Delaware Primary Vendor Bid Goes to SciGames and 888

Posted on May 3rd, 2013 by Todd Wilkins

Delaware Primary Vendor Bid Goes to SciGames and 888Delaware’s online gambling scheme moves forward with the selection of Scientific Games, 888 and Williams Interactive as the primary vendor.

Delaware’s online gambling scheme moves forward with the selection of Scientific Games, 888 and Williams Interactive as the primary vendor.

The companies were chosen by the Delaware State Lottery under a joint bid that won out over roughly a dozen other proposals that included Amaya Gaming, IGT, Bally Technologies and PokerStars. The winning consortium benefited greatly by the fact that Delaware already has an existing relationship with Scientific Games, who currently operates the state’s lottery games.

Lottery officials released a Request For Proposals back in February seeking bids from gaming companies interested in providing all the necessary functions to run the state’s newly-regulated Internet gaming platform. While several of the applicants fit the bill, the bid headed by Scientific Games stood out to gaming regulators.

An agreement brokered between the trio was made in preparation of submitting a proposal that would provide a full turnkey operation for the state’s online gambling needs. In addition to providing software for both casino and poker offerings, the consortium will also be responsible for payment processing and identity verification functions. It was this complete solution, along with the state’s familiarity in working in tandem with Scientific Games, that apparently separated the winning bid from the others.

Williams Interactive, 888 and Scientific Games must still iron out the final details of a contract, but that is viewed as not problematic after landing the plum role as primary vendor. A representative for one of the companies anticipates a launch prior to the end of the year. The Delaware Lottery had issued a target date of September 30 to have gambling sites up and running, but a bit more time may be needed to roll out a full slate of online poker, lottery and casino games.

Nevada was the first state to launch online poker when Ultimate Poker began hosting real-money Texas Hold’em games earlier this week. With the announcement of the primary vendor position in place, Delaware looks to have its sights on being the first state to operate online casino play. Their only competition at this point is New Jersey, but the Garden State appears to be running a bit behind in the race to be first.

Delaware has a population of slightly less than 1 million, which is likely not enough to sustain a viable Internet poker format. However, if the First State forms an interstate compact with Nevada and other states who are expected to eventually join the mix of regulated states, player liquidity would be greatly enhanced. Delaware’s population ranks 45th, while Nevada’s 2.7 million residents comes in 35th on a nationwide basis.

The Delaware State Lottery is in charge of regulating the state’s Internet gambling operations in accordance with the Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 that Governor Jack Markell signed last June. The primary vendor will be granted an initial contract of five years. If all things go as planned, that contract will likely be extended considering Scientific Games’ presence in Delaware and its almost 40 years of experience in providing lottery and gaming products.

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