Little Optimism For Delaware iGaming On Its Year Anniversary

Little Optimism For Delaware iGaming On Its Year Anniversary Delaware regulated its online gambling industry in November 2013, and after the Delaware Lottery released its revenue figures for October 2014 the state now has a whole year of statistics to analyze. Unfortunately, however, the news is hardly cause for great celebrations and over the past year the First State’s three operators have generated a combined $2 million in online revenues, an amount drastically short of pre-regulation forecasts predicting more than $5 million in taxes filtering through to state coffers each year.
With all three regulated states now struggling with their online gambling markets, and the much touted interstate poker compact agreed between Delaware and Nevada postponed until 2015, there seems little optimism the US online gambling market will improve anytime soon. Interestingly, this year Morgan Stanley estimated that the US online gambling industry could generate $5.2 billion in annual revenues by 2020, but warned at least 20+ states would have to be enticed into introducing legislation before that forecast could become a reality.
Turning back to Delaware, in October the state reported online revenues of $130,468, the lowest tally of the year so far, and only slightly better than the $111,387 in revenues generated by the state in its first month of operation last November. Furthermore,  table games were down by 21% to $46,130 compared to the previous month, and online poker down by 12% to $28,509, while video lottery actually recorded a 2% improvement to $55,828, and now accounts for 43% of the state’s online gambling market.
Continuing to lead Delaware’s iGaming market in October was Delaware Park, whose revenues fell by 16% to $75,050 compared to September; followed by Dover Downs lower by 10% to $30,383; and Harrington Raceway up 47% to $25,034. Even more worryingly than the miniscule revenue figures was the number of new sign ups in October, which have now fallen by 88% to just 315 compared to the 2,654 people who had signed up in November 2013.
In addition to online gambling, Delaware’s casino industry has also been reeling recently from increased competition coming from neighbouring states, a particularly troubling development considering the importance the industry holds for the state. As an article on delawareonline.com, explains:
“The state’s three casinos generate more state tax revenue than all of the state income tax paid by corporations operating in Delaware. And it rivals the amount generated by Delaware’s gross receipts tax, sometimes called the state’s hidden sales tax.. The state last year used almost $215 million in gaming revenue to pay its bills, including more than $62 million in gambling revenue from Dover Downs alone.”

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