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Guide: Online Gambling in Delaware

When it comes to online gambling, Delaware has been one of the USA’s most progressive states. Gambling in Delaware has been around ever since the time it declared itself one of the first 13 colonies.

The main form of gambling, in terms of state revenue, is the Delaware State Lottery. It has been running since 1974, making it one of the oldest state lotteries in the USA, and a sign of just how long gambling has been a part of the culture within Delaware.

The lottery was preceded by the Delaware Race Track. After a gambling commission was set up in 1933, it would only take four years for the race track to open, which had been issued a license to accept bets on races taking place at the venue only.

It’s very progressive on sports betting too: Delaware was one of only four states that allowed sports betting between 1991 and 2018, although only in the form of a parlay bet on NFL games. Delaware had previously tried to run a sports betting promotion across the state but it didn’t manage to get off the ground. Then, once sports betting was banned at a federal level, Delaware managed to get a partial exemption due to their history with gambling. Despite having a strong history with sports betting, nowadays, Delaware currently doesn’t allow online sports betting.

While Delaware took a longer time to legalize land-based casino and table games, they were much quicker to legalize online casinos. Casino and table games at land-based casinos became legal in 2009. It only took until 2012 for online casinos to be made legal, with operating licenses being handed out by 2013.

Gambling in Delaware: What’s Legal?

  • Year Delaware regulated offline and online gambling: Delaware regulated online casino gambling in 2012.
  • Delaware gambling age: 21
  • Legal casino games in Delaware: All table casino games, lottery, sports betting, racing betting and bingo are legal in Delaware. There are over 7,500 slot machines and over 140 casino table games.
  • Number of commercial casinos: 3

Land-based casinos have been legal in Delaware since 2009. This has led to 3 large casinos being built in the state, each one being based around a race track. This allows for both casino gambling and horse racing gambling to be carried out in the same place.

Despite being one of the most progressive and lenient states when it comes to online casinos, Delaware doesn’t allow alcohol to be served within their land-based casinos. In addition to this, smoking is not allowed within the grounds of any casino in Delaware. This even applies to outdoor areas within the casino grounds.

Horse racing is actually the oldest form of legalized gambling available in Delaware, and has been on offer since 1937. In addition to horse racing, the Dover Downs casino also showcases NASCAR racing at various points throughout the year. The race tracks were the first places where casino games were allowed (from 1994), through a loophole designed to protect horse racing.

After horse racing, the lottery is one of the oldest forms of gambling in Delaware. Having been in operation since 1974, the State Lottery has become one of the most popular types of gambling in Delaware. It’s so popular, that it brings in over $100 million in tax money for the state every year.

Delaware has made offline sports betting legal and available to players since 1991—but, Delaware had limited this to NFL parlays. As of June 2018, Delaware has been able to offer a full range of sports betting options to gamblers including single bets and futures. It was the first state to offer full sports betting.

The one area of sports betting that is not legal in Delaware is online gambling, although this will likely be changed in the future. One loophole to this is gambling on esports and fantasy sports, which both fall between the cracks of sports betting legislation, and can be played at online casinos in Delaware.

Social gaming is not specifically illegal or legal in Delaware. While this would normally mean that it’s best to err on the side of caution in Delaware, there is actually a legal precedent where a social poker game was found not to have broken any laws. The only time that social gaming becomes illegal is when the person running the social game is trying to make a profit from it. For example, by selling drinks or taking a cut of all wagers.

There is no tribal gaming within Delaware, as the tribes of Delaware currently have no plans to move into gaming. This is in part both due to a land claim issue, and also due to the allowance of sports betting within the state.

There is an age restriction of 21 for all gambling in Delaware except for the lottery which can be played at 18.

Online Casinos, Sportsbooks and Poker in Delaware are Legal

Online casinos and live casinos have been legal since 2012, with the first legal online casino being offered to Delaware residents in 2013.

Fantasy Sports are legal in Delaware, apart from one short period of time in 2016.

Esports bets can be placed in both land-based casinos and online casinos since 2018.

Online bingo is legal within Delaware. It was originally legalized with different legislation, but over the years it slowly came into line with Delaware’s other gambling legislation.

Online Poker has been available to play in Delaware ever since 2012, when online casinos and live casinos have been legal.

The legal gambling age in Delaware is 21 for all online gambling, except for tickets bought for the state lottery, which has a legal gambling age of 18.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in Delaware

Delaware was actually the first state to make online gambling legal. This means that in the whole of the USA, Delaware has had the longest to cultivate a list of online casinos. There are a number of options when it comes to choosing an online casino, this instantly makes it difficult to choose one. Once you know what you need, then you can look through all of the casinos available to find the right one for you. Here are some of the things that you should be looking for.

The different types of games on offer. Think about the types of games that you like to play. Some casinos have a bigger choice of Video Slots, some casinos have a bigger choice of table games and some casinos specialize in live casino games. Whatever your personal favorite online casino game is, make sure that you choose a casino that offers a wide range of games that you like.

