Delaware Bill Calls for Expanded VLT Gaming

A Delaware legislator has introduced a bill that calls for expansion of video gaming to "qualified entertaiment zones" along the Delaware River. Currently, only three racetracks in the state--Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway--are permitted to have video lottery terminals.

A lead-in to Rep. Joseph Miro's bill says the state's VLT operations need to be protected as Maryland and Pennsylvania consider expanded gambling at racetrack. The bill says "if a new video lottery venue targeting the greater Philadelphia market was located with the borders of the state of Delaware and the city of Wilmington, both the state and the city would realize significant economic development activity."

The bill describes a qualfied entertainment zone as being a geographic location on or adjoining the Delaware River. The bill says up to 1,000 VLTs could be placed on "vessels, barges, or other floating facilities which are moored, berthed, or secured by any means to a boat docking facility."

The legislation comes at a time when Pennsylvania is poised to adopt slot-machine gaming at racetracks. That has led to a flurry of new racing applications, two of which are for tracks in Chester, Pa., located just up the Delaware River from Wilmington. Another potential licensee has proposed a track for the Philadelphia waterfront.

Delaware Park is located not far from the Maryland and Pennsylvania borders just off Interstate 95. It draws heavily from those two states.