Delaware Casinos and Online Gambling

Short Summary:  Delaware is the most liberal (tied with New Jersey) when it comes to gambling laws.  In addition to land-based casinos tied to racetracks; the state has legal and regulated charitable gambling with minimal fees or oversight, simulcast racing wagering, live racing, daily fantasy sports, legalized and regulated online gambling and lottery.  There is really nothing left they could possibly authorize. Even private clubs and organizations are permitted to offer machines.

Delaware is easily one of the most gambling-friendly states in the country and is arguably even more liberal on gaming than Nevada is. In addition to every form of gambling imaginable being legal in the State (including sports betting—ALREADY!!!) the state also has online casino gambling, which Nevada only has for poker. Here’s your full list:

  • Lottery
  • Online
  • Sports Betting
  • Pari-Mutuel
  • Charitable

Furthermore, the State of Nevada does not have a lottery, but it’s very possible that is just more by choice than anything. I don’t think it’s out of any conservative tendencies towards gambling as they were the first state to have any such legalized and regulated.

Delaware is extremely liberal when it comes to Charitable Gambling, though they do have a commission that regulates it. The legal forms of Charitable Gaming simply require that the entity wishing to conduct the event, such as bingo, pay $15 per day that they are conducting it. In the event that there are no prizes offered greater than $5, then even that fee is not required. More than that, no taxes are taken out of charitable gambling operations. The only other law in this regard is no individual person is permitted to lose more than $150/day by way of Charitable Gaming.

Despite the fact that all of these other forms of legalized and regulated gambling exist in the state, the state lottery still does quite well pulling in over $200 per resident annually. One would think that the lottery revenues might not be so strong given all of the other available forms of gambling, but it holds its own. The simple fact of the matter is that most casino gamblers have little to no interest in playing the lottery and most lottery players have little to no interest in visiting the casinos.

The three Delaware casinos are also the locations that offer the racetracks for live horse racing. Greyhound racing is illegal within the State of Delaware as there are only ten states in which it is legal.

And, as a practical matter, only six states currently operate live greyhound racing or have done in the last several years.

As with West Virginia, the casinos in the State of Delaware are, “Tied to,” some sort of racing track or another. In the case of all three Delaware casinos, they are tied to a horse racing track. With respect to West Virginia, two casinos are tied to horse racing tracks whilst two others are tied to greyhound tracks. The Greenbriar, in West Virginia, is considered a private casino and has certain barriers to the public playing there unless they are paying to do something else at the resort, or are attending a conference, wedding or something along those lines.

Private clubs, charities and non-profit organizations are even permitted to offer limited slot machines as long as they cut the state in on 40% of the revenues. There are some states (looking at you PA, OH and WV—and others) who tax their actual casinos more than that!

This is slightly more restrictive than Nevada, a state in which a casino can be theoretically licensed in any location not prohibited by a municipality, but Delaware is geographically fairly small and could arguably not sustain many more than three casinos full-on casinos. There is also significant Regional competition in New JerseyPennsylvaniaMarylandNew York and  Rhode Island.

Online Gambling Legality In Delaware

For one thing, Delaware has legal online casinos that are regulated by the state. In order for an online casino to operate lawfully within the State of Delaware, they must have some ties to a physical casino property within the state.

Some players might choose to play at a casino based offshore anyway, and as far as Delaware is concerned, that is perfectly fine (for the player). There is no penalty called for in the law for unauthorized gambling as a player that we could find.

There are penalties in the law for operating an online casino that has not been regulated by the state, as well as offering unlawful sports wagering, but offshore casinos would be completely out of the law enforcement reach of the State of Delaware, so there’s really not much they can do about it.

Again, the State of Delaware, in terms of laws, doesn’t really seem to care at all what a player does.

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Land Casinos In Delaware

Delaware Park Racetrack

The racetrack at Delaware Park is also home to a casino with a full complement of slots, video poker, video keno and table games. In addition, according to their website, they offer sports betting as well as live keno during limited hours.

Live Poker is also offered at this casino.

As of the time of this writing, several table games are available including Blackjack, Three-Card Poker, Chase the Flush, Craps, Cajun Stud, Pai-Gow Poker, Roulette and Spanish 21.

