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Delaware Unveils Free Online Poker, To Offer Real-Money Action In October

As Of Wednesday, Each Of The Three Casinos Are Offering Such Games

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On Wednesday, the U.S. state of Delaware unveiled free online gaming, in a move that sets the stage for the jurisdiction to launch real-money action by the end of October.

According to The News Journal, the state’s three casinos — Dover Downs, Delaware Park and Harrington Raceway & Casino – now have links to games that don’t require any deposit. The successful implementation of these games is one of the final hurdles before the final product is underway.

Free games being offered right now include slots, poker, blackjack and roulette.

Each Delaware casino’s homepage directs visitors to the Facebook-linked game platform DoubleDown Casino. That product is owned by IGT, one of Delaware’s slots vendors.

Scientific Games and 888 Holdings will be behind the real-money product in Delaware.

Delaware legalized real-money gambling last year. Nevada authorized the activity in the summer of 2011 and has started its venture in the industry via online poker. Delaware reportedly will hit the ground running with more than just poker.

The legislature took up the proposal amid growing gaming industry competition from neighboring states. “Our industry is on the severe defensive,” Brian Selander, chief strategy officer to Gov. Jack Markell, told Card Player last year.

New Jersey, the third state in the country with legal web gambling, plans to kick off its own industry by the end of November.

All three states are going to have intrastate action at first, but would likely one day form compacts with other jurisdictions in order to create greater liquidity. There is already word of Nevada and New Jersey eying a relationship together, and according to The News Journal, Delaware is looking to broker a deal with Nevada as well.

The games in Delaware will not be available on mobile devices until sometime next year.

The Delaware free games won’t disappear after real-money action starts. The state plans to continue with them as a marketing tool, as people anywhere can have access to such games.

For more news from Delaware, check out its state page.