Delaware Gambling Laws & Statutes

Taking a risk to win a big return is something that almost everyone in the country has experienced through both wins and losses but many laws are on the books to determine the intensity of such risks. Before heading off to the nearest casino, racetrack, sportsbook or poker room, bettors should brush up on Delaware gambling laws to ensure that what they win will remain theirs and the act of obtaining it was legal. Those in the First State above others should take the extra moment to familiarize themselves with local legislation due to the unique nature of Delaware’s place in national gambling laws. We have provided this page for those in the Small Wonder as a guide to using legal gambling sites for Delaware residents lawfully.

Important State Gambling Laws in Delaware

The federal framework that regulates gambling across the entire country has left much room for each state to develop their own regulations, as Delaware is one such state. With a dim view on gambling in general, the state remains lax and provides exceptions for its citizens to spend an evening at the casino, sportsbook or card room. Folks in Delaware will have betting options both in person and online.

State Code 1401 - The Delaware constitution begins by prohibiting all forms of ‘Gambling,’ but lists no clear definition. The above definition of ‘Advancing Gambling in the 2nd Degree’ is the first definition that a reader comes across and can see the penalty is a Class a Misdemeanor. It follows suit with the federal template of targeting the business of gambling or conducting an illicit operation.

State Code 1403 - The Delaware Constitution further narrows down its strict enforcement against the business of gambling however still lists this higher tier as punishable of a Class A Misdemeanor, the same as ‘Advancing Gambling in the 2nd Degree’.

State Code 1411 - This is an important clause to the Delaware state gambling laws as some have construed its meaning to include the internet. While there has been no instance of anyone arrested for such activity, this statute once again targets commercial gambling and not recreational bettors. If guilty of ‘Unlawfully disseminating gambling information’, it is again punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor.

State Code 1404 - This falls right in line with the rest of Delaware’s gambling laws having a visceral distaste for the business of gambling. This too is a Class A Misdemeanor however can be considered “Unclassified”. We expect this is to be lax for a home game of poker for instance where the house is not taking a cut. There have been no arrests for hosting home games.

The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 - This act allowed sanctioned Delaware gambling facilities to use the internet to serve their client base just so long as they did not serve anyone else outside of the state. Through these sites, you may purchase lottery tickets, play certain casino games and even poker. The downside is that they’re not highly functional (many Delaware residents report permanent bans for their IP addresses not registering in Delaware, even though they clearly are) and since no residents from other states may join, subpar action on the poker table.

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Federal Laws Affecting Gambling & Online Gambling In Delaware

Wire Act – A few federal laws govern the entire nation in terms of gambling with the Federal Wire Act being the oldest. Intending to end organized crime, this law forbids the business of gambling and transmittal of gambling information through electronic means across state lines. The act covers the internet as a means for gambling information to travel and outlaws any online gambling site from operating on U.S. soil. The Wire Act does not prevent however, recreational bettors from the simple act of placing a bet, which is legal.

PASPA – The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) came to be in 1992 with a target placed on illicit sports betting in the country. Lawmakers found the business of sports betting to be a detriment to American society and banned the facilitation of bets outside of Oregon, Nevada, Montana and most importantly for readers of this page, Delaware. While the First State is exempt from PASPA’s rule, one will not find full sports betting within the state’s borders as in a Las Vegas Casino.

UIGEA – The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is another federal law that targets the business of gambling while leaving recreational bettors largely alone. This act prevents any online financial transaction by a U.S. based internet-gambling site and effectively erases any online betting venue from existing within the United States. While bettors did not lose the ability to place a bet, the venues to do so quickly disappeared from the web, resigning legal options only to those sites not bound to federal law.

Keeping all of these federal laws in mind, gamblers in Delaware are able to place bets under the rule of law so long as they are visiting licensed land-based facilities or are using Delaware gambling sites that exist outside of U.S. regulations.

Legal Delaware Gambling Age

The State of Delaware has a range of legal ages for gambling within its borders depending on the medium of wagering one is partaking. For those risking money at lotteries, pari-mutuel wagering and bingo, citizens must be 18 years of age or older to play. Casino visits in Delaware however, are restricted to those 21 and up. For those in the First State who wish to wager online at a legal offshore sportsbook, the age is 18 years of age or older for legal gambling for Delaware residents.

Online Gambling In Delaware...What's The Verdict?

Overall, Delaware gambling laws may seem strict and regulative; however, they do not intend to target recreational gamblers. So long as First State residents do not engage in the business of gambling or try to operate an illicit betting scheme from their home or over the web, they will be safe from prosecution. Online gambling sites that are not bound to federal or state laws are legal to visit, wager at and collect winnings off successful bets. Delaware also plays host to numerous casinos, lotteries, bingo parlors and racetracks where bettors are able to seek winnings without having to question if it's legal Delaware gambling. Delaware may appear intimidating on the surface for their gambling laws but they are indeed lax when compared with some other states.

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