The State of Delaware has marked an important day in gambling and perhaps has made a mark in the whole US online gambling history as well. They had finally passed House Bill 333 or the bill that will amend laws on the state lottery and regulate online gambling in Delaware. The legislation was passed with 16 senators favoring it. There was only one vote against it, and one abstention.
The House of Representatives had previously passed the bill and brought to the senate. Now, the bill is waiting to be signed into law by Delaware Governor Jack Markell, who has never tried to keep his support of the bill a secret. When the Governor signs the bill, Delaware will be the most advanced state in legalizing online gambling in the US.
This is a big achievement for the state considering they were the last to enter into the thought of online gambling. It was only in December of last year that they started to think about legalizing online gambling after the Justice Department announced that the Wire Act only regulated online sports betting. Back then, each state had to regulate online gambling within their jurisdiction given that they do not violate the UIGEA.
House Bill 333 considers that online casino sites will be offering slot machines and various casino games like poker and blackjack to name a few. Online gambling websites will be controlled by the Lottery office of the state. Along with casino games and slot machines, lottery tickets will also be offered on state operated sites. Included in the plan is to add 30 sports betting outlets before the NFL season and 100 Keno retailers before the year ends. Casino games, however, will be available in early 2013. Geolocating software will be installed to make sure that players are still within state limits.
Delaware’s casino scene will expect revival because of these online casinos. Nowadays, land casinos in Delaware are facing tough competition from neighboring states. Part of what these online games will make will help reduce licensing fees paid by land casinos, which are now pegged at $3.75 million. This drop in licensing fees will encourage casino developers to invest more in the growth of their casinos. Delaware Finance Department has estimated the revenues to reach $7.75million in 2013.
Senate President Anthony DeLuca has been influential for passing the online gambling bill. He says that it was important for Delaware to remain a forerunner in online gambling developments in the US.
The Senate was originally set to vote for June 26, but the voting was delayed by a day. Many expressed their concerns that there weren’t enough votes from the Democrats to get the measure. One of the reasons of this was because the horse racing industry was asking for a greater share in the revenues.
They even sought an amendment to incorporate the appeal. If ever such an amendment will be agreed on, the bill will be sent back to the House to be voted on again. This could compromise the bill and will not be enacted in the current session. But they reached a compromise after the administration talked to the community and offered them a greater share of the profits after the bill becomes a law. Shares will be based on the actual revenues that the online gambling industry will generate.