Delaware Needs To Address Critical iGaming IssuesAugust 29, 2016 11:37 am
Being such a small state, Delaware’s online gambling industry does not receive anywhere near the same level of attention that the USA’s other two regulated markets attract. After all, while New Jersey’s iGaming market generated revenues of $122.9m in 2014, and $148.8m in 2015, for Delaware those figures were just $2.1m in 2014, and $1.8m in 2015.
However, it is not just Delaware’s small population of less than 1 million people that has contributed to its less than stellar iGaming results over the past few years. Instead, two critical issues that were enforced when the industry was first regulated lie at the heart of the state’s lacklustre results.
Examining the current state of Delaware’s iGaming market, Steve Ruddock of onlinepokerreport identified the first serious issue as a lack of competition. In Delaware, the state lottery acts as the branded operator for the state’s three regulated racinos, namely Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway. As a result, they are all forced to use the same platform providers (Scientific Games and 888 Holdings) and software, which prevents them from being able to differentiate their products from their competitors.
The second serious issue is the untenable tax burden which has been placed upon operators based upon wildly optimistic pre-regulation revenue projections. Initially, Delaware had anticipated revenues in excess of $5 million pre annum, and so mandated that the state would receive any revenues below $3.75 million. Needless to say, thus far Delaware’s three operators have been unable to realize any sort of return on their investments, and so have also been unable to fork out any significant money on advertising their sites.
Therefore, if Delaware is ever to realize the true potential of its online gambling market, it first needs to address these two critical issues, which would subsequently help its three operators boost their marketing efforts and invest in the industry’s future.