If you’ve come to this website looking for information about real money online poker in Delaware, you’ve come to the right place.

You’ve also come at an unusual time. That’s because Delaware, which has had an operator providing real money online poker in a regulated space since November 2013, lost that option at the end of 2023 with a change in operators — from 888 to Rush Street Interactive (RSI). There is currently an indefinite blackout period without any legal operator licensed by the state.

But state-regulated online poker is expected to return soon. And Delawareans will get to play on what promises to be exciting new software, with several cool features that were wildly popular with poker players when they played an earlier version of the platform in the late 2010s.

It’s important to note that Delawareans can still play online poker in other ways. Sweepstakes and subscription-based online poker sites like WPT Global are available to players in Delaware, as are social and free play poker sites. A comprehensive explanation of the different platforms and a breakdown of what is available can be found in our independent guide to online poker.

Stay tuned for updates on the future of online poker in Delaware.

Online Poker in Delaware
📢 StatusLegal, but state-regulated sites temporarily unavailable due to a change in operators.
📅 Date LegalizedJune 2012
👥 State Population1 Million
🔥 Potential DE Poker RoomsRun It Once Poker DE
🏆 Potential DE TournamentsRun It Once (RIO) did not offer online poker tournaments before its acquisition by RSI, but they will almost certianly be offered by RIO at some point.
⚖️ Regulated ByDelaware Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), with oversight by the Delaware Lottery.
🔞 Legal Age to Gamble21+

Delaware Online Poker Today

Real money online poker was formerly available to Delawareans through three racinos in the state, with oversight by the Delaware Lottery. The three racinos are Bally’s Dover (formerly Dover Downs), Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway.

888 software originally powered the three racinos’ online poker rooms, but Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive (RSI) was selected by the Lottery as its exclusive igaming provider in August 2023, replacing 888. The racinos’ three online poker rooms went dark in the final days of 2023.

Online poker is available through other means. There are sweepstakes and subscription-based poker sites such as WPT Global. Social and free play poker sites are also available to Delawareans.

The Future: Delaware Online Poker Thru RSI

We expect that RSI plans to launch online poker in Delaware sometime in 2024. Since Delaware is a member of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), a multi-state gaming compact for online poker and some casino gaming, RSI could launch its poker platform in either one state or several.

MSIGA also includes Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia. The compact allows operators to share player pools among the member states, providing shared liquidity for bigger tournaments and bigger prizes.

A bold move would be for RSI to launch online poker simultaneously in three states — Delaware, Michigan, and New Jersey — and create an online poker network to go head-to-head with rivals WSOP and PokerStars. An even bolder move would see RSI launch poker in those three states plus a fourth, West Virginia, which just joined MSIGA in November. The company doesn’t currently have market access in Nevada.

That brings us to the name of the poker platform. An official name has not been announced. We expect that in most states it will be called something like “Run It Once Poker, Powered by BetRivers,” but in Delaware poker is expected to be offered through branded skins of the three racinos — Bally’s Dover, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway.

Poker aficionado Phil Galfond first announced Run It Once (RIO) poker as a project in 2016. The platform launched two years later — internationally, via a Malta license — and won legions of fans. But RIO had trouble attracting enough players to remain open, prompting Galfond to shut the site down in January 2022. RSI bought the platform two months later.

Although RSI is still developing the platform, five features are expected to be included in the RIO poker software:

  • Splash the Pot — a loyalty program that randomly adds rewards to the pot and helps keep bots off the platform
  • Dynamic Avatars — players select an avatar, which displays facial expressions based on the player’s most recently-observed playing style
  • HeroIQ — an optional built-in heads-up display (HUD) system
  • SNG Select — a version of lottery jackpot sit and gos (SNG)
  • Auto Seating & Fixed Buy-in — cash games are offered through a blind lobby system of auto-seating, allowing players to quickly join a table (but they can’t seek out specific opponents)

Also, when RIO previously operated, it ran daily and direct rakeback promotions. There were also Hold’em and Omaha variants of poker on offer.

The Past: Delaware Online Poker Thru 888

Delaware legalized online poker and casino gaming back in June 2012. Lawmakers in the General Assembly passed HB 333 and it was quickly signed into law by then-Governor Jack Markell. Fittingly, the First State was also the first in the US to legalize online poker.

But it would be more than a year before either vertical got off the ground. The state’s online poker rooms didn’t open until November 2013.

HB 333 empowered the Delaware Lottery to oversee online poker and casino gaming, which would be offered through branded skins of three racinos in the state — Bally’s Dover (formerly Dover Downs), Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway. After the bill’s passage, the Lottery issued a request for proposal (RFP) for its exclusive igaming contract.

The Lottery ultimately awarded the contract to 888 in 2013 — the UK-based operator launched online casino games in October of that year and launched real money online poker in Delaware the following month. The contract was renewed in 2020 for an additional two years.

Delaware online poker received a huge boost when the state entered into the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) with Nevada in February 2014. New Jersey joined MSIGA in 2017, followed by Michigan in May 2022. The multi-jurisdictional gaming compact (for poker and some online casino games) allowed 888 to set up the WSOP/888 US Network, which shares player pools across three of the four MSIGA states.

The Lottery issued a new RFP in January 2023. It had planned to sign an initial five-year agreement with a primary vendor by April, and for the vendor to go live with its products no later than November 1, 2023.

