On Thursday, the Delaware State Lottery announced it has selected a joint bid by 888 Holdings, Scientific Games Corporation and Williams Interactive LLC to provide the state with Internet gambling services. The initial five-year deal hinges on completion of final contract negotiations, but the agreement would allow the joint venture to be the primary solution for Delaware's online gambling operation.
Last June, Delaware became the first U.S. state to pass legislation allowing for wide-ranging intrastate online gaming. Although Nevada had already approved a law for online poker, Delaware's measure includes poker, slots, bingo and video lottery games. Under the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012, Delaware Lottery will be the sole regulator of real-money Internet gaming for the state, which intends to launch games by September of this year.
The state accepted online gaming proposals and applications from 14 companies in March, including PokerStars, Amaya Gaming and International Game Technology (IGT). 888 filed the application after securing its partnership with Scientific Games and Williams Interactive. The joint venture was expected to have a leg on up the competition because Scientific Games already provides the technology for Delaware’s state lottery system.
"This offering combines 888's decade-long experience at the forefront of the online gaming industry with Scientific Games' proven ability to provide added value, turnkey solutions to government-sponsored and commercial gaming operators, and Williams Interactive’s premium iGaming products and services," 888 Holdings said in a press release.
New Jersey, Delaware's neighbor to the northeast, plans to launch its online gaming market by the end of November. Like Delaware, New Jersey's legislation allows for a comprehensive selection of games.