While most are paying attention to New Jersey’s newly-launched online gambling regime, the tiny state of Delaware also has legalized Internet gaming.
As the 45th of 50 states in terms of population, Delaware is sometimes overlooked as being inconsequential as an online gambling hotspot. But The First State has had online gambling and poker sites operating for a full month and state officials are pleased with the progress made thus far.
State Lottery Director Vernon Kirk told newsworks.org that November’s numbers show that Delaware’s Internet gambling scheme has
been going very well. New players are registering and depositing every day, which has been quite encouraging.
Prior to December 1, roughly 2,800 accounts had been created by Delawareans and nearly $4 million has been wagered by those gamblers. That’s a far cry from the more than 50,000 signups in New Jersey’s online gambling player base in just a couple weeks of its hard launch. But Delaware never expected to compete with a state that has over nine times more residents.
Somewhat surprising to Delaware regulators is that poker has been the most popular online game in the first month. Blackjack follows at a close second.
Hoping to further increase player numbers on the virtual felt, Delaware continues exploring interstate compact agreements with both Nevada and New Jersey. The tax rates and different laws of each state make such partnerships quite complicated and will likely take time to iron out workable details.
Delaware experienced the same problems as New Jersey and Nevada with regard to some players within state borders being incorrectly identified as out of state. The same holds true for credit card transactions not always going through. Despite being 100% legal, banks and credit card companies have been slow in approving the transactions.
But with the first month of regulated online play in the books, those issues are improving. While only 20% of attempted Visa deposits have been processed successfully, statistics indicate that 80% of players depositing via Mastercard were able to gamble online. Players using debit cards can expect a nearly 100% approval rate.
The next strategy for Delaware is to increase marketing efforts in order to attract more gamblers to sign up and play. The first stage was making sure that the gaming sites powered by software provided by 888 Holdings and operated by Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs and Delaware Park were operating properly. Now that things appear to be progressing well in that area, Delaware officials will move on to the advanced marketing phase.