Just yesterday, Delaware Governor, Jack Markell, made his state the second in the nation to legalize intrastate online gambling by signing the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012, legislation also known as House Bill 333. With amendments drafted by members of Markell’s own staff, the Gaming Competitiveness Act was passed by Delaware’s Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 14-6-1. The state’s House of Representatives passed the legislation earlier this month by a vote of 29 to 8.
John Viola, the elected official who introduced the legislation to Delaware’s House of Representatives, has predicted that it will take Delaware’s Lottery about six months to determine the rules for online gambling and test its gaming platform. If he’s correct, Delaware’s three brick-and-mortar casinos could be offering Delaware’s residents and visitors who are at least 21 years-old the chance to gamble via the Internet as early as January of next year.
Different from Nevada which was the first state to legalize intrastate web-based gambling, Delaware will allow its casinos to offer their viral visitors the chance to play more than just poker. With the Governor’s signature, the Gaming Competitiveness Act enables Delaware’s casinos to let people play table games such as Blackjack and slots using real money in addition to poker. People will also be able to purchase lottery tickets on the casinos’ websites, but will have to do so with prepaid cards or vouchers that will only be available in retail establishments.