- Horseracing (1935), Lottery (1974), Casinos (1994)
- $253 million
- $635 million
- 18 for lottery and bingo, 21 for casinos and racing
- Smoking is banned in Delaware casinos.
- Horseracing, poker, and casino games
Delaware casinos and gambling is a massive industry considering the size of the state. The state offers more forms of gambling than any other state with the exception of Nevada. Delware gambling dates back to 1760, 27 years before it became a state. Underground horseracing pools operated during that time. This activity became regulated in 1933. It is one of the oldest forms of legalized gambling in the country.
The Delaware Lottery manages all of the gaming within the state. It has the full power to regulate existing gambling and introduce new ones. This includes its online gambling industry. In addition to the traditional lottery games, there is also legal Delaware casinos, horse racing, and sports betting.
Delaware Casinos Map & Guide
- Delaware Park
- Dover Downs
- Harrington Raceway
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Types of Delaware Online Gambling Allowed
There is a wide variety of Delaware online gambling. Like most states, it permits off-track betting on horses. The most popular sites for this are TVG and TwinSpires. It is one of just two states, New Jersey being the other, that regulate online casino games. The software is provided by 888. It includes blackjack, roulette, Jacks or Better video poker and about 15 slot titles.
Online poker is also legal in Delaware. The Delaware Poker Network, created in 2015, connects to WSOP.com in Nevada. This is the only legal interstate poker liquidity pool in the U.S.
Players will find online poker and casino games at the websites belonging to the state’s three racinos. Those are Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway.
The state lottery regulates the Delaware online gaming sites. It is the only lottery in the country that oversees poker and casino sites.
Daily fantasy sports sites operate in Delaware. DraftKings and FanDuel are among the companies that claim fantasy sports is a skill game. Delaware officials have yet to release an opinion on the legality of fantasy sports sites in the state. An investigation is underway.
Types of Live Delaware Gambling
- Slots: Yes
- Blackjack: Yes
- Poker: Yes
- Craps/Roulette: Yes
- Horses: Yes
- Lottery: Yes
The full spectrum of Delaware gambling is completely legal within its borders. Most of it are regulated by the Delaware Lottery in cooperation with the state’s three horseracing tracks. The racing venues operate live tracks and off-track betting. There is also a full slate of casino games inside at these tracks. These are known as video lottery Delaware casinos. Slots, video poker, tables games using cards, craps, roulette and live poker are all offered at these Delaware casinos.
Poker is permitted at charitable rooms in Delaware. However, with online poker being legal, it has overshadowed any attempt to illegally play poker in other venues.
The Delaware Lottery sells traditional scratch-off and lotto tickets. This includes interstate drawings. Delaware’s lottery is the only one in the country that sells sports betting tickets. Bettors may purchase parlay cards for NFL games. No other sports are permitted, nor are straight bets on a game. Delaware tried to offer Nevada-style sports betting but was stopped when challenged by the sports leagues.
Delaware Gambling Laws
The Delaware Lottery has nearly full control of the state’s gaming industry. It regulates racing, casinos and the sale of its own tickets. Delaware leaves all major decisions to the lottery. A constitutional amendment is not necessary for expansion.
At this time, the Delaware Racing Commission permits horseracing at the venues; Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway. These tracks are also permitted to operate full Delaware casinos, with games including:
- Video poker
- Three Card Poker
- Four Card Poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold’em
- Pai Gow Poker
They also have a wide range of live poker rooms under the lottery’s oversight. These three Delaware casinos also have online betting sites that spread blackjack, roulette, video poker and slots. Online poker rooms are also branded with these sites. The racinos do not operate the gambling sites. That is left to the Delaware Lottery. The racinos simply lend their branding and websites.
The tax rate on gambling in Delaware is 43%. This includes the online gambling in Delaware. The first $3 million in annual revenue from online betting is taxed at a 100% rate. Since online gambling has yet to reach that number, the state’s racinos and 888, its software provider, have never seen a penny for their collective efforts.
The Delaware Lottery permits the governor to enter into poker liquidity sharing agreements. Governor Jack Markell created a gaming pact with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to create a joint pool of poker players in February 2014. This went live a year later.
