Delaware Gambling Laws 2023: Unveiling the Rules & Opportunities

Gambling has been a part of Delaware’s history for centuries, and its gambling laws have evolved significantly over time. These laws have had a profound impact on the state’s economy, attracting tourists, generating revenue, and providing entertainment options for residents. In this article, we will delve into the biggest Delaware gambling laws, exploring their development, current status, and influence on various gambling sectors. From the early days of the lottery to the recent legalization of sports betting, we will examine the legal landscape and shed light on the future trajectory of gambling laws in Delaware. Join us as we explore the fascinating world of Delaware gambling regulations.

Delaware Gambling Laws

Delaware Gambling Laws – Essential Insights

  • ๐ŸŽฐ Online Gambling Legalization: Delaware has legalized various forms of online gambling including sports betting (2018), daily fantasy sports (2017), casino and poker (2012), and lottery (1974).
  • ๐Ÿˆ Sports Betting: Delaware had exemptions from the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which allowed it to continue permitting 3-team parlays on NFL games. The state fully legalized sports betting in 2018.
  • ๐Ÿ“Š Daily Fantasy Sports: Commercial fantasy sports betting was initially blocked by state law. However, the Delaware Interactive Fantasy Contest Act passed on July 26, 2017, opened the door for paid fantasy sports competitions.
  • ๐ŸŽฒ Online Casinos: Delaware legalized online casino gambling in 2012, becoming the first state to do so. The law permits licensed sites to offer slots, and table games like blackjack, roulette, and casino poker.
  • ๐Ÿƒ Poker: Real-money poker was also legalized in 2012. Delaware has cooperated with Nevada and New Jersey to host joint poker tournaments to increase revenue and popularity.
  • ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ Lottery: The Delaware State Lottery, which contributes significantly to the state’s funding, was established in 1974. 
  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Gambling Winning Tax: Delaware imposes a 24% tax on gambling winnings.
  • ๐Ÿ”ž Legal Gambling Age: The minimum age for gambling in Delaware is 21, but 18-year-olds can play the lottery.
  • ๐Ÿ“ Future Regulation: Changes in federal and state laws could result in adjustments to the Delaware gambling landscape.

Overview of Delaware Gambling Laws

Delaware’s gambling laws have seen a progressive evolution, increasingly embracing a wide array of gambling activities. The state has a broad legal framework that accommodates multiple forms of gambling, such as lottery, casinos, poker, daily fantasy sports, and sports betting. The genesis of this liberal stance on gambling is rooted in the legalization of the lottery in 1974, which set the stage for the introduction of other gambling activities.

To better understand the evolution of Delaware’s gambling laws, let’s take a closer look at the timeline of significant legal milestones:

1974: Introduction of the Delaware Lottery

2012: Legalization of online casinos and poker

2018: Introduction of legal sports betting

In-depth Look at Key Gambling Sectors in Delaware

The legalization and regulation of various gambling forms have led to the development of several key gambling sectors in Delaware. These sectors have not only increased gambling options for residents and tourists alike but have also contributed significantly to the state’s economy.

Sports Betting in Delaware

Delaware has a unique position in sports betting, being one of the few states exempted from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992. This allowed the state to operate a sports lottery, paving the way for full-scale sports betting legalization in 2018. Delaware allows wagering on a range of sports, placing it ahead of several other states in terms of sports betting legislation.

Sports Betting in DelawareInformationSports Betting in Delaware
Legalization Year2018Legalization Year
Governing BodyDelaware LotteryGoverning Body

Daily Fantasy Sports in Delaware

Delaware legalized daily fantasy sports (DFS) in 2017, joining the growing list of states recognizing its popularity. DFS platforms provide an opportunity for participants to draft virtual teams of professional athletes and compete based on their real-world performances. The introduction of DFS has expanded the options available to Delaware gamblers, offering a unique and engaging form of entertainment.

Casinos and Poker in Delaware

Delaware became one of the early pioneers in legalizing online casinos and poker. In 2012, the state established a framework allowing residents and visitors to enjoy a variety of casino games and poker online. Delaware operates an interstate poker network in collaboration with Nevada and New Jersey, enhancing player liquidity and providing a more engaging poker experience.

Lottery in Delaware

The Delaware Lottery has been a significant contributor to the state’s funding since its inception in 1974. It offers a wide range of games, including draw games, instant win games, and multi-state lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions. The lottery not only provides entertainment for players but also generates revenue that supports various sectors, such as education and social services.

Problem Gambling in Delaware

While the proliferation of legal gambling has brought many benefits to Delaware, it has also increased the risks associated with problem gambling. This refers to a situation where a person’s gambling behavior negatively impacts their personal, professional, or financial life. To counter this issue, the state has several initiatives in place to help those who might be struggling with gambling addiction. Resources such as hotlines, counseling services, and treatment programs are available to assist individuals in dealing with problem gambling. Additionally, the state promotes public awareness about the potential risks associated with gambling and encourages responsible gambling behaviors.

Online Gambling Laws in Delaware

Online gambling laws in Delaware are quite progressive compared to many other states. The state has embraced the potential of digital platforms to offer a wider range of gambling activities. In 2012, Delaware became the first state in the United States to legalize online casinos and poker. Online sports betting was legalized in 2018, allowing residents and visitors to place bets on a wide range of sports from the comfort of their homes or wherever they might be. The laws are subject to change as the online gambling industry evolves, and lawmakers strive to keep pace with new developments and trends.

