operational

While sports betting has been legalized in the state of Delaware as of June of 2018, the legal situation surrounding online sports betting in the state is not quite as clear cut. That is because online sportsbooks have not been approved to operate so far. There is anticipation that they will be able to do so in 2020, but Delaware sports bettors at this point are relegated to in person wagering at the aforementioned racetracks.

Market prediction for the future

In terms of the market for sports betting in Delaware, only positive things seem to be on the horizon. The main reason for that is the fact that online sport betting is coming to the state relatively soon. When exactly that will be is unclear, but the fact that it has been legalized and operators are soon to be free to start offering wagering is a welcomed sign. In the future, it may even be possible that more in person sportsbooks will be made available as well. Just like the casino industry, the tethering of gambling to three physical locations feels archaic, and it is possible that as betting becomes more accepted in the mainstream that that tradition will change in Delaware.

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Legal situation of poker rooms and online poker in Delaware 2020

Land-based poker rooms: A short list

While the Delaware casinos list is a short one, players have the ability to play poker at them just as they are free to take part in casino and sport betting at those places as well. Those locations are the same racetracks that the rest of the wagering industry in Delaware are tied to, which makes those three places the hubs of gambling as a whole in the state. Fortunately for bettors, though, poker is not limited to physical locations the way that sport betting is as it waits for full approval to be done online.

Legal situation for land-based poker rooms: Long since legal

In person poker rooms aren’t facing any legal resistance at this time. Players have long been free to participate in poker action in the state. Given Delaware’s status as one of the states on the cutting edge of wagering across the board, this isn’t surprising. And given that the state has online poker as well, the legal status of this form of betting does not appear to be in any sort of jeopardy as players are free to do as they please with their card playing within the regulations set by the state.

Online poker: Not a ton of choices

Playing poker online is also something that can be done without issue in Delaware, which has been the case since 2012. There are fewer options for players in this state than there are in some others, but that doesn’t mean that players can’t enjoy the world of poker from their devices as long as they have access to the internet.

Legal situation for online poker: Only one legal provider

As far as online poker is concerned, the legal situation for the game in Delaware isn’t bad but could be better. Legal online poker in the state is relegated to one provider, with 888 Poker providing the software to the three racetracks that control the wagering options throughout the state. Legal online poker in the state is relegated to one provider, stopping players from being free to utilize some of the premier online poker brands in the world. But thanks to House Bill 333 in 2012, the status of online poker doesn’t appear to be in peril as currently constructed.

Market prediction for the future

Looking at the future of poker in Delaware, it could absolutely benefit to expand beyond the confines of the three racetracks just like sport betting and casino betting could. That doesn’t appear to be on the horizon yet, but with the expansion of gambling throughout the United States, it isn’t entirely unexpected that the government in Delaware might want to take a look at that setup. If that were to happen, online poker would benefit the most, as premier brands in the industry could make their way into the state at long last. The big winners in that scenario would be the players, who would have more choices after going without.

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Legal situation of lotteries and online lottery in Delaware 2020

Lottery play is available offline in the state of Delaware, with the Delaware Lottery serving as the operator for the state as a whole. Perhaps more interesting is the situation surrounding online lotteries in Delaware, which are legal but are not currently being used. Delaware is a part of the Multi-State Lottery Association, which is based out of Iowa. However, there are currently no plans to expand into the online lottery space in this state. Online lottery is an interesting industry that is more popular in Europe than it is in the United States. However, online lottery play could be especially popular in the future with the new capability for online scratch cards and other technologically-fueled possibilities. Given all of the options that exist in the state, expanding those may be a higher priority than adding online lottery play into the mix.

Legal situation of daily fantasy sports in Delaware 2020

Daily fantasy sports, or DFS, was legalized in Delaware in July of 2017 through House Bill 249. As of now, it exists through three main daily fantasy providers, with DRAFT, DraftKings, and FanDuel being those providers. In the daily fantasy industry, DraftKings and FanDuel are the biggest names. Therefore, people in Delaware are getting the best that the DFS industry has to offer with those operators being licensed to do business in the state. As the daily fantasy industry continues to grow, it will be interesting to see if any other new gambling sites emerge as leaders in the industry that people in Delaware can take advantage of, as more competition could lead to better promos and value. But as it stands currently, DraftKings and FanDuel are more or less competing for the attention and action from all serious daily fantasy players.


Legal situation of social casino in Delaware 2020

Social casino gaming is something that is gaining in popularity and is very interesting to think about as a whole. Social casino action looks just like regular casino action  and slots, only players aren’t risking any funds when they play. These social casino sites are available in Delaware, with the big names in the social casino and slots world like Slotomania and the like being there to be played in the state. These are fun options for players who do not wish to risk any of their own funds but like the idea of playing casino games and interacting with other people who do as well. Given that they allow players to purchase play money, the prospect of social casino gaming as a whole is an interesting one. But for those who wish to take it on, the state of Delaware does not appear to be a place where they are going to be stopped from doing so.

Conclusion: Plenty of legalized wagering

In terms of states where wagering can be done, there aren’t many better than Delaware. That is because this state offers players just about every major form of wagering that can be done, and they are offered in a way that is exciting and engaging to players. While the controlling of betting in Delaware is arguably too largely concentrated in the three main racetracks in the state, the fact that players can do all of the betting that they could ever want in the state is more than enough to make up for that fact. In the future, it should be expected that the new betting options in Delaware will only continue to get better as more states put the pressure on them to be as competitive as possible in the new marketplace. Don’t miss out on your chance to take advantage of the betting offers in Delaware. Check them out today!

Betting typeLegal status
Land-based casinosThree legal venues
Online gamblingLegal through racetrack sites
Sports bettingLegal through racetracks
LotteryLegal, no online lotteries yet
Daily fantasy sportsLegal as of 2017
Minimum gambling ageLottery and bingo: 18, casino and racing: 21