Delaware’s online gambling regime has seen only 4,000 player signups and $253,000 in revenue during the first two months of operation.
Although it’s much too early to label the state’s Internet gambling endeavor as a failure, state officials were hoping for a bit more action. The three casinos operating the online gaming sites would also like to see more players log on, as the state takes 100% of the revenue until $3.75 million comes in.
If the amount of revenue generated in November and December played out over the course of one year, just shy of $1.75 million would be realized. The goal is for online gambling to bring in $5 million the first year, perhaps a lofty projection in light of the results seen thus far.
Delaware has less than one million residents, some near state borders who have been plagued by geolocation problems when their IP addresses list them as residing in Pennsylvania or Maryland. Yet others are running into difficulties depositing via credit card at major financial institutions such as American Express, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
Delaware Lottery Director Vernon Kirk said that roughly 70% of Visa deposit requests and 30% of Mastercard are being rejected. Depositing via checking accounts has a nearly 100% success rate. But it is the refusal by the credit card companies who still question the federal legality of online gaming that is putting the hurt on would-be depositors.
Only about 18 players are found online on average in Delaware, while the successful sites in both New Jersey and Nevada typically have in the hundreds. Nevada’s population is three times the size of Delaware, while more than 9 million people call New Jersey home.
Delaware officials remain optimistic that increased marketing efforts in coming months will attract new players. Many now see that it may take two or three years to establsh an online gambling regime that will meet the earlier hopeful projections.
But right now, it’s pretty slow, said Fantini Research publisher Frank Fantini.
It’s quite apparent that partnering with other states in order to increase online poker player pools is sorely needed in Delaware. The state has had preliminary discussions with both Nevada and New Jersey, but nothing concrete has been established by way of a working agreement.
Delaware’s three racinos, Harrington Raceway, Delaware Park and Dover Downs, saw revenue fall to its lowest total in 13 years last year, about $440 million. That’s down from $526 million the year before. Casinos in other states are responsible for much of the decline, just as is the case in neighboring New Jersey’s seven consecutive years of decreased revenue.
Delaware officials had counted on Internet gambling to pick up some of the slack. But thus far, that hasn’t been the answer. The state’s online casinos will add more offerings this year to complement poker, blackjack, roulette and slots. You can find more details on our dedicated page about online poker in Delaware.