The Future of Gambling Laws in Delaware

Delaware’s gambling laws are subject to ongoing evaluation and potential changes. The future of gambling in the state holds exciting possibilities. As technology advances and trends shift, lawmakers continue to assess the regulatory framework to ensure its relevance and competitiveness. Potential future developments may include the expansion of online gambling options, the introduction of new forms of wagering, and adjustments to the existing legal framework.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention in Delaware

Recognizing the importance of responsible gambling, Delaware has implemented measures to promote player safety and prevent gambling addiction. The Delaware Council on Gambling Problems plays a crucial role in providing support, education, and treatment services for individuals affected by gambling-related issues. Additionally, operators and regulatory bodies collaborate to implement self-exclusion programs, age verification procedures, and other responsible gaming practices to protect vulnerable individuals.

Delaware Gaming Regulations And Statutory Requirements

Delaware’s approach to gambling stands as a robust framework of regulations and statutory mandates. This model blends the state’s rich history of horse racing with a modern commitment to responsible gaming. The state’s regulatory structure aims to ensure transparency, fairness, and safety for all participants. Here’s a closer look into the intricacies of Delaware’s gaming landscape.

Regulatory Oversight

While the Delaware State Constitution generally prohibits gambling, it permits lotteries that are state-controlled for fundraising purposes. This broad definition of “lottery” encompasses VLTs, Internet gaming, table games, and sports betting. The overseeing authority of these gaming activities is the Delaware Lottery, a segment of the Department of Finance. This regulatory body ensures compliance with the Video Lottery Regulation and Title 29 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 48. At its helm is a director, selected by the finance secretary and ratified by the governor.


In Delaware, racetracks hold the exclusive right to operate video lotteries, table games, and sports betting within their precincts. Historically, these racetracks bore a significant licensing fee, especially for table games. However, recent legislation in 2018 removed this annual burden. Moreover, the licensing for operating video lotteries has been exempted. Nonetheless, there’s a cap on the number of VLTs a racetrack can holdโ€”2,500. But with the lottery director’s nod, this can be expanded by an additional 1,500 units.

Technology vendors, crucial to the state’s gaming infrastructure, undergo a selection process based on vendor procurement. A two-year initial license costs these vendors $4,000, renewable for $4,000 every three years. Meanwhile, non-gaming vendors need to pay $2,000 for a three-year license, renewable at the same price for subsequent four-year periods.

Taxation & Tribal Revenue Sharing

The stateโ€™s revenue distribution from VLTs follows a specific order:

  • Racetrack Operators: Approximately 42% as commissions.
  • State General Fund: Roughly 40% for funding state services.
  • Horse Race Purses: Around 10% to enhance the purse amount.
  • Gaming Maintenance: Close to 7% for the upkeep, monitoring, and technological upgrades of games.

Moreover, table games in the state witness a 15.5% tax imposition, and an additional 4.5% is allocated as a purse supplement. A similar structure is employed for Internet gaming revenue distribution.

Responsible Gaming

Delaware has a commendable commitment to promoting responsible gaming. By legal mandate, a significant portion of electronic gaming proceeds (greater of $1 million or 1% of proceeds) is funneled to the Department of Health and Social Services. This division is responsible for programs aimed at aiding problem gamblers and their dependents.

Further, the state has a self-exclusion initiative where individuals can voluntarily ban themselves from gaming establishments. This can range from one year to a lifetime. This exclusionary rule also applies to sports betting and online gaming.

Other Regulations

Key regulations include:

  • Testing: The lottery director contracts with an independent licensed laboratory for equipment testing.
  • AML Standards: To curb financial crimes, operators comply with federal regulations against money laundering and terrorism financing.
  • Credit Policies: Commercially viable credit extension is permitted to casino patrons.
  • Health Protocols: Delaware’s Clean Indoor Air Act enforces a smoking ban in indoor establishments.

Sports Betting

The Delaware Lottery regulates and oversees sports betting, which is primarily available in the state’s three casinos. While mobile sports betting aligns with the state’s stance on online gambling, it’s yet to be operationalized. The revenue from sports betting sees 50% funneled to the State General Fund.

Internet Gaming

Only the state’s three racetrack casino licensees can offer Internet gaming, provided through their individual branded platforms. They aren’t obligated to secure additional licenses, but technology service providers must be chosen via an RFP from the lottery’s director.

The tax structure for online games is parallel to its land-based counterparts. An initial sum, post necessary deductions, is directed to the State Lottery Fund. The subsequent revenue distribution mirrors the land-based structure. Internet gaming in Delaware boasts a diverse catalog including slot machines, table games, and multi-state internet poker.


Delaware Gambling Laws have evolved over time, reflecting the changing attitudes towards gambling and technological advancements. From the introduction of the state lottery in 1974 to the recent legalization of sports betting, the legal landscape has expanded to encompass various gambling sectors. The future holds promise for further developments in Delaware’s gambling industry, as lawmakers strive to strike a balance between innovation, consumer protection, and responsible gaming. As gambling continues to play a significant role in the state’s economy and entertainment scene, it remains an intriguing subject for both residents and visitors alike.



The minimum age for gambling in Delaware is 21. However, individuals who are 18 years old can participate in the lottery.

Yes, Delaware legalized online casinos in 2012. Licensed sites can offer slots, table games such as blackjack, roulette, and casino poker.

Yes, Delaware fully legalized sports betting in 2018. It had an exemption from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), allowing it to operate a sports lottery even before that.

Delaware has several resources to help individuals dealing with problem gambling. These include hotlines, counseling services, and treatment programs. The state also has public awareness initiatives to educate residents about the potential risks of gambling.

Delaware imposes a 24% tax on gambling winnings.