Delaware is the 2nd smallest state in the USA, and while it’s the 6th least populous state, it is the 6th most densely populated. Delaware is also known as “The First State”, since it became the first state in 1787 to validate the Constitution of the United States.
There is plenty of sight-seeing to do and historic places to visit in Delaware, some including Cape Henlopen State Park, Winterthur Museum and Gardens, Delaware Seashore State and Brandywine Creek. There are also three major casino complexes in Delaware, all linked to racetracks. While we’re on the topic of casinos, since this article is all about the legalities – is it legal to gamble online in Delaware? Or should players rather stick to Facebook casinos, fun play casinos and other social casino apps instead to play free fun online slots? The answer might surprise you, as you probably don’t need to even bother to find out how to play on Facebook casinos, since online gambling is legal in the state of Delaware. There is, of course, an exception to every rule, so before we get to it, let’s first find out more about the gambling history of Delaware.
Gambling History of Delaware
This goes all the way back to colonial times when the first racetrack was opened in 1760, approximately 27 years before Delaware became a State. There were also lottery games, however the British didn’t think they got their fair share of the revenues, and it therefore caused some issues. There was also unofficial betting on horse-racing, even though it was not legal at the time.
Due to the prudish nature of the 18th and 19th centuries, gambling was forced underground, however things changed during the Great Depression, as economical times were getting tough. In 1933, a commission was set up to be responsible for the licensing of betting on horse-racing. This lead to the development of several racetracks – the first license was issued in 1935 and the Delaware Park racetrack was opened a year later. It wasn’t until 2009 that casino games became regulated under the control of the “Division of Business and Professional Regulation”. In essence, these are 3 racetrack casinos that, therefore, also have their own online casinos. For this reason, players in Delaware don’t need to make use of any social casino apps or explore more about how to play on Facebook casinos, as they can simply visit any of these online casinos, which are perfectly legal to play at:
- Dover Downs: Play via the instant casino app or download the poker app, and get a welcome offer of up to $110. There are not a lot of games to choose from and only players in Delaware are allowed to gamble online.
- Harrington Raceway: This online casino offers all new players a $10 free registration bonus, as well as a welcome bonus of up to $100 on their first deposit. There are 14 video slots, 3 blackjack tables, 4 roulette tables and 1 video poker game to choose from. Even though it’s not nearly as much as other online casinos, it’s perfectly legal so you can play with complete peace of mind.
- Delaware Park: As with Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway, the games are quite limited at this online casino, but players will get a $100 welcome bonus, as well as daily offers and regular rewards – and it’s all perfectly legal if you’re in Delaware.
What makes these 3 establishments so interesting, is that you can choose to either play at home on your PC, or you can visit the land-based casinos where you can play slots, poker and other table games, while betting on horse-racing.
Which Forms of Gambling are Legal?
Besides playing free fun online slots at fun play casinos, or actually gambling at the legal online casinos, what other forms of gambling are legal in Delaware? Let’s take a look:
- Casino Games: There are three land-based casinos & racetracks in Delaware where casino games are legal. At Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway and Delaware Park, you can enjoy casino games and betting on horse-racing at the same time.
- Online Casino Gambling: Delaware was the first State to allow online gambling, however the licenses are held by the 3 online casinos that own the Delaware racetracks (as mentioned under Casino Games), which means it’s only legal to play at these online casinos.
- Live Poker: Yes, this is completely legal, but only at the 3 land-based casinos mentioned already. There is, however, no specific ruling on social home games, but there are legal precedents to indicate that these are legal as long as the organizer of these games doesn’t make a profit.
- Online Poker: Yes, this has been live since 2013, but again, only at the 3 online casinos mentioned already.
- Sports Betting: Delaware is only one of 4 States where sports betting is legal.
- Lottery Betting: Betting on the lottery is legal in Delaware, and includes video lottery machines and games like the PowerBall.
- Bingo: There are plenty of legal bingo halls in Delaware, so playing Bingo is perfectly legal.
There has been a lot of controversy around online gambling in the United States, especially since 2008 when a few .com domains were seized by the government. Since then, most States have banned online gambling completely, while it’s still a grey area in others. Delaware, however, is one of the few States where gambling online is completely legal. You have two choices, though: if you simply want to enjoy free fun online slots, you can play at Facebook casinos or other social casino apps. If you, however, want to gamble for real money and are lucky enough to be in Delaware, you can do so by going online and visiting any of the 3 legal online casinos: Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway and Delaware Park. Alternatively, you can head down to any of these 3 land-based casinos to enjoy poker, slots and table games, as well as betting on horse-racing. As small as Delaware is as a State, if you’re an online casino fan, it’s definitely the place to be.