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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

Delaware approves table games for racetrack casinos

29 January 2010

DOVER, Delaware -- Delaware's governor didn't waste any time signing into law a bill that allows the state's three racetrack casinos to add table games.

State lawmakers approved the legislation Thursday afternoon and Gov. Jack Markell added his signature that evening.

A spokesman for the governor thought table games could be in place by summer at Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway, which currently only offer slot machines.

Following Pennsylvania's legalization of table games earlier this month, Delaware's approval was not good news to Atlantic City.

One gaming analyst told the Press of Atlantic City newspaper that Delaware and Pennsylvania could combine to drive down the Boardwalk's table game revenue by as much as 15 percent.

However, he said that the revenue decline likely won't be as large because of the scheduled 2011 grand opening of the $2.5 billion Revel casino in Atlantic City and an expected uptick in the regional economy.

"Atlantic City gets hit both by Pennsylvania and Delaware because they sit within the heart of our feeder markets," said Cory H. Morowitz, chairman of Morowitz Gaming Advisors.

He thought Delaware would draw table game customers from the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas.