When it comes to online gambling in the US, Delaware has the smallest industry. The state struggled in the beginning to gain ground, but now that people are stuck at home due to the coronavirus, online gaming revenues have increased. For online options to continue, providers need to be in contract with the Delaware Lottery. Just this week, 888 announced an extension of its contract, set to continue to offer online poker in the state for two more years. Since 2013, 888 has provided online poker and casino gaming in the state.
Vernon Kirk, the director of the Delaware Lottery, commented on the contract extension by stating that 888 has been a valued partner since the launch of iGaming. They were also part of another first by signing up for the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association, which includes Nevada and New Jersey as well. With this agreement, each of the states can share poker liquidity which allows for larger player pools.
The interstate compact has helped the small state of Delaware to move forward with online gaming, but it was not as successful as expected. Instead, it has been the shutdown due to COVID-19 that has caused online poker earnings to increase. The state earned just under $94,000 in May, which is not a lot, but still major growth for the state. It is actually 329% more than the same month in 2019.
When it comes to overall online gaming, 888 does quite well in Delaware. They brought in $1.1 million in May which was an increase of over 260% when comparing year over year totals.
Will the Increase Last?
When online poker and casino gaming launched in Delaware, the industry struggled. Since 2013, Delaware has tried to gain ground, but has been unsuccessful, especially when compared to New Jersey’s online gaming market. Delaware struggles to reach six figures while the Garden State continues to hit eight figures each month.
With the online poker industry though, each state has struggled. Online poker has not been as successful as expected in the US. Instead, players have gravitated towards online casino games like slots and table games.
The online poker industry in the states with legalized iGaming has seen a resurgence though since March, as casinos shut down and the only gambling options to be found were online. Players began logging on to online poker rooms in record numbers, especially when operators offered special deals or events.
WSOP, partypoker and PokerStars have been quite successful in their online poker gaming in the US due to the virus issue. The brands have focused on offering large tournament events to pull players in. With low buy-ins and significant guaranteed prize pools, players are not shy when it comes to logging in and taking part.
We shall continue to watch 888 and their efforts in Delaware. Will the brand continue to see a nice increase in online poker earnings? Or will casinos opening cause the earnings to lower once again?