Last week, Delaware’s House of Representatives approved the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012, also known as House Bill 333, by a vote of 29 to 8, with four legislators choosing to abstain from voting. With amendments drafted by democratic Governor Jack Markell’s staff, fellow democrat, John Viola, sponsored House Bill 333 in the House of Representatives.
If passed by Delaware’s Senate, the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 will allow the state’s three brick-and-mortar casinos to host real-money table games, including poker and blackjack, and slots on their respective websites. Only Delaware residents and visitors who are at least 21 years-old will be able to wager on the casinos’ websites.
In addition to legalizing intrastate online gambling, House Bill 333 will enable at least 100 locations in addition to the state’s existing casinos to offer keno to their visitors and permit establishments such as bars and restaurants to offer NFL parlay cards to their patrons. Currently, people can only bet on professional football games within the walls of the state’s casinos.
In an effort to help Delaware’s casinos to remain competitive with casinos in neighboring states, House Bill 333 will also reduce the casinos’ slot machine and table games fees by approximately $4 million and $3.75 million, respectively. The casinos will be obligated to spend the amounts they save in fees on marketing campaigns and capital improvements to their properties.
Finally, House Bill 333 will require people who want to purchase lottery tickets from the state’s own website to do so with prepaid cards and/or vouchers that will only be available in physical locations throughout Delaware. The legislation will also establish an integrated gambling platform that will be regulated by the Delaware Lottery, but run by an independent third-party.