Delaware legalized online gambling in 2012 and gave the three existing brick-and-mortar casinos in that state the authority to offer online casino games and poker to people within state boundaries. All three casinos went live on the internet in 2013 and continue to accept real money players to this day.
Online casinos in Delaware are allowed to host real money slots, video poker, table games and player vs. player poker. In short, you get the full casino experience at home minus the sports betting and free booze. It’ll be a while before we get legal online sports betting in any state as that activity is still outlawed at the federal level.
Today, you can do your gambling at any one of the following websites. The three casinos you see below are the official websites of state-sanctioned betting sites in Delaware. You must be located within state boundaries and at least 21 years of age to create an account and download the software. The fantasy sites and horse racing sites you see below are also legal in Delaware and all are headquartered in the USA.
Daily Fantasy Sports:
Horse and Greyhound Betting:
Online Casinos and Poker:
How Online Gambling Works in Delaware
Delaware’s gambling legislation gave the go-ahead for three betting sites but it appears to have provisions in place that may allow other sites to enter the market under certain circumstances. Hopefully we’ll see increased competition as more sites come online and vie for your business.
As is the case with gambling in other states, Delaware’s online casinos are open only to people located inside Delaware. Your location is verified by IP address and cell phone triangulation. Details on this technology are sparse, but the technology is definitely effective at blocking people outside of Delaware.
The big difference between Delaware and other states that have legalized online gaming is that Delaware’s state lottery commission controls the industry. All three casinos are operated as a joint venture between Scientific Gaming and 888 Holdings. Each casino runs its own website, but they are all essentially one big entity.
Poker players will be glad to know that Delaware is open to sharing player pools with other states. What this means is that eventually you won’t be restricted to playing only with people in Delaware. One day in the future, you may find yourself sitting at tables with people from all around the country. This will result in more games and bigger tournaments. So far, Delaware has signed player sharing agreements with Nevada and New Jersey. As more states legalize online gambling and poker, we will look forward to similar agreements with those states as well.
For the most part, the online betting experience in Delaware is similar to what the offshore industry has given us for years. You have access to all the same games, a wide range of betting stakes and even real money poker. Delaware’s casino sites don’t look as polished as some of the big international sites, but overall things look and act as they should.
A Rough but Promising Start
Online gambling in Delaware got off to a bit of an awkward start, but there were no outright disasters. Delaware showed us two things. First, it showed us that legal online betting can be done safely and responsibly. Second, we learned that this fledgling industry has a lot of maturing to do.
One of the big issues facing Delaware’s gambling sites is verifying player locations and giving them access to the sites. Delaware is a tiny state in terms of landmass and a good chunk of its residents live near a state line. Location verification is a rough science, and many Delaware residents have been incorrectly blocked from the casino sites.
It’s a tough position for the casino sites to be in. They absolutely cannot allow people outside of Delaware to access their sites. And with location verification being somewhat imprecise, casinos must err on the side of caution and block anyone who cannot be 100% verified as being located within state borders.
Our prediction is that technology will improve and sites will come up with alternate forms of location verification. But for right now, the state is missing out on lots of potential customers.
The good news is that people from other states are being blocked just like the state legislature promised. This sheds a good light on the technology and shows that casino sites have the ability to operate within the confines of the law. This should prove comforting to those worried about minors and gambling addicts getting access to sites.
A second problem is one of deposits. Banking institutions are still blocking many credit and debit card deposits to Delaware’s casinos. This is happening because despite online gambling being legal in the state of Delaware, there are still federal statutes that forbid banking institutions from processing payments to and from online gambling sites.
It was estimated at one point that up to 70% of card deposits to Delaware gaming sites were being blocked. That’s a huge problem for obvious reasons. However, we expect to see legislators address this problem shortly and give banks the go-ahead to process transactions for licensed US betting sites.
The last challenge facing Delaware is a simple one of revenue. Casino sites in Delaware are not seeing nearly as many customers as they had hoped. This goes back to the problems with location verification and deposits. When Delaware eventually solves those issues, the revenue should follow.
Despite these hiccups, the online gambling experiment in Delaware should be considered a success. Yes, there were a few problems, but nothing completely disastrous. Every challenge facing Delaware can be overcome with relatively simple fixes. It’s just a matter of time.
A Positive Update
The state’s online poker industry received a big break in 2014 when the governors of Delaware and Nevada signed off on an interstate player sharing agreement. It took a while to iron out the details, but the agreement went live in early 2015.
The agreement allows licensed poker sites in Delaware to share players with licensed sites based out of Nevada. The end result is a larger pool of players for poker sites in both states. Now, you may find yourself seated at tables alongside people from both states.
This was a huge development as one of the big issues facing poker sites in both states is one of limited market potential. Now that Delaware’s poker sites have access to players from Nevada, online poker becomes more attractive to Delawareans. No longer will you find yourself playing with just a handful of other people from the same state.
Delaware made progress once again in 2017 after it was announced that New Jersey would be joining the player sharing agreement. With a population of nearly 9 million people, New Jersey is a welcome addition for players on Delaware poker sites who will now be able to play alongside players from New Jersey and Nevada in addition to other Delawareans.
Fantasy Sports in Delaware
The Delaware Department of Justice issued an opinion in March of 2016 that it believed fantasy sites were operating contrary to state gambling laws. However, the DOJ agreed not to take action due to word of a pro-legalization bill that would have given sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings legal status in Delaware.
Any efforts to pass positive fantasy sports legislation fell through later that year. The Delaware DOJ subsequently sent cease-and-desist letters to FanDuel, DraftKings and Yahoo Fantasy Sports. All the major fantasy sites were forced out of Delaware.
Legislation signed in 2017 finally legalized daily fantasy sports for good in Delaware. FanDuel, DraftKings and other major DFS sites were permitted to reenter the Delaware market provided they pony up a $50,000 licensing fee and pay upwards of 15.5% in DFS taxes. FanDuel and DraftKings promptly took action and now both sites accept customers from Delaware once again.
It was at one time questioned if Delaware saw daily fantasy sports as a threat to its legal online casino games as offered by the state’s three licensed brick-and-mortar casinos. We should also keep in mind that Delaware is one of just four states that already allows a limited form of traditional sports betting. The Delaware sports lottery allows residents to place parlay-style wagers consisting of three or more games.
Sports Lottery Director Vernon Kirk, however, did not seem threatened by the emergence of daily fantasy. When asked about the issue in 2015, he said “no, these are very different forms of gambling.” As it turned out, we will get to see whether or not those concerns were valid now that the major DFS sites are back in action in Delaware.
Online Horse Racing Betting
Delaware is one of many states that allow real money horse racing betting in-person, online and via off-track betting (OTB) facilities. The state Thoroughbred Racing Commission regulates and oversees all aspects of racing to include betting. One of the commission’s stated objectives is to ensure the betting public receives “fair percentages of the wagering dollar by overseeing audits.”
Most of the major horse racing betting websites accept customers from Delaware with the only restriction being that customers must be at least 18 years of age. If you’re 18 or older and live in Delaware, you can visit any of the websites listed near the top of this page to place real money wagers on the day’s races.
Some unlicensed offshore betting sites also take horse wagers over the internet, but they offer no advantage over legal racing sites. Licensed horse racing betting sites offer the exact same odds that you would get if you were placing wagers in-person at the track. In fact, all wagers taken online by licensed operators are pooled with those taken in person. Placing your bets with licensed sites supports the local racing industry just as much as those placed at the track.