Introduction to Casino Gambling in Delaware
The state of Delaware has three gambling establishments: Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway. All three casinos or “racinos” are pari-mutuel facilities, i.e., state-licensed sites for betting on dog and horse races.
In addition, each location have slot machines. In total, there are 7,520 slots and gaming machines. Because slot machines are operated under the Delaware Lottery, they are technically cash pay-out video lottery terminals (VLTs).
This post continues the weekly blog series “Casino Gambling, State-By-State“, a year-long online resource project dedicated to guiding slot machine enthusiasts to success.
Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling*
By DE state law, all VLTs (including slot machines) must have an annual 87% to 95% payout of all wagers. Approval from the Director of the Delaware Lottery can allow games to have a payout percentage return above 95%.
The minimum gambling age is 21 for slots and 18 for horse racing.
The minimum bet in DE’s casinos is $0.01. The maximum bet is $2,500.
Notably, the Delaware Lottery has a policy of winner privacy. As slot machines fall under their jurisdiction, they will never release the names of winners for promotional purposes, unless the winner specifies otherwise.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership
In the state of DE, it is legal to privately own slot machines which are 25 years or older.
State Gaming Commission
The state of DE has a Department of Safety and Homeland Security, within which is the Division of Gaming Enforcement. It:
- Exercises exclusive jurisdiction for the criminal offenses relating to gaming.
- Investigates the background, qualifications, and suitability of each applicant who requires licensing by the Delaware Lottery.
- Provides assistance to the DE Lottery in the consideration, promulgation, and application of its rules and regulations
- Other duties necessary to maintain public confidence and trust in the credibility and integrity of lottery operations, agents, and employees.
Video lottery terminals, including slots and other electronic games, were provided by the Delaware Lottery after being approved by the state legislature in 1994.
In mid-2009, DE legalized sports betting for its three casinos, specifically in the form of parlay or teaser cards based on the final scores of NFL games.
In early 2010, the DE legislature further approved table games for these casinos. This was done to help DE casinos compete with casinos within its neighbor states.
All three DE casinos are open 24 hours. However, they are closed on the Easter and Christmas holidays.
The largest gaming casino in DE is Dover Downs Hotel Casino, with 3,200 gaming machines and 41 table games. The second largest is Harrington Racetrack & Casino with 1,800 gaming machines and 42 table games.
- Address: 777 Delaware Park Boulevard, Wilmington, DE 19804
- Phone: (800) 417-5687
- Mid-2015 to mid-2016 average payout percentage: 92.31%
- Address: 1131 N. DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901
- Phone: (302) 674-4600
- Mid-2015 to mid-2016 average payout percentage: 92.60%
- Address: Delaware State Fairgrounds, U.S. 13 South, Harrington, DE 19952
- Phone: (302) 398-4920
- Mid-2015 to mid-2016 average payout percentage: 91.73%
Delaware has three pari-mutuel racinos: Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway. Its 7,520 slots and gaming machines are operated by the Delaware Lottery.
In mid-2009, DE legalized sports betting for its three casinos, specifically in the form of parlay or teaser cards based on the final scores of NFL games. Further, the DE legislature further approved table games in 2010.
Notably, the Delaware Lottery has a policy of winner privacy, including for slot machine jackpot winners, unless the winner specifies otherwise.
- Steve Bourie, American Casino Guide 2016 Ed., Casino Vacations Press, Inc., ©2016, ISBN: 978-1-883768-25-6.
- “Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection: Gaming Division”, State of Connecticut, Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- “United States state slot machine ownership regulations”, Wikipedia Online, Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- “Connecticut Gambling Laws”, Gambling-Law-US.com, Retrieved July 19, 2017.
- “Connecticut Casinos”, World Casino Directory, Retrieved July 19, 2017.
- “Gambling Questions Answered: State-By-State”, ProfessorSlots.com, Published May 13, 2017.
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