Delaware—If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em, But Do It Better

New Jersey and Pennsylvania have them. Okay, Pennsylvania doesn’t have them yet, but they were approved for them a few weeks ago. What is ‘them?’ Table games. Blackjack included.

While Delaware may have been the very first state they are not the first to allow table games or legalize online gambling for their residents to give their revenue a boost. And that’s exactly what led Delaware Governor Jack Markell to propose the allowing of table games, blackjack, poker and craps, in the state’s three slots parlors. He also wanted Delaware to be able to compete with nearby states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and their gambling offerings.

The breakdown of how the revenue from Delaware’s blackjack, poker and craps tables will be as follows: 66% will stay with the slots casinos, the state will receive 29%, and 4.5% will to the horse racing purses. Not quite sure why revenue from casino games is going to horse purses, other than maybe to keep them from fussing about lost revenue to table games…perhaps Florida should keep that in mind.

And while 29% may not sound like a lot to most of us, Markell estimates that blackjack, poker and craps will give the state around $40 million a year—a nice boost to their revenue.

The other thing of note to Delaware’s decision to allow table games is that it took less than two weeks. It was cleared in the House last week; and approved by the Senate and signed by Markell on Thursday. We can all recall how long Pennsylvania went back and forth. And Florida is still going round and round with the Seminoles refusing to give up.

Perhaps other states should look to Delaware as an example. They understand that they needed the revenue. If the 4.5% that’s going to the horse purses is to help balance out potential lost revenue, then they made a bit of a compromise so that they could allow table games. And this bill was approved in less than two weeks.

Also to be looked at admirably is that Delaware has another table games related bill. It is a bill aimed at preventing and punishing those who cheat at this table games. So not only is Delaware acting quickly and smoothing the opposition’s feathers to get the revenue the state needs, they’re also trying to make sure blackjack, poker and craps stays fair for those who play.

All states who are considering allowing table games—take note of Delaware. They weren’t the first state for nothing!