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Delaware Releases Draft Online Gaming Regulations

The Government of the US state of Delaware has released the draft proposal of its online regulations for comment by the state’s public.

Delaware is set to launch an online gaming industry in September, which will follow Nevada, which was the first US state to launch regulated online gaming back in April. The draft regulations are 27 pages long are available for comment by the Delaware pubic until the end of July.

The draft regulations state that the Delaware State Lottery will oversee the state’s online gaming industry when it is established, which would be different to how Nevada and New Jersey’s industries are run. In those states, the online gaming industry is run by state gaming regulators.

It is also stated in the regulations that along with online poker, the Delaware lottery will also have the power to offer and approve other forms of online casino games, such as roulette and bingo. This also contrasts to Nevada, which only offers online poker. New Jersey, however, is set to also offer and allow a wider range of online games when the industry in that state is established later this year.

An aspect of the regulations that may come under some fiery debate is the absence of any clause prohibiting ‘illegal gamblers’ from getting a licence in the state. Colloquially known as the ‘bad actor clause’, it is a part of most proposed or passed regulations in the US. Its primary purpose in online gaming regulations is to stop any person or company previously convicted of operating an illegal gambling business to be licenced.

While Delaware’s draft regulations lack such a clause, it does state that all persons and companies applying for a licence to operate an online gaming licence must all past disciplinary actions they have had against them. According to the draft regulations, any licence applicant found to have committed “within 10 years before the filing of the application, of any felony, a crime of moral turpitude or a crime involving gambling” will be denied a licence.

Applicants for a Delaware licence must also disclose “whether  the applicant, or any of its present or former officers, directors, owners, partners, key employees, or gaming employees, is or has been the subject of an investigation in another jurisdiction, the nature of the investigation, and the outcome, if any, of such investigation.”

Like other US states, Delaware’s regulations would only allow its online gaming services to be played by those who are physically in the state. Players who wish to play on the state’s online gaming sites must also prove that they are 21 years of age or older.

Another key factor in the draft regulations is the proposed streamlining of licence applications from applicants who have already been granted licences in other US jurisdictions. In the name of efficiency, the State Lottery would be able to decide whether such a company could skip elements of the licensing process, which would result in the quicker granting of licences.

Williams Interactive, Scientific Games and 888 Holdings were chosen to be Delaware’s foremost provider of its soon to be established online gaming industry. It came after a joint bid between the three companies earlier this year, which was accepted by the State Lottery.

It is believed, however, that other online gaming companies will be licenced in the near future.

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