Being the first state to establish Internet gambling is no easy task. The Delaware Lottery has a lot of work planned in the coming months in order to meet the September 30th start date.
Vendors have until Friday to submit proposals if they plan to take part in Delaware’s Internet gaming. The deadline is one of many in the coming months as part of the lengthy process of establishing online betting.
Last June, the state approved a bill that would allow casino style games to be played online as long as the gamer was in the same state where the game is hosted. This includes poker, black jack and animated video lottery. As far as sports betting, Delaware Lottery Director Vernon Kirk said HB333 allows it but it wasn’t specified in the initial Request for Proposal.
“Since Delaware can only do parlay wagering on professional football, and given our target date for production, we see this component as perhaps a later piece of our iGaming puzzle,” said Kirk.
He added that it would also need to clear the Wire Act.
Once the proposals are received from vendors, the lottery will begin hearing presentations and hosting meetings to hammer out the specific details.
“There will be a long series of many meetings with the vendors and ourselves and the three casinos,” said Kirk. “Designing what it’s going to look like, creating the software that will actually run everything, integrating all the various components of it, the actual hosting of it, the back office portions of it, the game content, the geo-location, making sure the players are in-state, the ID identification, the payment processing, all of these will be developed.”
New Jersey just legalized on-line gaming for Atlantic City’s casinos and is promising to have it up and running in a few months. Kirk said the neighboring state isn’t competition since their law also requires players to physically be in the same state where the games are hosted. Instead he said it could be beneficial if states decide to work together.
“There are considerations for creating compacts between various states where Internet gaming is legal and then sharing customers,” said Kirk. “Whether New Jersey would want to compact with us or not is another story.”
Kirk added that they’re confident in Delaware’s September 30 start-up date, even if that means making modifications after the games are up and running.
“We’ll have to see as things go along, how many stumbling blocks there are,” he said. “My experience with systems is that its not always smooth sailing. We might have to adjust on the fly.”
According to a rough estimate, Internet gambling could bring in as much as $7.5 million dollars a year to the state’s general fund.