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Delaware Commission Submits Findings On Gambling Competitiveness

A Delaware Commission that was put together to find ways to make the state more competitive in the gambling industry has submitted its findings after several delays.

Several of the recommendations contained in the report are geared at making the state's casinos more successful, but will likely result in millions of dollars in tax revenue that could be generated by the state.

The panel's recommendations were:

  • That the state should split 75 percent of the costs for slot machine vendors and fees with Delaware's three casinos, rather than insist that the casinos continue to pay the full amount. If that took effect on July 1 this year, it will cost the state $9.9 million in the next fiscal year;

  • The elimination of the annual $3 million table games fee paid by the casinos effective July 1, 2015;

  • A reduction in the state's share of table game revenue from 29.4 percent to 15 percent, at an estimated annual cost of $7.2 million;

  • There should be an update of a 2004 study of Delaware's equine industry to determine the current economic impact on the horse racing industry. The study is expected to cost less than $100,000.

  • $3 million in unspent funds from an $8 million financial bailout extended to the casinos last year to be used to pay for economic development initiatives, preferably related to the gambling industry.

Internet gambling was not discussed in the recommendations, but the issue will likely come up at some point. Online betting has struggled since it was introduced to the public late last year, generating results that are growing, but at a much slower rate than anticipated.