Delaware Online Gaming Regulations Available for Public Comment
Delaware has released a draft of its online gambling regulations, on which the public will be permitted to comment until July 31st.
Unlike in New Jersey and Nevada – the only two other states in the nation to pass similar legislation thus far – the Delaware Internet betting industry will be run by the Delaware State Lottery. In New Jersey and Nevada, the market is overseen by state gambling regulators.
Delaware to offer comprehensive suite of games
According to the text of the regulations, which are currently only in a first draft form, the Delaware Lottery will have the authority to offer a wide variety of casino games in addition to online poker and other forms of Internet wagering. In this sense, the market in Delaware will resemble that in New Jersey, which also will permit an extensive range of games when sites go live there, something that is expected to happen by Thanksgiving.
By contrast, only online poker is permitted in Nevada. The first regulated online poker room there opened its virtual doors back in April.
In Delaware, a license can be issued for “any other game which is determined by the Director to be compatible with the public interest and to be suitable for use after such appropriate test or experimental period as the Director may deem appropriate,” meaning that Delaware residents will have a veritable smorgasbord of betting options.
No “bad actor clause” in Delaware
Missing from the Delaware law is a so-called “bad actor” clause, which is a part of the online poker law in the state of Nevada. Such a clause prevents any entity who has been convicted of operating an illegal gambling business from being licensed or participating in the market. These stipulations can carry a time limit as well, for example barring any such company from the market for a period of say five or ten years.
Despite the absence of a bad actor clause in Delaware, applicants must disclose past disciplinary actions against them. They also will be required to prove that they possess “the business ability and experience necessary to satisfactorily conduct the Internet lottery operations,” according to the proposed regulations.
An applicant will be automatically disqualified if they are 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.” Candidates who receive such a disqualification would be entitled to an appeal.
Age verification remains a question mark
As in the other states that have passed laws to regulate online gaming, those who wish to place bets on Delaware’s real-money gambling sites will have to be physically located within the state when doing so. They will also be required to be a minimum of 21 years of age.
While the issue of age verification has been one at the forefront of the online gambling debate, as many opponents worry that children and teenagers may be able to gain access to the betting sites, the draft proposal does little to address how Delaware intends to verify that a player is of age.
The draft says only, “The Internet lottery system must have a means to verify the identity and age of a registrant.”
Various options for age confirmation have been proposed, such as retina scanning, fingerprint verification, and perhaps even the old-fashioned phone call method, though again, Delaware officials have given no indication as to how they plan to administer such a system.
The full text of Delaware’s proposed online gaming regulations is posted here.
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