Is Online Gambling Legal in Delaware?
Delaware took the plunge and made online gambling legal back in 2013, alongside New Jersey and Nevada - two other states that are way more famous for gambling. But Delaware decided to do things differently. Instead of a blanket law that throws the doors wide open for anyone who obtains a state license, the jurisdiction made arrangements directly with specific operators.
Because Delaware already had three land-based racinos (race track venues that also offer casino entertainment), it made sense to create an online industry that expanded on what was already in place. The three locations - Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway - were all licensed to begin operating their own online casinos. However, online casinos require platforms and technology, and a further arrangement was reached whereby 888 Holdings and Scientific Games would provide the necessary support across all the online casinos. Altogether this created an immediate online casino environment in Delaware, albeit a fairly limited one.
How do online casinos work in Delaware?
The way that online casinos legally operate in the US varies from state to state. Each state is free to set its own terms and many of these rest of revenue shares and tax structures. Delaware cut itself a huge slice of the tax pie, in this case, alleging that the profits will go towards charity projects and general upkeep of the state. The tax rate for gambling is set at 43% - that goes for both online and land-based gambling.
However, with online gambling, a further law stipulates that the first $3 million in revenue will be taxed at 100%. That’s a pretty tough break when you’re just getting started since the online casino business has yet to break $3 million in profits - meaning they’ve yet to see a profit. But this won’t be the case for long, as online casinos are increasing revenue month on month.
Delaware Laws, Rules, and Regulations
Any regulated casino industry comes with rules and regulations, so you need to be aware before you start playing. The first thing you should know is that you need to be over the age of 21 to gamble, that goes for land-based casinos as well as online casinos. The only exception is the lottery and bingo - to participate in these you must be at least 18 years old.
The second thing you should know is that online gambling is allowed, so long as it’s using the licensed casinos available. Despite the fact that many online casinos target players from Delaware, none of them are legal unless directly stipulated by the state. Lastly, you must be physically located in Delaware to stay within the law. Residents who venture outside the state are no longer allowed to gamble online for real money.
Gambling History in Delaware
At first, Delaware was just a horse racing and bingo kind of state, but as the years passed, the gambling net got wider and wider. If we had the time (or word count allowance), we’d take you on a journey that kicked off in the 1700s. Instead, we did a whole bunch of research and created a nifty little summary. Here’s a quick timeline of how gambling has progressed in Delaware:
- Delaware’s first racetrack was built in 1760
- Pari-mutuel betting was legalized in the 1930s
- The state lottery was set up in 1975
- The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act was signed in 2012
- Online casinos are legalized in 2013 (discussions had been underway since 2010)
- Delaware allows sports betting, alongside Nevada and New Jersey, in 2018
Delaware has a history of embracing gambling of all forms. Even when other states were shunning sports betting, Delaware refused to sign the PASPA that made it illegal.
Land-Based Casinos In Delaware
The land-based casinos in Delaware are very much in symmetry with the legal online casinos in the state. That’s because they’re all the same. When Delaware legalized online casinos, it only allowed the three existing land-based locations to partake in the move. These land-based casinos still operate their physical venues. Each one is found alongside a racetrack, combining casino and race betting. That’s how they obtained the moniker of ‘racino’.
Dover Downs is the largest of the three, with Delaware Park Casino and Harrington Raceway and Casino operating smaller facilities. And if you’re wondering exactly what you’ll find at Delaware’s racinos, we think you’ll be impressed. Dover Downs has the most impressive offering, with an imposing racetrack, a 500-room hotel, and a massive casino floor housing well over two thousand slot machines, over 40 table games, and a comfortable 18-table poker room. In short, Delaware’s casinos are sure to offer you a great time at the tables.
Online Casino Games in Delaware
Online casinos became legal in Delaware in 2013. That means there’s no need for any guesswork as to which online casino games are live and running in the state. But being legal doesn’t mean unlimited, and players in Delaware will have to choose between one of the three online casinos awarded a state license.
