Delaware casinos open web-based gaming

 Gamblers must login with a Facebook account during the free trial period for Delaware's online gaming. (DoverDowns.com)

Gamblers must login with a Facebook account during the free trial period for Delaware's online gaming. (DoverDowns.com)

The state’s first foray into online casino gambling is underway with a free trial period that will last until October.

The Delaware Lottery Office launched the “free-play” online games including slots, blackjack, poker, roulette and other games to give gamblers a chance to get familiar with the way the games work before they start taking online bets.  

“A lot of work has been going on over the past several months in order to allow the Delaware State Lottery to take this first step in providing a virtual casino for our customers,” said Lottery Director Vernon Kirk.  “This is a great opportunity for our patrons to get acclimated with the way Internet gaming works in preparation for the launch of the first-in-the-nation full casino-style legalized online gaming.”

To take part in the free try-out, gamblers will have to log in and register with their Facebook account.  Once the games go live and start playing for real money, a Facebook account will no longer be required.  There will be what Lottery officials describe as “a full battery of authorizations and verifications” used to authenticate a player’s identity and age, and to make sure the gambler is actually within the state’s borders when they play.

State Secretary of Finance Tom Cook was given the lead in implementing the Internet gaming project for the state after his work in creating the state’s first-in-the-nation uniform statewide electronic voting system when he was Election Commissioner in 1996.  “At the end of the day, we want our product to be winner-attractive, engaging, and easy to use,” Cook said.  “While testing continues, we are confident that we will be ready to unveil Delaware’s Internet casino-style gaming offerings by the end of October.”

The free-play trial is underway at all three Delaware casino websites.  The real money wagering is scheduled to start October 30.

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