Interview: Delaware Lottery director Kirk targets online gaming growth in 2015

Interview: Delaware Lottery director Kirk targets online gaming growth in 2015

Monday, December 1, 2014 Totally Gaming What is your reaction to the results from the first year of regulated online gaming in Delaware?

Vernon Kirk: “Because our iGaming launch was the first of its kind in the nation – in terms of casino-style gaming as well as peer-to-peer poker – the emphasis was on creating an infrastructure that produced a secure environment and a stable platform. To that end, we achieved our goal and have has no significant adverse issues to date, so we consider our first year a success.” How do you compare Delaware to other states in which online gaming is regulated?

VK: “Nevada, the first state online with peer-to-peer poker only, and New Jersey, which started about a month after us but also offers casino-style gaming as well as poker, have both expressed the same opinion as I stated above. The best measurement for the jurisdictions is how the systems and networks have performed.

“Because of the current restriction of only allowing in-state players, revenue will be limited by each state's population base.” How do you plan to improve online gaming in Delaware over the next 12 months?

VK: “Delaware and Nevada developed and then signed the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement and are in the process of creating a poker liquidity network whereby players from Nevada and Delaware can play in the same poker games. 

“Each state will receive rake and fees from their respective players. This will create more opportunities for players to find the game of their choice at the stakes of their choice at the times that best suit their schedule.  This network will launch some time late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter in 2015.  

“At the same time, as liquidity goes into effect, Delaware will introduce new game content, including some well known and popular virtual slot machines from Williams Gaming. By the summertime, when Delaware experiences a swell in population from beach vacationers, we will be introducing mobile gaming on smartphones and tablets for the iOS Apple platform.” Are there any plans in place to attract more operators to the Delaware market?

VK: “At the beginning of the process, Delaware issued an RFP for platform providers, game content, services-payment processors, geolocation, player identification and so on. By legislation and Delaware Code, Delaware’s three casinos – Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway – are the only operators allowed.” What are your predictions for 2015 and do you think the market will be more successful?

VK: “The iGaming industry in the US is in its infancy and as it matures and potential players in all jurisdictions become more aware of the product and as the offerings increase and improve, there should be some natural growth.

“There are also other states that are currently considering various forms of iGaming, so the universe and recognition of the product will expand.”


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