A welcome bonus is often offered by casinos to entice players to join up. If you like to have extra funds added to your account or free spins on a Video Slot then look at the welcome bonus that is on offer. Make sure that you look through all aspects as well, it’s not always just about how much is offered. If the wagering requirements are significantly lower at one casino it might be worth choosing their welcome bonus as you will be able to withdraw your winnings sooner.

Regular bonuses are also another aspect to look at. If you like to be rewarded for playing with cashback and bonus spins then looking through the type of regular promotions that are on offer is very important. Some casinos will offer a welcome bonus and then nothing else. Others will offer a modest welcome bonus but offer regular bonuses that make it worthwhile returning. Look at the whole bonus package together and see which one will offer you the best return based on how often you play.

A VIP club is also tied into this. If you are a regular player and there is a casino that offers good rewards in its VIP club, then that could be the casino for you. Some VIP clubs will offer things like birthday gifts, free spins on Video Slots, regular cashback and even improved withdrawal options. If these are the kind of incentives that you need from your casino then a good quality VIP club should be something that you look into before you sign up.

Looking through reviews is also a vital step. Once you have found the casino that offers what you need, make sure that you check through as many reviews as you can find. It’s important to find out if the casino you are looking to join offers a service that will give you a good experience. Why join a casino that lets you play all the games you like, offers great and regular bonuses but takes six months to withdraw money from? Find out all of these issues by reading reviews and finding out who is trustworthy and who offers an excellent service.

You should also check the customer service options offered by each casino. If they don’t have a wide range of customer service available, and also the ability to get in touch directly at least during business hours then checking reviews about them is a necessity. If they’re a casino that has regular problems and getting in touch is difficult, then they should definitely be a casino to be avoided. By the same token, if they have a wide range of customer service options in place then it shows that they’re willing to engage with their customers and attempt to solve any issues. This is a good sign and means they should definitely be worth considering.

The Bottom Line on Delaware Online Gambling

As Delaware has been almost a pioneer in gambling over the years it made sense that they would be the first state to allow online gambling. With a wide range of gaming options available to players it has made sure that online gamblers are able to take part in almost any activity that they wish. With online casinos having been legal since 2012 and the first casino being in place since 2013 it does mean that there has been plenty of time for any teething issues to have been resolved. It also means that there is a wider choice of online casinos for players than most other states.

The link up with Nevada opens up the potential for more live casino games in the future. It also instantly added new players to Poker tables in both Nevada and Delaware. This enhanced the experience for players from both states and made sure that online Poker didn’t just die out.

One area where Delaware could use some improvement is in online sports betting. With it still illegal, a lot of players resort to using offshore, unregulated sportsbooks. This can sometimes cause problems if an unreputable sportsbook is used. In the future, online sports betting is likely to be regulated and legal, but at the moment there is no timeframe on when that will be.

On the whole, Delaware offers some of the most lenient and progressive online gambling regulations in the whole of the USA. If you are a fan of online gambling then Delaware is an excellent place to be!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Delaware Online Casinos Legal for Non-Delaware Residents?chevron

Players from outside of Delaware generally can’t play at Delaware online casinos.

There is one specific exception to this rule. Because online Poker requires a large number of players for large tournaments and sometimes it can be difficult to fill up online tables, Delaware came to an agreement with Nevada which allows online Poker players from both jurisdictions the ability to play against each other. This ensures that there are enough players to keep games populated.

What types of games do Delaware online casinos have available?chevron

Online casinos in Delaware cover every kind of online casino game there is. The choice for players is huge and covers all areas of the niche.

Video Slots are available to play, as are table games.

Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat are the three most common table games that are on offer at online casinos.

Each of the table games also offer live casino versions in Delaware. These are versions of the game that operate using video streaming technology, and so have a live dealer, instead of a computer program simulating the game.

Online and video poker are also offered by online casinos in Delaware.

Can I play at an online casino in Delaware if I don't live there?chevron

No. Because each state has its own rules and regulations on gambling, it’s not possible to play at a Delaware state regulated online casino if you don’t live in Delaware. The one exception to this rule is if you are playing online poker in Nevada, then you will be on a joint server for players from both Nevada and Delaware.

Do offshore online casinos operate in Delaware?chevron

Offshore casinos do operate in Delaware, but they’re a bit of a legal gray area. Offshore casinos are not regulated in Delaware, this means that since they don’t reside in the United States, they are not obliged to follow any specific state laws, this also means that they’re not legal.

There are no actual mentions of offshore gambling in any laws related to online gambling in Delaware. So while they’re not specifically mentioned as being illegal, it’s important to say that only casinos that are regulated by the state of Delaware are legal to be played in Delaware.

While it’s highly unlikely that you will be punished for using an offshore casino in Delaware, if you have any form of issues, like payment being withheld, you will receive no legal help. For this reason it makes sense to stick to state-regulated online casinos.