Delaware Senate to vote on table games

    A bill that would layout how table games will be implemented at Delaware’s three casinos is expected to go before the full Senate today.
    The bill, which was approved by the House last week, cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and was scheduled for a Thursday vote by the full Senate.

    A bill that would layout how table games will be implemented at Delaware’s three casinos is expected to go before the full Senate today.

    The bill, which was approved by the House last week, cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and was scheduled for a Thursday vote by the full Senate.

    With the addition of table games, officials estimate that the state would net about $40 million in additional revenue in the first year.

    It would also create approximately 40 new state positions and 800 casino jobs.

    “I’m not real keen on adding gambling as a way of solving our problems,” said Sen. Harris McDowell (D-Wilmington North). “But since we already have these three venues I think adding this — if it brings that much relief — that’s relief we can pass along to families and people of need and meet our service obligations that people expect.”

    Meantime, a separate bill aimed at preventing cheating on table games was released Wednesday from the House Gaming and Parimutuels Committee and is scheduled for a Thursday vote in the House.

    Thursday is the last chance to get bills approved in the House or Senate before a six-week break.

    If both bills are passed Thursday the only remaining step would be a signature from the governor.

    If approved, card and dice games like poker, blackjack and craps could be up and running in the state’s three existing casinos as early as June.

    Supporters say expediting the measure accomplishes two critical functions. It allows Delaware to keep pace with neighboring Pennsylvania, which recently authorized table games, and it generates much-needed income for the state.

    “We need to pass this in January in order for the revenues from table games to be considered in next year’s budget,” said Sen. Patricia Blevins (D-Elsmere). “It takes a significant amount of time to get ready for this and prepare for the table games.”

    Table games were legalized by Delaware in May 2009 but the exact nature of how it would work is what’s currently being debated.

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