Delaware Gambling Guide

The State of Delaware, also known as “The First State” after it became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, is the second smallest and sixth least populous state with less than 1 million residents.

Dover is the capital and the second largest city in Delaware while Wilmington is the state’s largest city with an estimated 71,000 residents.

Delaware is known for having 50% of all US publicly traded companies and 63% of the Fortune 500s incorporated in the state. The state is known to be a corporate haven because of its business-friendly laws. Approximately 20% of the state’s revenue is generated through taxes collected from franchises incorporated in the state.

Delaware has more companies incorporated than there are people residing in the state.

Another significant revenue generator for the state is the gambling industry.

Gambling History

Delaware lawmakers have been the biggest advocates for legalizing gambling and online gaming in the United States.

Delaware is not and will probably never be a major gambling hub in the US given that it is one of the smallest states. However, the state has been at the forefront of gambling in recent years.

Historic records show that the first horse race track opened up in the 1760s so it’s safe to say that the state has had some sort of gambling for a very long time.

The first official race track was opened up by the Du Pont family and it’s still around today, it’s namely the Delaware Park Race track.

The Park opened its doors on June 26, 1937, and today is the only thoroughbred horse racing track in Delaware.

William duPont, Jr. designed and built the Delaware Park after convincing state lawmakers that the race track could bring some much-needed tax revenue to the state especially during the depression

In June 1994, the Delaware General Assembly passed House Bill 628, The Horse Racing Redevelopment Act, legalizing slot machine gambling at Delaware racetracks.

Delaware further expanded the gambling sector in 1995 when it legalized slot machines in the land-based casinos which went live on December 29, 1995 in two of the racetracks.

But it wasn’t until 2010 that Delaware would finally legalize the long-anticipated table games in the state. Governor John Markell signed the bill into law after the House and Senate passed HB 310.

Sports Betting

Sports betting or Sports Lottery/Pick as it is called in Delaware was first introduced in the state in 1976 but didn’t do very well amongst sports fanatics of that time.

Sports Lottery was brought back to life when former Governor Jack Markell made it legal in May 2009 in an attempt to attract more tourists to the state.

Unfortunately, the magic of sports betting was brief after a Federal Court ruled that gamblers can’t bet on single sports games.

This was a huge blow to the Delaware sports betting market.

Sports betting wasn’t entirely banned as the Federal Court allowed gamblers to engage in parlay bets which meant that bettors would have to bet on multiple games. This was not going to be as attractive for the average bettor.

But the day would come when Delaware would finally implement full-scale sports betting program and that day was June 5, 2018.

Delaware was right there ready to roll out their sports betting platform when the Supreme Court dismissed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) on May 14, 2018.

Just three weeks after PASPA was dismissed, Delaware became the first state to offer sports betting (excluding Nevada who already had sports betting) generating over $300K in handled bets.

This was a huge step for the sports betting market and for Delaware. Some experts forecasted that the market could reach between $350 and $760 millions in handled bets annually.

Online Gambling

Poker

Delaware is one of the few states who has fully embraced gambling in all of its forms including online gambling.

Online gambling has been legalized in the state since 2012, way before PASPA was dismissed and before other states started to legalize this form of gambling.

Online gambling was officially launched, to anyone within the state’s borders, on November 8, 2013. It was a full-scale launch of poker, blackjack, roulette, and slots with real money.

The three land-based racetracks/casinos have all acquired the license to operate an online gambling platform in the state which is generating more revenue for them and for the state.

The online gambling operators have partnered with 888 Holdings to use their platform for online poker and casino games. The state’s racetracks/casinos, Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway, are all using the 888 technology.

To further expand the online gambling platforms, Nevada and Delaware governors signed an agreement on February 25, 2014 allowing players in their state to compete online against each other in poker.

This agreement was expanded on October 13, 2017 to include the state of New Jersey.

Types of gambling available in Delaware

Type of GamblingLegalizedDescription
Casino Gambling✅ YesThere are three major casinos in Delaware
Live Poker✅ YesHas been legal since 2010
Live Sports Betting✅ YesSports was first introduced in the state in 2009 but was fully legalized in 2018 after PASPA was dismissed by the Supreme Court
Lottery Gaming✅ YesThe lottery is legal and is regulated by Delaware Lottery
Bingo Gaming✅ YesBingo games are legalized in the state
Online Casino✅ YesOnline casinos have been legalized in the state since 2013
Online Poker✅ YesAlso legalized in 2013
Online Sports Betting✅ YesOnline sports betting is legal as long as you are within the state borders
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)✅ YesDFS has been legal since 2017 when it was signed into law by Governor John Carney

List of land-based/online Casino Operators

OperatorOnline GamingiPhone AppAndroid App
Delaware Park Racetrack & Slots✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes
Dover Downs Casino✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes
Harrington Raceway & Casino✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes

Delaware Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

DFS was legalized in Delaware on July 26, 2017 by Governor John Carney which meant that operators were able to come back to the state after leaving it a year before.

DFS is regulated by Delaware Fantasy Sports and three major operators are available in the state for anyone that is 18 years of age or older. The operators are:

  • Draft

  • DraftKings

  • FanDuel

To legally operate in Delaware, the DFS companies had to pay $50,000 in a license fee and 15.5% in annual taxes to the state.

Delaware Gambling Timeline

1760

  • Records show that the first horse race track opened in the 1760s allowing people to bet on the races 

1933

  • Horse racing was officially legalized in the state and the Delaware Racing Commission was formed to regulate the growing gambling sector

1935

  • The first pari-mutuel license was granted for machines and wagering

1937

  • The Delaware Park Race Track opens its doors making it the state’s first legalized gambling facility

1974

  • Delaware established its State Lottery by an act of the General Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Sherman W. Tribbit on May 31, 1974

1975

  • The Delaware Lottery's first game launched in March of 1975

1976

  • Delaware’s first Instant Game, Diamond Instant Dollars, is introduced

1994

  • The state legalizes Video Lottery in July of 1994, allowing Delaware’s three racetracks to operate Video Lottery machines

1995

  • The Delaware Lottery Games allows the state’s three racetracks (Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway's Midway Slots) to launch slot machines 

2010

2013

  • Online gaming is legalized and launched in the state with casino-style gaming (poker, slots, blackjack, etc.)

2017

  • Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) was legalized by Governor John Carney 

2018

Delaware Online gambling and sportsbetting FAQ 

Yes, we solely partner with and promote licensed operators in the state. We do not promote offshore operators.
No, you do not have to be a resident. You can gamble at the various online gambling operators as long as you are physically within the state borders.
Yes, you must be 18 or over to play the lottery and DFS while you have to be 21 or older to play video lottery, sports betting, table games and internet games.
No, not that we are aware of. Make sure to follow the policy of the legalized operators.
Yes, there are three land-based casino operators in the state.
Check out the reviews section of our website which will give you a comprehensive look at current Delaware licensed operators and guide you to the best one that fits your needs.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as legal advice or instructions. The information you read here is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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