The good news is that the small casino selection doesn’t mean a lack of game options. All online casinos in Delaware are powered by 888 Holdings and Scientific Games. The former runs 888 Casino and a number of other brands, and the latter is a well-established game provider supplying all the leading online casinos in the world. These companies have acquired several others over the years, resulting in a massive portfolio of games - all of which is channeled straight into Delaware’s online casinos.
Players in Delaware will be spoilt for choice when it comes to slots of all shapes and sizes. The first thing you need to do is decide which of the three real money online casinos you want to play at. We posted a list of all your gaming options at the top of this article to help you make your choice. All the sites suggested contain a huge range of slot games from the best providers in the world.
Choose from Slots, Jackpots, Progressive Jackpots, Megaways, and everything else in between. You can even opt not to play for real money by selecting one of the social casinos and sweepstakes sites that are also legal in Delaware.
Online poker was legalized in Delaware back in 2012. It’s regulated by state lottery, with tax proceeds channeled towards the same charitable causes. Delaware is only one of six states (along with Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) that allows players to play poker for real money online. Of the six, five of the states (minus Pennsylvania) also take part in interstate player pools.
As with all things to do with online gambling, poker isn’t blessed by variety. It’s operated by one of the three online casinos available and entirely powered by 888 Holdings.
Delaware operates a state lottery that has been in place since 1975. Lotteries have always been widely accepted, not just in the US but all over the world, and it’s easy to understand why. They contribute an important source of state funding that’s relied on for charitable causes, educational scholarships, and other philanthropic endeavors.
Aside from in-state games, the Delaware lottery is well-established and partakes in multi-state draws like Mega Millions and Powerball. The only downside is that it’s not possible to purchase lottery tickets online. Instead, players will need to seek out participating stores to purchase tickets in person.
Roulette is welcome in Delaware, which makes a nice change compared to several other states. Players can choose to play at land-based casinos or at their online counterparts. This comes down entirely to preference and practicality.
One thing that might differ is the variety on offer. Online casinos always give players more choice because they aren’t restricted by space. Therefore, if you’re looking for a wider selection of roulette styles or betting limits, then online roulette might be better suited to your needs. That being said, nothing comes close to the euphoria of being in a live environment.
Just as with roulette, blackjack is a very popular game in the state of Delaware - and thankfully it’s legal too! Players can visit any of the three racinos available, or choose to stay home and download their apps instead. Either way you’ll gain immediate access to real money blackjack at different limits.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that online blackjack is basically an RNG game, it’s not quite the same as a real dealer and a real pack of cards. There are pros and cons to each, but at least you have the luxury of choice.
While online casinos are legal in Delaware, the three that currently operate don’t feature any live casino or live dealer games. This is a big shame because it would really bridge the gap that currently exists between live games and RNG online versions. We’re not sure if this is down to a lack of technical support, or if it’s a conscious decision to allow the land-based casino to retain a unique factor. Either way, there’s no way to tell when live dealer games will be introduced to Delaware’s online casinos. In the meantime, enjoy the opportunity to head down to the tables and enjoy a night on the town.
Sports Gambling in Delaware
For a long time, sports gambling was illegal in Delaware. The only exception to the rule was in-person horse betting, which has been part of the cultural fabric since the 1700s. Any other kind of sports betting simply wasn’t tolerated. Even when online casinos were made legal in 2013, sports betting was still out of the question.
This changed in 2018 when Delaware brokered a deal, alongside New Jersey and Nevada, to allow sports gambling within the state. William Hill was also roped in to offer an online sportsbook, but this is still in the rudimentary stages.
Online Sportsbooks in Delaware
Online sportsbooks aren’t faring as well as online casinos, with reports of falling revenue. Despite the fact that online sportsbooks were legalized along with online casinos, there aren’t many operators open to Delaware yet. Only William Hill was awarded a license, but so far they haven’t picked up as much traction as predicted.
We don’t think this is a permanent situation, simply a new one. In-person betting has only been legal since 2018, with online betting following soon after. Before that, it was only possible to bet on horses. Once wider sportsbetting becomes normalized, we have no doubt that it will be a thriving market in Delaware.
