The seemingly long path to legalized online gambling in the US is becoming shorter, even if only one step at a time. According to the latest reports, the online betting bill for the state of Delaware is going for a vote in the state house. Should this bill be passed, several avenues for online casinos and sports betting will open up in the state. On Thursday, the bill has was successfully voted for release by the House Gaming and Parimutuels Committee, in spite of the opposition from anti-gambling groups and the harness racing industry of Delaware state.
Expansion of keno games
At present, there are only three casinos in Delaware that offer the popular game keno, besides the regular slots and table games. Soon, the state’s Governor Jack Markell hopes to offer the game at more than 100 odd casino sites that would come up if this bill is passed. Added to that, he also plans to extend NFL betting on 20 more casino sites that the state would get. This is certainly good news for many, although the harness racing industry in the state thinks otherwise. The industry thinks that the increasing number of casino games would overshadow the horse racing an betting activities, and prevent the industry from getting their fair share of profits from legalized gambling.
Apparently, the move to expand the gambling activities across the state would bring in enough revenue to cover the fees of over $4 million, which the existing casinos have to pay. Also, casinos would be able to bring down their fee on table games to just $3 million from $6.75 million.
Develop a competitive gambling industry
Thanks to the reduced costs, online pokies sites and other gambling sites would be able able to increase their traditional business spending, which means reduced debts, improvement in capital and marketing expenses. According to the state’s financial secretary, Tom Cook, the bills should help Delaware state to build a healthy gambling industry that is strong enough to stand the tough competition posed by gambling industries in neighboring states.
The industry officials also assured that all measures would be taken to prevent minors from betting or gambling online. According to online gambling consultant Melissa Blau, officials will be able to determine underage gambling activity with the help of a monitor that records the key strokes, the account and registration information that a person enters when on a particular gambling site. GB Group’s head of gaming, Peter Murray, also said that legitimacy of online betting would be ensured by collecting social security numbers and other personal information that will help in identifying a person.
Bill not fair?
According to the bill, only 4.5% share of the gambling proceeds from table games would be going to the harness racing sector in Delaware. Lawmakers and state representatives like Clifford “Biff” Lee feel that the bill does not promise a fair share to the harness racers. Sal Dimario, who is the Delaware Standarbred Owners Association’s director also thinks the same and has requested the governor’s chief counsel to deduct 12.5% for online table games.