Delaware Lottery officials made the announcement on Thursday that a group of preferred players have been chosen to begin a "soft launch" platform of real-money online gambling; the live testing will run for a week and the preferred players are located in the state of Delaware.
State lottery director Vernon Kirk said that officials want to make sure things go smoothly ahead of a full launch in Delaware early next month according to news just out from the Associated Press. The Delaware Lottery is testing services such as transfers between casino and player bank accounts, as well as gameplay for poker, blackjack, roulette and slots.
Delaware residents will be able to fire up their mouse and start placing wagers on the Internet on November 8th if the trial run provides the expected results.
Back in August the free play site which was available via the DoubleDown Casino platform on Facebook had the same players that have been chosen to participate in the soft launch according to Kirk but those players have not been named. The Double Down free play site's foundation also provides the real-money product that's being tested. IGT owns Double Down and is one of Delaware's selected slot vendors.
Three racinos in Delaware — two publicly traded companies and one privately owned — will be under the jurisdiction of the Delaware state lottery in offering gaming websites. Delaware is small and gambling is a big part of the budget, generating more than $250 million annually in state tax dollars compared to a state budget of about $3.4 billion. Delaware is looking to glean an additional $7.75 million in revenues from the new forms of gambling in 2013.
Nevada was the first state to add regulated online gambling to the state's established gambling platforms but internet poker is the only form of online gambling allowed at this time. Delaware has plans to open up full-scale Internet gambling including casino games and lottery tickets and will be the first state to debut the full offering of casino games.
New Jersey isn't far behind with its iGaming operation launch scheduled for November 26th. New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak believes the Garden State will be an "Internet gaming dynasty" that will dominate the national and international market.
Image courtesy of PokerNews.com.