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House of Cards Falls Down

Added: Sept. 2, 2013

You have most likely witnessed younger children taking ordinary playing cards and building little houses. Of course, eventually one false move and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

Perhaps you won’t be surprised to learn that a very similar situation is happening in the online gambling market in the United States. As you know, despite federal laws specifically prohibiting online gambling at the national level, quite a few states have taken matters into their own hands and legalized online casinos and online gambling within their own borders. The state of Delaware is the most recent addition to the number of states that have legalized or are in the process of legalizing online casinos.

There is one unique twist with Delaware’s plan to legalize online gambling. In one sense, you could say that Delaware authorities are taking baby steps with their plan. Unlike the other states that have already legalized online gambling, Delaware has a two step plan.

The first step in the recently announced Delaware plan is the legalization of online casinos, but only for free. What’s the point of ‘free’ you might very well ask. Why bother to play at an online casino if the game play is only for fun? Is this some sort of government agency policy run amuck or is this a savvy marketing ploy?

Here’s how it is set up to work right now. Delaware has legalized online gambling with their online casinos. Here’s the point to pay attention to: the Delaware online casinos are open to players worldwide and specifically to players from other states in the United States. By offering free gameplay, there is no direct violation of the federal law prohibiting online gambling at the national level.

Looking at this closer, we could look at this as a clever marketing tactic. It could work something like this; have the marketing team generate a lot of online buzz about online casinos in Delaware. Then in just a few months (step 2) online gambling for real money is legal in Delaware. The implied hope is that the players that found the Delaware online casino sites and live in Delaware who enjoyed the free play will be more likely to come back when the play is for real money.

Maybe that’s true. Only time will tell if the Delaware strategy translates to the bottom line. In other words, once online gambling for money is fully available within the borders of Delaware, will the state experience a revenue surge or not? If it works, you might very well see other states in the United States begin to use the “Delaware Strategy” before legalizing their own online casinos.