Charity gambling is permitted in Delaware, although it is a very small segment of the state’s industry. Bingo, raffles, and poker tournaments are permitted. There is a charitable poker room in the state that specializes in No Limit Texas Hold’em events.
List of Delaware Casinos
Even with only three official Delaware casinos, it is enough to cover the entire state; as it is one of the smaller states. You can locate these casinos in Delaware by address or by checking their websites. However, for those that want driving instructions can use our Delaware casinos map as a guide. They do have another establishment, but the Performance Poker Room in Frankford is used only for poker.
|Delaware Park – Wilmington||2,540 Slot Machines||777 Delaware Park Blvd.||www.delawarepark.com|
|Dover Downs – Dover||2,600 Slot Machines||1131 North DuPont Highway||www.doverdowns.com|
|Harrington Raceway – Harrington||1,800 Slot Machines||18500 S. Dupont Hwy||www.harringtonraceway.com|
|Performance Poker Room – Frankford||Only Poker||34407 Dupont Blvd.||No website|
Delaware Gambling History
Gambling in Delaware dates back to before it became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. The first racetrack opened in Delaware in 1760 in the town of Newark. It operated for more than 150 years with off-the-book betting on horses.
The Delaware Racing Commission was created in 1933. This regulated horse racing in the state for the first time. The first racing license was issued in 1935. Delaware Park was the facility. It is still open today.
Creation of Lottery and Early Beginnings
The Delaware Lottery was created in 1974. This permitted the sale of lottery tickets to generate revenue for the general fund. The first scratch-off ticket was sold in 1976. Lucky Stars was the first weekly lotto game. Its sales began in 1977. In 1991, the Delaware Lottery joined the Multi-State Lottery Association. This gave it access to interstate jackpots. Games offered these days through that agreement include Powerball and Mega Millions.
The Delaware Lottery expanded its reach to video lottery machines in 1994. This permitted the state’s three racetracks – Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway – to install slot machines. Table games, including live poker, blackjack, craps and roulette, were added in 2010. These games were previously only available in electronic format in Delaware casinos.
In 1976, the Delaware Lottery rolled out a new type of game. It was parlay cards for NFL games. Players were required to pick at least three outcomes. The NFL was not nearly as popular then as it is today. The idea was a failure and was discontinued after one year. The law remained on the books.
Modern Delaware Casinos and Sports Gambling
In 2009, Delaware tried to bring back sports betting. The state legislature expanded the breadth of the sports gambling to the same extent that is offered in Nevada. The sports leagues – NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA – took notice and filed a federal lawsuit to stop the games from going live. The sports leagues asserted that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) did not permit Delaware to expand sports betting. Delaware is exempted from that law and the state insisted that it could offer and form of gambling.
PASPA is a federal law that sought to prevent the expansion of sports gambling. It exempted four states that had sports betting laws on the books at the time. Delaware was one of the exempted states.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s ruling that Delaware could only offer the same type of betting that was on the books when PASPA was enacted in 1992. That was three-team or more parlay cards on NFL games. This prevented the sale of tickets on all games and single betting on the NFL. Delaware went ahead with its NFL parlay cards through a partnership with William Hill. It has been considered a success.
Delaware became the second state to legalize online gambling in 2012. This permitted the Delaware Lottery to operate poker and casino sites on the Internet. The Delaware Lottery contracted with 888 to provide the games. These are available from the websites of the three Delaware casinos, Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway.
Lotto Tax and Money Sharing
The Delaware Lottery tax rate is 100% on the first $3 million in revenues each year. The online lottery only generates about half that amount annually. This means that 888 and the racinos receive no money for their online games. This has made it impossible to promote the games as there is no motivation.
Delaware Governor Markell signed an interstate poker liquidity sharing agreement in February 2014 with Nevada Governor Sandoval. This went into effect in March 2015. Delaware online poker players have access to WSOP.com in Nevada. This expanded the online poker game available ten-fold but did not help the state increase revenue. Online poker only generates about $30,000 in rake each month. Casino games win about $100,000 monthly.