Delaware Releases Online Gambling Regulations

Delaware has released a draft of its online gambling regulations, on which the public will be permitted to comment until July 31st, and there are several differences of note in regards to both the New Jersey and Nevada legislation. The Delaware online gaming venture will be run entirely by the Delaware State Lottery, whereas in the other two states it is the gaming regulators who have taken control and responsibility, however the big differences are to be seen in the actual games being offered, not by who is regulating them. In addition to online poker that is at present available in Nevada, the regulations in Delaware mean that a much wider variety of online casino games may be offered similar to the regulation of New Jersey.

A license in Delaware may be granted for “any other game which is determined by the Director to be compatible with the public interest and to be suitable for use after such appropriate test or experimental period as the Director may deem appropriate,” meaning that a much larger array of online games will be available in Delaware than in Nevada, which does seem a little strange, with Nevada being the 'home of gambling'. Another big difference in the Delaware regulation is that there is no bad actor clause meaning private companies who have done business in the states before the new regulations are still welcome to apply for licenses. This is not the case in Nevada as the bad actor clause in place there means that many large online gaming companies that will have to sit and watch. There is however a part of the legislation that requires companies to reveal any past action that has been taken against them in regards to unregulated markets, and to prove that they have the experience required to deliver a solid gaming solution in Delaware. The minimum age for online gambling has been set at 21 and you must be physically located within the state to use the Delaware Lottery online facilities, however within the draft there is nothing stating how they intend to verify the age of players, or plans on how a system of age verification may be managed. On paper it appears to be a small issue, however there are many loud voices that are concerned about the age verification process due to the fear of underage players being allowed to gamble. These are draft regulations and on some fronts it appears that Delaware still has a way to go before there's talk of making this all happen.

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