Daily Fantasy Sports Betting in Delaware
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) straddle the line between gaming and gambling. Over the years this indecision caused many states to ban DFS, while others sought to regualrize it. Delaware fell into the latter category, following the footsteps of a handful of other states by legalizing fantasy sports and setting rules, boundaries and - of course - taxes.
Delaware made the move to legalize DFS in 2017, when it was signed into law by John Carney. The regulations state that anyone over the age of 18 can draft teams to take part in real-money daily fantasy sports contests, opening the market right up for companies like DraftKings and FanDuel.
Horse Betting in Delaware
There’s no question about the horse betting culture in the state of Delaware. Dating back to 1760, it’s still a thriving industry today. There are three fully operational racetracks, each attached to a casino that also offers a huge range of slots and table games. That means a visit to wager on the ponies could easily turn into a fully-fledged gambling experience. If you prefer to place your bets online then you can opt to download each location’s app (or just the one) and try your luck on the go or from the comfort of your home.
Depositing and Cashing Out in Delaware Gambling Sites
Depositing and withdrawing at online casinos isn't particularly complex, you simply need to figure out what works best for you and ensure that it’s a safe and reputable payment method. Keep in mind that although many online casinos will target players in Delaware, unless they’re the three licensed operators in the state, it’s illegal to gamble with them with real money.
Online casinos will offer the standard credit or debit card options like Visa and MasterCard. There’s usually also an eWallet option like PayPal. This is always a good option as PayPal is a notoriously safe payment processor.
The final option is bank transfer, which allows you to send money directly from your bank account to your online casino account. It’s also easy to withdraw money back into the account. Online casinos in Delaware accept ACH bank transfers. Keep in mind that bank transfers are the slowest to process, while eWallets and credit or debit card payments tend to be much faster. Whichever you choose, you’re guaranteed to be in safe hands, so you can just focus on the fun.
Casino and Gambling Site Bonuses in Delaware
Bonuses and promotions available will vary depending on your online casino of choice. There’s the usual welcome offer, which is generally the most lucrative offer you’ll receive from any given casino. But the offers always come thick and fast, with several options on a daily basis. The offers available range across all types of games to suit all gambling preferences. For example, you could pick up a deposit bonus specifically for blackjack games, or you can accept a match bonus to play the newest slot game to join the online casino.
Sometimes you’ll find vouchers for jackpot games that could give you a big boost on the way to that ultimate jackpot win. We advise you to check out each site’s promotions section to see what’s on offer before you sign up and deposit. Check out our list of suggested sites at the top of this article to start researching!
Who Regulates Casinos in Delaware?
Gambling in Delaware isn't a free-for-all - it's all carefully managed by The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) which aims to keep gambling within the state to a high standard, with integrity and no illegalities.
The Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement also ensures that all applicants who want to participate in selling or running the Delaware lottery are legally allowed to do so.
They rigorously maintain this by running an involuntary exclusion list, where individuals who have been convicted of gambling-related crimes are not allowed to participate in any gambling (including lottery) activity in the state.
The Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement also carries out other related activities to ensure legalities are being followed. The Applicant and Vendor background investigations which they carry out ensure that any casino employee involved is legally allowed to work in the industry.
They also work in criminal enforcement and investigation, with a task force that investigates criminal enterprises that may harm the integrity of state gambling. They lastly create actionable plans for the industry as a whole, by keeping up to date with the latest information related to gambling in the state.
The Future of Gambling in Delaware
Delaware is a tricky one when it comes to online gambling. They definitely demonstrate a willingness to welcome all forms of gambling compared to other, more conservative states. However, they don’t go so far as to make it a proper open market. Gambling has been a rich part of Delaware history, almost as far back as the state was founded. This initially rested on horse race tracks, and it extended outwards from there. When they made the move to welcome online gambling, it was very much on their terms, with licenses awarded to only the three existing land-based casinos, allowing them to take their operations online.
Operators who want to enter the market will have to broker directly with the state, and they don’t appear to be taking applications at this time. Online sports betting is also legal, but this is virtually a non-starter, with William Hill still developing an online presence in Delaware. The future looks solid for online gambling in this state, but we don’t expect it to be fast-paced.