Delaware holds the distinction of being the first state to legalize online poker in the United States, passing the requisite legislation in June 2012. The first DE poker sites launched that November.
Today, Delaware online poker operates as a safe and well-regulated industry. Licensed poker sites in Delaware must conform to various state laws to ensure the safety of players’ funds, protection against collusion, and the safekeeping of player information.
Delaware Poker Sites
Delaware poker laws are somewhat unique in that they put the state lottery in charge of poker and authorize the state’s three land-based casinos to offer online poker and casino games in partnership with 888 Holdings.
- Delaware Park Poker
- Harrington Raceway Poker
- Dover Downs Poker
All three DE poker sites operate on the same network. They all use 888poker software connected to WSOP.com in a joint venture between 888 Holdings, Scientific Games Corporation, and Williams Interactive LLC. Thus, the only true difference between the three sites involves individual promotions, deposit bonuses, and player accounts.
Players may only be logged into one poker account at a time, however, and player-to-player transfers are prohibited.
Sharing Player Pools
With a population of just under 1 million, Delaware is one of the smallest poker markets in the nation. Delaware poker would most likely be non-viable on its own, but fortunately for players, it is a member of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA).
As a member of MSIGA, Delaware poker sites share player pools with Nevada and New Jersey to boost the greater player pool across all three states. The benefits to DE poker players are busier tables, better cash games, and bigger tournaments.
Delaware’s shared player pools via MSIGA do not extend to certain large tournament series held by WSOP.com in other states. Online WSOP circuits and bracelet events with NJ and NV players are not available in Delaware. However, other tournaments and cash games do extend beyond state lines.
Poker Games in Delaware
Delaware’s three poker sites host cash games and tournaments 24 hours a day.
The availability of action depends on the limits one wishes to play, with more available options in lower stakes games than among higher stakes. Still, cash game players can usually find enough action at $1/$2 and below around the clock, with tournament players also having options all day and night. Field sizes are the largest during the evening hours on the east coast.
No-Limit Hold’em is the most popular game in DE online poker, with Pot-Limit Omaha securing the number two position. Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo (8 or better) is also fairly popular.
Sit-n-Go tournaments are spread on the site as well, with the lottery-format BLAST games accounting for the majority of games that run. Limit Hold’em and stud games are available too, though they are considerably less popular. Outside of poker, other casino games such as blackjack, roulette, and slots can also be found; and sports betting, daily fantasy sports (DFS), and horse race betting are also legal.
List of Delaware Casinos
All three casinos in Delaware operate live poker rooms in addition to their online games.
- Delaware Park Poker Room: The largest poker room in Delaware, open 24 hours a day with a 25-table poker room that spreads cash games and daily tournaments.
- Dover Downs Poker Room: Open 24 hours on weekends and from 10a-4a throughout the week, featuring 18 tables for cash games and tournaments.
- Harrington Raceway Poker Room: Open 24 hours on weekends and from 8a-4a the rest of the week, Harrington Raceway has 10 poker tables within its room.
Delaware Online Poker Deposits and Withdrawals
Players 21 and older may play online poker in Delaware for real money.
Poker players may fund their accounts from anywhere, but geolocation technology ensures players may only participate in real money games when physically located within state lines.
Under state law, DE poker sites must verify the age and identity of every customer. Licensed sites must collect certain information from every new player, including addresses and social security numbers.
Deposit options are fairly standard, with a $10 minimum deposit regardless of method or poker site:
- Credit/debit cards such as Visa and MasterCard
- Bank transfers and electronic checks
- E-Wallets such as Neteller
Withdrawals are simple, too. E-checks and paper checks are both available to all players who have had their identities verified, and they take 24-48 hours to process.
Online Poker History in Delaware
It’s somewhat fitting that “The First State” was the first state to legalize online poker.
Delaware lawmakers legalized online poker and gambling by passing HB 333. Governor Jack Markell signed the bill into law on June 29th, 2012 to make Delaware the first state in the US to fully pass legislation legalizing online poker.
It still took over a year before any form of online gambling went live, with the three online casinos all launching in late October 2013. Online poker went live on November 8, 2013 with 888 Holdings serving as the monopoly software provider within Delaware.
Traffic was low given the state’s small population, but February 2014 signified another milestone when Gov. Markell and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval agreed to share player pools. Fifteen months later, interstate poker went live between Nevada and Delaware on March 24, 2015.
In 2017, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed onto the MSIGA as well, and the three states have shared player pools ever since.
888poker has maintained its monopoly on Delaware online poker since day one, and in 2020 a received a two-year extension as the state’s sole operator. This means that other operators such as PartyPoker and PokerStars, both of whom operate in neighboring New Jersey will remain shut out of the Delaware online poker market for the foreseeable future.
Other states such as Michigan and West Virginia may join the MSIGA at some point as well to further enhanced online poker in Delaware.