Delaware is a popular gambling destination on the East Coast. This is because Delaware is considered a pretty progressive state when it comes to gambling. For nearly 300 years, they’ve had legal (and illegal) horse racing betting. In 1935, Delaware officially legalized the practice, allowing gambling state-wide. In 1974, they established a state lottery, which has grown to be the second largest in the United States. With $253 million in tax revenues, Delaware has definite reasons for keeping things going.
Moreover, it was one of the first states to allow sports betting before the PASPA came along. This left Delaware as one of just four states with legal sports betting. In addition, Delaware was one of the first states to allow online gambling. Now, the state is home to casinos, race tracks, and sportsbooks. It must be great living in the Diamond State.
Many of Delaware’s gambling laws are straightforward. In Delaware, you can gamble on the lottery at 18 years of age. However, casinos and racetracks only allow punters over the age of 21. Still, this is pretty standard in the US. If you’re looking for legal casino games to play, you can enjoy slot machines, Blackjack, Video Poker, and Poker. Wagering on professional and college sports is also allowed, as well as off-track betting.
Dover Downs, Delaware’s premier casino, is home to one of the biggest casino floors in all 50 states. Moreover, they have a wide range of gaming machines and tables to enjoy. Here’s a full list to consider:
Three Card Poker
Four Card Poker
Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Pai Gow Poker
Current laws call for a 43 percent tax on all gambling profits. So, taxpayers benefit from the casinos, racetracks, and other facilities. However, charity gambling is not taxed.
Top Casinos in DE
Brick-and-mortar casinos are a popular destination for gamblers. In addition, the world-class racetracks are home to big events throughout the racing calendar. Be sure to visit them while in Delaware!
Delaware Park – Wilmington
2,540 Slot Machines
777 Delaware Park Blvd.
Dover Downs – Dover
2,600 Slot Machines
1131 North DuPont Highway
Harrington Raceway – Harrington
1,800 Slot Machines
18500 S. Dupont Hwy.
Performance Poker Room – Frankford
34407 Dupont Blvd.
Delaware’s Gambling History
Since 1760, before Delaware was a state, people have been gambling. For almost a century and a half, they were betting on horses. When laws were officially passed in 1935, nothing changed much. However, it took another 29 years for a lottery to be introduced. Until that point, the state didn’t have many gambling operations.
When the Delaware Lottery was formed in 1974, it became a regulated operator that generated revenue for a general fund. In 1976, the first scratch-off ticket was sold, followed by the Lucky Stars Lotto (1977). After that, nothing much changed until 1994, when the Lottery expanded to video lottery machines. This allowed the state’s racetracks to install slots at their venues.
In a different turn, the state lottery rolled out NFL parlay cards in 1976. However, they had to have at least three chosen outcomes. Since the NFL wasn’t as popular in those days, it quickly ran bust from three-team selections. For the most part, Delaware didn’t pursue other gambling formats until 2009. At the time, they wanted to offer the same sports betting options as Nevada. However, after many appeals and legal sticking points, they had to stick with the NFL.
Finally, in 2012, Delaware voted to allow online gambling. As a result, the state lottery can operate sites with a contract they hold with 888. Gamblers can visit a land-based casino’s websites to play their favorite casino games.