The saying, “more than meets the eye” is what comes to mind with Delaware. This is because, more than anything else, a rundown of the state’s profile lists features that paint a pretty small picture. First, Delaware is located in the United States’ Mid-Atlantic region and sits nestled inside a peninsula (the Delmarva Peninsula) that it shares with Maryland and Virginia.
With a surface area of just 1,982 square miles, it is the second smallest state in the US and with around 900,000 residents, the sixth least populous one.
Delaware’s largest and most economically-important city is Wilmington. Its capital and second-largest city, however, is Dover. With three counties, it is by far the state with the least number of counties or other equivalent subdivisions in the country.
Historically, Delaware was the first state to be admitted into the Union in 1787. Before then, it went by different names from whichever colonial power held sway. It was, at different points in time past, known as New Sweden, New Netherlands, and Delaware Colony.
Delaware may be geographically small, but the state holds its own when it comes to harnessing its abundant human resources, as it outshines many others. It is the sixth-best in the country in terms of population density, and it is among the wealthiest states in the country as well, with a median household income of $62,852. This is good for the 18th best position nation-wide.
A very important fact about the state is that for the past century is that it has become a de facto corporate haven due to the nature of its corporate tax laws. This has also played a large role in shaping its historical and modern gambling landscape.
History of Gambling and Poker in Delaware
A distinction that Delaware has when compared to any other state in the country lies in how early it opened itself up to wagering and gambling activities. The state opened its first racetrack in 1760 and although no betting was allowed there initially, the Delaware Racing Commission managed to legalize pari-mutuel betting and award the first set of operator licenses in 1935.
From that point on, the scope of legalized gambling in Delaware grew even faster. In 1957, the state oversaw the formation of a new bingo commission tasked with regulating charity bingo games, ensuring that profits generated therein are channeled towards the right state-sponsored charity organizations.
After dusting their palms from the good work of legalizing bingo and horserace betting, state legislators, in the mid-80s, decided to explore new horizons in the form of legal casino games. The Delaware Gaming Control Board was formed with the responsibility of creating a new legal framework through which mainstream casino games like poker, craps, and roulette could be enjoyed by residents.
However, it would be more than 30 years until full-scale casino table games would gain legal status. From 1986 to 2009 ( when casino games became legal), only video lottery machines (which came about in 1996) were available at Delaware Casinos.
The Current Gambling and Poker Landscapes in Delaware
As you can tell from the general trajectory of this piece, Delaware is one of the most accepting states to almost any form of gambling. As of today, Delaware has three horse track/casino establishments that offer the full gamut of table games, including blackjack, roulette, craps, Texas Hold’em, three-card poker, Mississippi stud poker, video poker, keno, and slot machines. In a nutshell, you’ll find any variant of poker you can think of at a Delaware casino.
The three gambling establishments are Delaware Park Racetrack & Casino in Wilmington, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, and Harrington Raceway & Casino in Harrington.
How About Online Poker?
Amazingly, online real-money poker and other forms of internet gambling are legal in the state. You will, however, have to sign up for one of the state-approved poker platforms to stay on the legal side. These websites are mostly hosted and owned by the casinos operating there. The state of Delaware approved laws legalizing the operation of online gambling websites in 2012 and they have remained legal ever since.
Now, the state doesn’t explicitly criminalize the use of offshore/unsanctioned betting sites in its constitution. However, it does state that all forms of gambling that aren’t state-regulated are technically illegal. Then again, no one has been brought to book in Delaware for using offshore betting platforms.
What are the Best Websites For Online Poker in Delaware?
While the usual offshore sites are open to Delaware residents, the more convenient (and legal) option is to sign up and place wagers at any of the casino-owned betting websites that Delaware recognizes.
On the other hand, offshore websites like Bovada, BetOnline, Intertops Poker, MyBookie, and BetNow are great options that offer a smooth user experience, fast deposits and withdrawals, and a satisfactory range of virtual casino games for you to play. Ensure to take precautions such as using a VPN to stay free of surveillance while enjoying your online poker.
Delaware is just as much a haven for gamblers as it is for corporate entities. The state has systematically opened itself up to all forms of gambling and, in doing so, secured a formidable revenue stream and flourishing tourism industry.
Sports betting is legal and was introduced alongside casino games in 2009. The only forms of gambling that are illegal in the state are dog racing, daily fantasy sports, and social gaming. The state legislature is actually considering a bill in the near future to legalize daily fantasy sports.