Also according to their website, they are home to over 2,000 slot machines, which makes them a fairly sizable casino that would rival, perhaps, some of the smaller to midsize casinos in places such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

The property has several restaurants, and while there is no hotel on site, they have a host hotel in the nearby Christiana Hilton.

Live Racing operates during the warmer months of the year, but when it is out-of-season, the simulcast center at this property remains open for the purposes of off-track betting.

Dover Downs

The Dover Downs, as with Delaware Park, features a full complement of gambling activities. Conveniently for its overnight visitors, there is a hotel on-site consisting of more than 500 guest rooms. This casino has some of the same other offerings according to its website.

Which include live keno during certain hours, more than 2,300 slot machines, over forty tables for table games and well over a dozen poker tables. Table Games include Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Three-Card Poker, Baccarat, High-Card Flush, Pai-Gow Poker, Cajun Stud, Heads-Up Hold ‘Em and Four Card Frenzy, as of the time of this writing.

Harness Racing operates during the colder months at this casino, from November to April, according to that page of their site.

They continue to offer simulcast racing year-round, even when there is no live racing taking place.

Harrington Racing & Casino

If you have not been to Delaware in sometime, you might recognize this building by its former name of Midway Slots. There is no hotel at this property, but they state that discounted rates are available at nearby Quality Inn and Holiday Inn.

This property is a little smaller than the others, boasting more than 1,700 slots, thirty tables for table games as well as a poker room consisting of 100 seats. (Ten Tables) Dining and Lounge options are available, but those are limited to two of each. Shuttle service appears to only be available to the hotel on the weekends, which would seem to make this more of a locals place than a destination casino.

The available table games, as of the time of this writing are: Blackjack, Big Six, Crapless Craps, Craps, Four-Card Poker, Heads-Up Hold ‘Em, House Money Blackjack, Mississippi Stud, Roulette, Spanish 21, Three-Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em.

Sportsbook operations as well as simulcast wagering are available during most hours of the day. Live Racing takes place during the warmer months of the year, though simulcast is open year round.

Sports Betting

Most people think the only place to legally place a sports bet in the United States is in Las Vegas. While this is true of some types of sports wagers, Delaware also offers limited sports betting.

In 2009 the state legalized sports betting but was sued by the large sports leagues in the country. The claim was that Delaware was violating federal law. After a court battle, it was decided that casinos in Delaware could start accepting parlay bets.

A parlay wager requires two bets to be won in order to pay off. For example, you pick two NFL games and they both must win in order for you to win the bet.

Delaware Lottery

Residents of Delaware can play the state-run lottery, started in 1975, or buy tickets for the multi-state lotteries Mega Millions and Powerball.

Slot Machine Ownership

Only slot machine collectors who have machines that are 25 years old or older may legally own slot machines in Delaware. Of course, anyone can call themselves a collector, but no one can own a machine newer than 25 years old except the casinos licensed by the state.

Bingo and Raffles

Any organization that qualifies as a charitable business in the state of Delaware can offer raffles, bingo, Texas Holdem poker tournaments, or instant bingo tickets. The rules and regulations are strict for operators, but players can easily find bingo games and raffles to enter.

In 2013 Delaware legalized the use of slot machines and video poker machines in some veterans clubs in the state. The organization had to have been in existence for at least 75 years, the state takes 40% of the revenue, and at least 60% of the organization’s share of the proceeds must go to a state approved charity organization.


Strictly speaking, Delaware is probably the most liberal state in terms of gambling with the only exception being that the casinos are tied to racetracks within the state. I would say this and New Jersey are tied for most liberal, because in a somewhat similar way, New Jersey casinos are only permitted in Atlantic City. Other than that, they have absolutely everything, including full-on legalized and regulated online casinos. That makes them different from Nevada as does the fact that they have a lottery.

The only real differences between Delaware and Pennsylvania is that Pennsylvania has not found a mutually agreeable way to get sports betting into the casino as yet given the onerous fees that they are demanding which would almost certainly be a huge chunk, if not all of, positive revenues.