Legalization of Online Casino Games in Delaware

06/03/2012
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

Delaware’s state Senate is currently reviewing and will soon vote on a bill that could legalize online casino games and expand the existing number of casinos already in the state.

 

At a hearing of the House Gaming and Parimutuels Committee, Delaware Secretary of Finance Tom Cook outlined details of the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012, called House Bill 333. The Committee voted to release the legislation for vote by the Senate, even though it faced criticism from anti-gambling groups as well as Delaware’s harness racing industry. They are worried that they will not be elegible for a fair share of gaming revenue if the bill passes.

 

The legislation outlines a plan to offer online slots and table games at top online casinos as well as expanding keno beyond Delaware's current three existing casinos to at least one hundred locations, as well as authorizing betting on NFL football in at least twenty more locations.

 

Industry representatives made presentations to the committee in an effort to educate them about the options available to them. There were some who spoke about ensuring that any online casino games legislation would include the necessary protections to keep minors from placing bets.

 

Melissa Blau, an online gambling consultant who has worked in the European gaming industry commented, "Nobody wants underage gaming activity. Systems can be set up to monitor every computer keystroke made by someone who goes to an online betting site, and that registration and account information, and the monitoring of betting behavior, can help officials determine whether someone is underage.”

 

The bill also faced opposition from Committee members, including Republican Representative Clifford Lee, who did not feel that his fears about underage gambling were allayed.

 

Lee stated, "If you were trying to sell me a new pickup today, you probably wouldn't have sold that vehicle.” However, in the end Lee voted to send the bill to the Senate.

 

Chief sponsor of the legislation, Rep. John Viola stated, "Online gaming is coming, ... and we need to decide in this building whether we want to be on board with that or not.”

 

 

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