Delaware Casino and Card Room Gaming
In June 2005, state legislators sponsored a bill to legalize table games in Delaware. Games permitted under the bill included roulette and any game played with cards or dice, including but not limited to baccarat, blackjack, poker and craps. The measure was finally approved and signed into law in January 2010. Delaware properties began offering table games and poker in summer 2010.
In June 2006, members of the House Gaming and Pari-Mutuel Committee voted to put on hold a constitutional amendment that would have authorized the addition of two casinos in Wilmington and expanded allowable games at all venues, a move that essentially killed the measure. The expansion of venues had been pushed by supporters of two companies that want to build large entertainment and casino complexes along the Christina River.
On 28 January 2010, Delaware passed legislation that allowed the state's racinos to add table games. Delaware set the table games tax rate at 34% to help with the higher operational costs table games create. Delaware modeled its tax rate after West Virginia's tax rates, but not the more favorable Pennsylvania tax rate of 16%. The bill was immediately signed into law. Delaware properties began offering table games in summer 2010.
In July 2012, a bill was signed into law allowing Delaware operators to offer players online casinos in 2013.
In the first five months of 2013, slot revenue dropped nearly $47 million. With revenue steadily declining, casino operators requested a reduction in slot machine taxes from 43.5% to 37%. Delaware rejected the lower tax rate. But as an alternative, the three casinos were given a total of $8 million. The money, by law, was used to pay the vendors who supply VLTs to Dover Downs, Delaware Park and Harrington Raceway.
In 2014, Delaware again agreed to return a total of $10 million to the three casinos. Increased competition in the Mid-Atlantic states is cited as the main reason Delaware's casino revenue is shrinking. Delaware's three gaming locations have felt the pinch from the relatively new casinos in Pennsylvania and Maryland and as far away as West Virginia. Since the 2010 opening of the Hollywood Casino in Perryville, Maryland, the Casino at Delaware Park has lost countless customers. Maryland Live!, which opened in 2012 in Hanover, has also taken its fair share of customers from the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino.
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