Thursday June 14, 2012 : DELAWARE ONLINE GAMBLING BILL ADVANCES (Update)
 
Approved by the House, HB333 is now on its way to the state Senate
 
Delaware's new legalization legalising online gambling and expanding venues for sports wagering was approved by the state House of Assembly Tuesday and is now on its way to the Senate for a vote.
 
Gov. Jack Markell supports the measure, which was approved on a 29 to 8 House vote after adding an amendment allocating a share of the revenue from the additional sports lottery sites to harness racing purses at the state's three racetrack casinos.
 
A similar provision for thoroughbred racing purses already had been inserted into the bill at the request of the thoroughbred industry, administration officials said.
 
The bill expands keno beyond Delaware's three existing casinos to at least 100 sites, and also authorizes betting on NFL games in at least 20 more sites other than the casinos.
 
Rep. John Viola, who drove the bill through the House, said it represents "the next logical step" in the evolution of Delaware's gambling industry.
 
Viola noted that other states are looking to implement online gambling in the wake of a U.S. Justice Department determination late last year that federal law does not preclude in-state betting online, as long as it does not involve gambling on sports.
 
Ed Sutor, CEO of Dover Downs Inc., said the proposed changes could help boost Delaware's gambling industry, which has seen increased competition from neighbouring states in recent years.
 
The final version of the House bill requires that punters on lottery games online buy a prepaid card from an existing state lottery retailer, a move to placate lottery ticket retailers concerned about the impact on their businesses of online lottery ticket buying over the internet.