Delaware’s entry into the microscopic US online gambling market has always been a bit of a mystery to gaming industry observers. After all, with a population of just 961,939 it’s the 45th smallest US State. From the beginning it was unclear whether or not that was big enough to support a robust igaming market.

Despite its tiny pool of potential online players, state officials forged ahead with their bold experiment in the hopes that the rest of the US market would catch up to them and, hopefully, enter into some lucrative interstate gambling compacts. Unfortunately, as the state’s online gambling revenue report for 2017 indicates, that scenario has failed to materialize and the state’s three online operators are suffering serious revenue losses.

According to a report released by the State of Delaware, and reported on by gambling media such as CalvinAyre.com, the state’s online gambling revenue was just $2.4 million in 2017. That’s down a whopping 18 percent from the previous year. (On an up note, Delaware online gambling revenue in 2016 was up 62 percent over 2015.)

As seems to be the case in most of the US igaming market, online slots were the big cash cow in Delaware producing about $1.57 million. That’s down 10 percent from 2016. Table games, which are a small portion of all US online markets, produced just $559,000 in revenue for the year. That’s down an astonishing 28 percent from the previous year.

Unfortunately, for Delaware, online poker turned out to have the biggest revenue losses of their online gambling market sectors. For the year, online poker revenue was down 38 percent, producing just $231,000.

The question now is how long Delaware online gambling can handle this sort of decline? Unless the Supreme Court delivers a positive verdict on sports betting in June, the Delaware online gambling market could wind up being a failed experiment.


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