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Delaware Governor signs intrastate online gambling measure into law

Residents of small eastern state will soon be able to enjoy games of blackjack and poker over the Internet and wager on NFL games at more locations.

Friday 29th June 2012

Delaware has become the first US state to legalise full-service intrastate online casino gambling after Governor Jack Markell signed proposed legislation into law less than 24 hours after it had passed through the Delaware Senate. The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 made it through the Delaware House of Representatives two weeks ago before being passed by a vote of 14 to six in the Delaware Senate on Wednesday and will see players over the age of 21 in the state able to enjoy slots and games of roulette over the Internet under the control and operation of the Delaware Lottery by 2013. The legislation, which was also known as House Bill 333, made it through the Delaware House of Representatives by a vote of 29 to eight and also expands keno beyond the state's three existing casinos to at least 100 sites. Passage of the bill follows a legal interpretation late last year from the US Department of Justice that allowed states to offer online gambling within their borders and Markell stated that the measure will protect and promote jobs in the state’s casino industry. “We’re talking about a couple thousand jobs,” said the first-term Democrat. “The competitive landscape for this industry has changed dramatically.” The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 will additionally authorise residents to wager on National Football League (NFL) games in at least 20 sites other than casinos and will see officials eliminate the four million dollars in slot machine fees currently paid by casinos in ‘The First State’ while table gaming duties will be slashed from $6.75 million to around three million dollars. In return for these breaks, casinos are to be asked to spend an equal amount on traditional business expenses such as marketing, capital improvements and debt reduction. “I'd like to thank the legislators in both houses for their work to make this industry more competitive and keep so many people working,” said Markell. House Bill 333 will see the Delaware Lottery establish a centralised online gambling system operated by a third-party vendor. Individual websites are to be made available via each of the three existing Delaware casinos and include games such as blackjack, and poker. The legislation also means that bars and restaurants will be authorised to offer keno instant lottery games and sell professional football parlay cards, which had been available exclusively in casinos.

Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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