History of online gambling in Delaware
The Diamond State boasts a progressive attitude towards internet gambling. Along with New Jersey and Nevada, it was one of the first states to begin serious discussions on online gambling.
These talks helped produce the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act. HB 333 passed the State House and Senate with little trouble in 2012.
The bill then moved to Gov. Jack Markell’s desk. Markell officially made Delaware the first state to legalize internet gambling with his signature on June 28, 2012. Delaware now features legal online casinos and online poker as a result.
The state also moved quickly on sports betting following the repeal of PASPA (a federal gambling ban) in May 2018. It became the first state to begin accepting legal sports wagers in June 2018.
DE online sports betting hasn’t received approval from the state yet. No official timeline exists on when internet betting could become legal in Delaware.
Legalities behind DE online gambling
Only Delaware’s three racinos can offer internet gambling in the state:
- Delaware Park Casino
- Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
- Harrington Raceway & Casino
In most states, land-based casinos/racinos partner with different online software providers. Delaware, however, only features one online platform.
888 Holdings runs the online casino and poker platforms for all three racinos. Therefore, each internet casino and poker site offers the same feel and navigation.
Who regulates the Delaware online gambling market?
The Delaware Lottery oversees this state’s internet gambling market. It maintains the following online gambling responsibilities:
- Collecting relevant fees and taxes.
- Ensuring that operators adhere to the Delaware Lottery’s standards.
- Issuing fines for any operator that doesn’t follow the rules.
Typically, the DE Lottery would also be responsible for vetting applicants and issuing licenses. However, the online market hasn’t progressed outside of 888 Holdings so far.
Delaware online betting
The Diamond State began offering sports gambling in 1976. It featured a parlay-style lottery game that only lasted one year.
Nevertheless, this one instance of sports gambling earned Delaware an exemption from PASPA. Regulators never felt comfortable allowing anything beyond sports lottery parlays, though.
Politicians didn’t take any serious action towards land-based and online sports betting until PASPA fell. As covered earlier, Delaware became the first state to fully legalize sports wagering in the aftermath.
All three racinos feature retail sportsbooks. They can legally accept wagers from gamblers in person.
However, the state has yet to approve internet sports gambling. Delaware doesn’t even feature an online/mobile wagering partner yet.
The Blue Hen State used existing legislation to offer sports betting as quickly as possible when PASPA was repealed. This dated regulatory framework doesn’t account for online wagering.
Politicians must tack on additional legislation to approve internet betting. This approval may come in the near future.
Assuming Delaware approves online sports gambling, then 888 Holdings is a likely partner. One of Europe’s largest internet bookmakers, 888 is already entrenched in the state.
Delaware online casinos
Three regulated internet casinos run in Delaware—Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Racecourse.
Each site uses the 888 Holdings platform. Therefore, you get a similar experience when playing at any of the three Delaware online casinos available.
DE gaming sites also feature the same software providers. 888 and WMS are the available developers.
Using proprietary software, 888 has produced the following hit slots:
- A Nightmare on Elm Street
- City Life
- Millionaire Genie
- Oktoberfest Spins
- Saved by the Bells
- Steampunk Nation
WMS has been in the gaming business for decades. Its biggest online hits include:
- Amazon Queen
- Black Knight
- Fire Queen
- Heidi’s Bier Haus
- Zeus (trilogy)
Delaware also features legal social casinos. For example, Chumba Casino is one of the most popular social gaming sites.
A social casino looks and acts like a traditional gaming site. However, you play for sweepstakes entries rather than real money.
Delaware poker sites
Online poker went live in Delaware in November 2013. Due to the state’s tiny population (996k residents), though, internet poker didn’t initially generate much traffic or revenue for the state.
On Feb. 25, 2014, Gov. Jack Markell signed an interstate poker compact with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. Both governors wanted to generate more liquidity by sharing player pools.
This initial compact noticeably affected both states’ internet poker traffic. Nevada and Delaware brought New Jersey into the fold through an expanded compact on May 1, 2018.
Even with these deals, Delaware online poker remains lowkey. More states must join the multi-state agreement for any significant liquidity to be achieved.
Delaware daily fantasy sports (DFS)
Gov. John Carney approved a daily fantasy sports (DFS) bill in 2017. As a result, Delaware features completely legal DFS.
DraftKings and FanDuel are the undisputed leaders in this market as the only DFS sites that draw any considerable traffic in the state.
How to deposit at Delaware online gambling sites
You can deposit at DE internet gambling sites through the following steps:
- Register for an account.
- Visit the banking section.
- Select a deposit method.
- Enter the desired funds.
- Confirm the amount and wait.
Delaware gambling sites offer multiple ways to fund an account. These options include:
- Credit card: Instantly fund your account through Visa, Mastercard, or another credit card.
- E-check: Send an e-check from your bank account to a gambling site.
- E-wallet: Use Neteller to fund an account.
Online gambling bonuses in Delaware
Given the absence of online betting, Delaware’s internet gambling bonuses are currently limited to casino and poker sites.
You receive a no-deposit bonus just for completing registration. You keep anything left over from the offer—plus potential winnings—after satisfying terms and conditions.
Here’s an example of how a no-deposit bonus works:
- You register for an account.
- The gambling site gives you a $20 no-deposit bonus.
- Playthrough is 20x.
- You must wager 20 x 20 = $400.
- You satisfy playthrough and have $10 left over.
- You can either cash out the $10 or keep gambling with it.
Match deposit bonus
A match deposit bonus matches a percentage of your deposit (usually 100%). Gambling sites cap your potential bonus at a specified amount (e.g., $500).
Here’s an example of how deposit bonuses work:
- A gambling site offers a 100% match bonus worth up to $500.
- You deposit $300.
- You now qualify for a $300 bonus.
- Playthrough on the bonus is 20x.
- You must wager 300 x 20 = $600.
- You can cash out the $300 bonus upon meeting playthrough.
This offer pays back a percentage of your losses over a specified period. You must then earn the bonus (cashback) by satisfying T&Cs.
Here’s an example:
- A gambling site offers 20% cashback for the first seven days after your deposit.
- You lose $200 during this time period.
- 200 x 0.2 = $40 in cashback.
- Playthrough is 5x.
- You must wager 200 x 5 = $1,000 to get the $40.
Free spins let you play real-money slots for free. You get to keep the winnings after meeting T&Cs.
Here’s an example:
- An online casino awards you 50 free spins.
- You win $30 through the spins.
- Playthrough is 10x.
- You must wager 30 x 10 = $300 to withdraw the $30
Delaware gambling sites also feature loyalty programs, which deliver rewards based on your overall betting volume.
Here are some rewards that you can expect:
- Free spins
- Free meals (at participating land-based casinos)
- Match deposit bonuses
Delaware Online Gambling FAQ
Yes. The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 makes both online casinos and poker legal.
No. You just need to be within state lines to play real-money casino games and poker. Each DE gambling site uses geolocation software to pinpoint your location.
No. Delaware doesn’t withhold gambling winnings for state tax purposes. Of course, you should file annual gambling profits on your federal tax return.
Yes. The Delaware Lottery oversees the state’s internet gambling market to ensure that racinos/operators behave responsibly.
You must be at least 21 years old to gamble online in the Diamond State.
No timeline is available on when Delaware will feature online sports betting. The state quickly launched retail sports gambling under older legislation.
Politicians would need to amend current legislation or even introduce an entirely new bill to legalize online betting. This scenario should happen at some point in the future—especially with neighboring Pennsylvania and New Jersey offering internet betting.