Delaware Online Poker and Gaming Jumps Amid Pandemic

Delaware Online Poker and Gaming Jumps Amid Pandemic

Delaware has a relatively small gambling market. It has never been impressive compared to markets like New Jersey. That’s just the reality of the state and the market.

But when all of the live gambling options in Delaware shut down – due to a coronavirus pandemic, perhaps – that little market has a backup. Its internet gambling options normally work to supplement the land-based racing and casino revenue, but without those, internet games are showing that they can stand on their own.

Again, the numbers aren’t going to knock anyone out of their chairs or cover any budget shortfall in this extremely troubled economy. But it must feel okay to have $10 million on the books anyway.

Unprecedented Growth

The Delaware Lottery released the April revenue numbers from its online gaming market this week. As it turns out, it was the only gambling revenue for the state in April.

These are unusual times. And they have delivered numbers that have not yet been seen in the Delaware igaming market. The increases in March were impressive due to the racino closures midway through March, and the numbers in April reflect an entire month of those closures.

Delaware’s online gaming revenue has grown somewhat steadily through the years, even online poker revenue that had seen the opposite trend in New Jersey. Its first quarter of 2020 was already solid, with 13.8% online poker growth in Q1 and 43.3% overall igaming growth.

With the April numbers and likely the same in May, the first half of 2020 is turning out to be a big one for the little market that could.

Online Poker Market Growth

It’s been a good year – an unprecedented one – for online poker in Delaware:

–January 2020 online poker rake/fees:  $31,279.77 (up 40% from $22,335.51 in 2019)

–February 2020 online poker rake/fees:  $30,870.96 (up 21.8% from $25,348.17 in 2019)

–March 2020 online poker rake/fees:  $57,689.50 (up 123.7% from $25,904.71 in 2019)

–April 2020 online poker rake/fees:  $84,033.67 (up 276% from $22,357.46 in 2019)

The monthly growth should be mentioned as well, remembering that most of it is due to the lack of land-based gambling entertainment. March made a leap of 86.9% from the previous month, and April jumped another 45.7% from March.

Considering April was the first full month of only igaming in Delaware, and May will present the same set of circumstances, it will be interesting to see the level of growth at that point.

Internet Gaming Sector Growth

The igaming market of Delaware consists of the aforementioned online poker games, as well as video lottery games and online casino table games. The latter is usually the largest piece of the market, though those two typically tower over online poker.

–January 2020 iGaming net:  $387,865.46 (up 38.7% from $279,541.09 in 2019)

–February 2020 iGaming net:  $324,957.62 (up 18.3% from $274,692.11 in 2019)

–March 2020 iGaming net:  $514,959.34 (up 78.3% from $288,744.54 in 2019)

–April 2020 iGaming net:  $856,181.94 (up 225.3% from $263,182.75 in 2019)

Again, the monthly increases in the past two months are worth noting. March revenue from igaming grew 58.5% from the previous month, and that number rose to 66.3% from March to April.

New Registrations Up

The same story applies to new online gaming registrations.

–January 2020 registrations:  468 (down 19% from 578 in 2019)

–February 2020 registrations:  431 (down 9.8% from 478 in 2019)

–March 2020 registrations:  930 (up 92.9% from 482 in 2019)

–April 2020 registrations:  1,410 (up 288.4% from 363 in 2019)

As for monthly growth, March had a 115.8% jump from February to March and then a 51.6% pip from March to April.

Next month’s numbers will tell a more interesting story, as the twist will be that it will be the second month in a row of only igaming in Delaware. The variable of live gaming will be gone, so we’ll be looking to see any growth in the second full month of quarantine.


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

Disclaimer: The information on this site is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. It is in no way meant to serve as legal advice or instruction. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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