The Delaware Lottery’s internet gaming product posted another poor month in April. The poker and casino sites won $202,531, down 24.4 percent from April 2016. Poker raked just $19,280. That was down 44.6 percent from the previous year.
Table games won $27,982 last month. That was down 69 percent year-over-year. Video poker and slots won $155,270 in April. That was up 8 percent from April 2016.
There were 221 new accounts created at Delaware gaming sites in April. That is the lowest number since April 2015 when 210 new players signed up.
Lack of Game Options Likely Hurting Delaware Internet Lottery Performance
Delaware’s casino sites offer just 12 slot titles. These games are proprietary to 888, Delaware’s internet content provider, and are not familiar to players that frequent casinos in the state. Blackjack and roulette are the only table games offered. Jacks and Higher is the only video poker title.
By comparison, Golden Nugget in New Jersey offers 401 games. This includes 354 slots, 21 video poker titles and 26 table games.
Tax Rate Another Factor
Delaware’s online casinos pay a 100 percent tax rate on the first $3.75 million per fiscal year. The state has barely made it halfway to that point in any year during its existence. This means that the state ends up with all of the profit. This provides little motivation for the state’s three online casino brands – Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway – to market the product to players that may otherwise gamble in a bricks-and-mortar casino.
888 has little reason to innovate and add more casino games when it is doing charity work for the Delaware Lottery. The lack of revenues is thought to be one of the reasons other companies have yet to provide content to the state’s casino sites.
Lottery Not Online Gambling Answer
Delaware has shown that its approach to online gambling is not working. The oppressive tax rate and lack of free market contribute to its stale product and lack of growth. New Jersey has shown that an open online gaming market is the answer.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced this week that its licensees grossed $20.8 million in April. That is $2.32 per resident. Delaware is grossing just $0.21 per resident. The difference is the competition and marketing of the products.
Delaware’s poker platform has access to Nevada’s WSOP.com player pool and has not raked more than $20,000 in three months. By comparison, New Jersey poker sites raked nearly $2 million in April.
One of the many proposals to legalize and regulate online gaming in Pennsylvania includes doing so through its state lottery. This would not only hurt the casinos in the state that can use the product to increase bricks-and-mortar visitation, but it could also lead to a scenario like the one in Delaware where the industry is nearly irrelevant due to a lack of games and marketing.