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Online Gaming in Delaware Off to Slow Start

Delaware’s nascent internet gaming offering returned just 3,000 for its first two months, putting the program on track to return well less than the million predicted for the first year.

Under Delaware’s iGaming program—one of the first three state iGaming programs, and one of two to offer full casino games—the state collects all of the first $3.75 million in revenue from the online casinos in any given year. The casinos, which reside at the websites of the three racinos in the state, will return nothing to those casinos until the initial goal is met.

According to a report in Delaware’s News Journal newspaper, the state averaged only 18 players at its online casinos at any given time within the seven days prior to the report.

Analysts blame not only the small size of the state’s population—just over 917,000—but glitches in the ramp-up for the paltry returns. Technical issues such as geo-location difficulties due to a majority of the population living near state borders, a restriction to personal computers with no Apple products able to access the sites, and rejection of payments by credit card companies—Visa has rejected 70 percent of payments and MasterCard has rejected 30 percent, according to the report—have kept returns low at the outset.

Analysts say that while online gaming has never been anticipated as a major revenue source in Delaware, it may still be too early to pass judgment.

“It might be two three years from now, we might say this is a nice little business in Delaware,” Frank Fantini of Fantini Research told the News Journal. “But right now, it’s pretty slow.”