888 applied for the new RFP and hoped to continue serving as the Lottery’s primary vendor for another decade. But the Lottery revealed in August that 888 withdrew its bid from consideration in May. That left Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive (RSI) as the only applicant for the contract. The Lottery eventually confirmed that the contract would be awarded to RSI.

RSI has said that it will launch online poker in Delaware.

Delaware’s Three Racinos

Delaware is home to three racinos, facilities that offer horse racing and land-based casino gambling — Bally’s Dover, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway. Each is authorized to offer online poker and casino gaming (but not sports betting), with oversight by the Delaware Lottery.

Online poker has never been a big moneymaker for the racinos, but revenue has averaged higher since the pandemic. After opening with nearly $107k in revenue in December 2013, the vertical was above $60k for the next four months, but fell to $25k in June 2014 and from that point until the pandemic hit in March 2020 saw monthly revenue on both sides of the $25k for most of that stretch, according to the Delaware Lottery.

Since the pandemic, online poker has fared better — averaging about $40k a month since October 2020.

Bally’s Dover

Formerly known as Dover Downs, Bally’s Dover is the newest of Delaware’s three racinos — welcoming racing fans for the first time in 1969.

Bally’s Dover is at the center of a massive sports and entertainment complex located just north of the state capital, Dover. Bally’s manages (but does not own) a casino, a hotel, and a harness racing track at the center of the complex. Surrounding it all is the Dover Motor Speedway, a NASCAR track owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports.

Horse racing and auto racing both launched in 1969, when the property opened as Dover Downs. The first casino on site, Dover Downs Slots, opened in 1995. First managed by Caesars World, Dover Downs took over the casino’s operations in 2004.

Bally’s, then known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings, acquired the horse track and the casino in 2019. The property was rebranded as Bally’s Dover in November 2021 — part of the company’s overall rebrand of Twin River as Bally’s.

Delaware Park

Delaware Park is the state’s first racino. It also has an envious location — it’s not too far from Interstate 95, is close to Wilmington, and is a short drive from Philadelphia as well.

The track first opened in 1937. Years of intense competition from other horse tracks along the East Coast, coupled with a decline in the popularity of horse racing in general, forced the track to briefly close in 1983, the same year it was purchased by the Rickman family. The track rebounded under the Rickmans, and was helped even more when Delaware legalized slot machines in 1996 and table games in 2010.

Online casinos launched in November 2013. The Rickmans sold the track to Toronto-based Clairvest Group Incorporated for $71 million a little more than eight years later — in December 2021.

Harrington Raceway

Harrington Raceway is located on the fairgrounds of the Delaware State Fair. It’s the oldest horse racetrack in the state, having first opened in 1920. A major renovation was completed in 1968.

Like Delaware Park, Harrington struggled with increased competition and a decline in the popularity of horse racing. And like Delaware Park, Harrington also benefited from the introduction of slot machines in 1996 and table games in 2010.

Full House Resorts, a casino developer once bankrolled by former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, and GTech Corporation had a 15-year agreement to manage what had started as a slot parlor in 1996. Harrington took over when the agreement expired in 2011.

ONLINE POKER IN DELAWARE FAQ

Is online poker legal in Delaware?

Yes, real money online poker has been legal and available in Delaware since November 2013. At the moment, there isn’t an online operator licensed through the state offering the game, but you have other options to play — including sweepstakes and subscription-based poker sites like WPT Global, as well as social and free play poker sites.

Rush Street Interactive (RSI) is expected to launch its Run It Once (RIO) poker platform in Delaware at some point.

When will RSI launch Run It Once (RIO) poker in Delaware?

While RSI hasn’t announced any firm plans, it has hinted that it will launch Run It Once (RIO) poker sometime in 2024.

Will there be Run It Once (RIO) poker tournaments?

Yes, there will very likely be RIO poker tournament action once the platform launches. Although RIO did not support tournament play before RSI acquired it in March 2022, inclusion in a future rollout is considered essential if it’s to compete against the likes of BetMGM Poker, PokerStars, and WSOP — each of which regularly host tournament play.

Could any other poker operators launch in Delaware?

No, RSI will have an exclusive igaming contract with the Delaware Lottery. Other operators will not be authorized to launch online poker.

What about online casino gaming in Delaware?

Online casino gaming is currently available in Delaware under custom skins for each of the state’s three racinos: BetRivers at Delaware Park Casino, Bally Casino powered by BetRivers, and BetRivers at Harrington Raceway & Casino.

RSI’s flagship brand, BetRivers, offers online casino gaming in four states — Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Is PokerStars legal in Delaware?

No, PokerStars and the other top online poker operators in the US — BetMGM and WSOP — are not currently legal in Delaware. Since RSI will hold a contract to serve as the Delaware Lottery’s exclusive igaming provider, no other operators will be allowed to launch in the First State.

Can I play online poker at offshore sites instead?

Offshore poker sites don’t offer the same consumer protections as legal, regulated sites. Because of this, they are not recommended. Players on offshore sites risk having their identity stolen when they disclose their financial and personal information. US officials warn citizens not to use offshore sites because they have no legal recourse under federal law to collect winnings owed to them.

Information on the dangers of US citizens gambling on illegal offshore sites and how to tell if a poker site is legal is available in this guide on Poker Shield.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500