Update: Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed the bill into law on Thursday, June 28th.
The Delaware Senate passed the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 (HB333) by a vote of 14-6-1 today (no amendments).
The bill basically amends current law to allow the Delaware State Lottery to offer residents a variety of online gambling formats, including lotto, ticket games and table games. Under Delaware law, table games include:
– any game played with cards, dice or any mechanical, electromechanical or electronic device or machine (excluding video lottery machines) for money, credit or any representative of value, including, but not limited to, baccarat, blackjack, twenty one, poker,12 craps, roulette, bingo, wheel of fortune or any variation of these games, whether or not similar in design or operation, provided that the game is expressly authorized by rule of the Director.
The language of the bill allows for conducting games via an interstate compact (Section 4862(b)):
Notwithstanding the foregoing, persons who are not physically present in this State may engage in Internet lottery games only if the Office determines that such games are not inconsistent with federal law and the law of the jurisdiction in which the person is physically present, or if such games are conducted pursuant to an interstate compact to which the State is a party that is not inconsistent with federal law.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell has made no secret of his support for online gambling, so there shouldn’t be any issues getting the bill past his desk.
What’s next? Probably not much in the near term, especially not for poker players. Expect the initial focus to be on the lottery and similar games, with poker likely taking a bit of a backseat until some suitable interstate partners (like New Jersey) can be lined up.
Credit to Jennifer Webb for breaking the story:
— Jennifer Webb (@WebbJennifer) June 27, 2012