Delaware Would Form Online Poker Compacts With West Virginia, Rhode Island

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Delaware Would Form Online Poker Compacts With West Virginia, Rhode Island

The state of Delaware is pushing forward with legislation that would legalize various forms of Web gambling including online poker. 


With its relatively small population base of around 1 million people, the First State looks to join forces with West Virginia and Rhode Island, both of which are looking into offering their residents online poker for real money play. 

Delaware’s measure was sent to a House vote this past Friday.

“Our industry is on the severe defensive,” said Brian Selander, Chief Strategy Officer to Gov. Jack Markell. He added that the bill has a good chance of passing: “Delaware moves quickly, and we tend not to fight all that much.”


The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 was introduced on May 9.

At the most recent Nevada Gaming Policy Committee meeting in Las Vegas, a researcher at the Gaming Control Board said that Delaware is looking to partner with West Virgina and Rhode Island in offering online poker. West Virginia nor Rhode Island have an online gaming bill in their respective legislatures. Delaware has less than a million residents.

The combined state compact would offer up a potential player pool of around 3 million people, roughly the equivalent of Nevada, which has already legalized intrastate real money online poker. 

Delaware’s northern neighbor, New Jersey, is also pushing hard to get online poker legislation passed perhaps as early as this summer.  The Garden State has nearly three times the population of Delaware, Rhode Island and West Virginia combined and it, too, was looking into possible compacts. 

Interested parties in the state of Massachusetts, which this month failed to get its own Web gambling legislation passed, told a compact between the Commonwealth and New Jersey could have been in the cards at some future date.

- Chris Costigan, Publisher

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