Delaware moves toward table games
Delaware lawmakers have recommended approval of casino table games -- including poker, blackjack, roulette and craps -- in the tiny state's three legal casinos.
A June 13 article in the New Journal newspaper reports the legislative committee overseeing gambling in the First State gave the green light to table games. Until now, the casinos at Dover Downs Raceway, Delaware Park and Harrington Raceway featured slot parlors and limited computerized gaming.
Poker rooms could be operational by January, 2010, with the other traditional casino tables opening in March. The state already has three licensed poker rooms, where players pay a seat fee to compete against one another. A portion of the seat fee goes to a different charity each day, with the remainder going to the state and the hall operator.
Delaware is the only U.S. state where a balanced budget is a Constitutional requirement. Strapped for cash and facing a large deficit, state officials are hoping new tax revenues from gaming will replace lost corporate tax revenues -- once the state's largest revenue source.
Delaware's governor recently signed legislation permitting sports betting, prompting threats of a lawsuit by the National Football Leauge. NFL officials claimed sports betting could corrupt players. The threats were withrawn after Delaware granted the NFL the right to use NFL logos on state lottery "scratch-off" tickets.
In May, Delaware's Supreme Court issued an opinion on various forms of gaming, finding that games which included an element of skill were legal in the First State. The Delaware Technical and Community College (Del Tech) announced it will offer classes to train dealers in the Fall.
Delaware hopes to join in the growing competition for East Coast players against Atlantic City's casinos. In the past year, new casinos have been proposed, approved or open in Philadelphia, Chester and Bethlehem, PA.
It remains to be seen if Atlantic City's large traditional casino hotel operatos will venture into Delaware, or if new gaming tax revenues will improve the lives of Delawareans. The state is known for low wages, high unemployment and the nation's highest per-capita rate of both drug addiction and cancer.
Last edited by dennis63; 06-15-2009 at 02:29 AM.
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