Gambling Law US
Gambling Law US

Homepage

Delaware Gambling Laws

Delaware State Constitution

US Federal Gambling Laws

State Gambling Laws

State Charitable Gaming Laws

State Law Summary

Gambling Law Articles

Useful Sites

State Gambling Agencies

Search-Site Map

Contact

Gambling Related Websites

Poker Vibe
Gambling Directories on the Web
Internet Library
Georgetown Law Library Gambling Links
UNLV Center for Gaming Research
Gambling Almanac of Policy Issues
Joeant Gambling Directory

Current to Jan. 1, 2012

Delaware State Constitution

Art. 2, 17.  Lotteries and other gambling.

All forms of gambling are prohibited in this State except the following: 

(a) Lotteries under State control for the purpose of raising funds, 

(b) Lotteries (other than slot machines, roulette, craps and baccarat games) provided that each is sponsored and conducted under the limitations of Section 17B by companies, organizations or societies which have been in existence for at least 2 years; provided, however, that no person who shall not have attained the age of 18 years shall participate in any lottery (where money is the prize) otherwise authorized by the article, 

(c) Wagering or betting by the use of pari-mutuel machines or totalizators on horse races conducted at racetracks within or without the State, provided that such wagering or betting may be conducted only either: 

(1) within the enclosure of any racetrack licensed under the laws of the State to conduct a race meeting, or  (2) within the enclosure of any racetrack licensed under the laws of the State to receive and accept wagers or bets on electronically televised simulcasts of horse races. 

(d) Bingo games as conducted under the limitations of Section 17A. 

Click here for Delaware Charitable Gaming Laws

Delaware Code

1432. Gambling; definitions.  [Presented out of order for the sake of clarity.]
(a) "Call service" means the furnishing of information upon request therefor or by prearrangement over general telegraphic, telephonic or teletypewriter exchange or toll service.

(b) "Dissemination" means the act of transmitting, distributing, advising, spreading, communicating, conveying or making known.

(c) "Gambling device" means any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment which is used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity, whether the activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine. Lottery tickets, policy slips and other items used in the playing phases of lottery and policy schemes are not gambling devices.

(d) "Gambling offense" means any offense defined in 1401-1431 of this title.

(e) "Private wire" means service equipment, facilities, conduits, poles, wires, circuits, systems by means of which service is furnished for communication purposes, either through the medium of telephone, telegraph, Morse, teletypewriter, loudspeaker or any other means, or by which the voice or electrical impulses are sent over a wire, and which services are contracted for or leased for services between 2 or more points specifically designated, and are not connected to or available for general telegraphic, telephonic or teletypewriter exchange or toll service, and includes such services known as "special contract leased wire service," "leased line," "private line," "private system," "Morse line," "private wire," but does not include the usual and customary telephone or teletypewriter service by which the subscriber may be connected at each separate call to any other telephone or teletypewriter designated by the subscriber only through the general telephone or teletypewriter exchange system or toll service.

(f) "Public utility" means a person, partnership, association or corporation owning or operating in this State equipment or facilities for conveying or transmitting messages or communications by telephone or telegraph to the public for compensation.

(g) "Obstruction" means a door, window, shutter, screen bar or grating of unusual strength, or any unnecessary number of doors, windows or obstructions other than what is usual and ordinary in the normal or usual use of a building, apartment or place, by which access to any building, apartment or place is barred.

(h) "Slot machine" means a gambling device which, as a result of the insertion of a coin or other object, operates, either completely automatically or with the aid of a physical act by the player, in such manner that, depending upon elements of chance, it may eject something of value.

1401. Advancing gambling in the second degree; class A misdemeanor.

A person is guilty of advancing gambling in the second degree when:

(1) The person sells or disposes of, or has in the person's possession with intent to sell or dispose of, a lottery policy, certificate or any other thing by which the person or another person or persons promises or promise, guarantees or guarantee that any particular number, series of numbers, character, ticket or certificate shall, in the event or on the happening of any contingency in the nature of a lottery, entitle the purchaser or holder to receive money, property or evidence of debt; or

(2) The person uses or employs any other device by which such person, or any other person, promises or guarantees as provided in subdivision (1) of this section; or

(3) The person is concerned in interest in lottery policy writing, or in selling or disposing of any lottery policy, certificate, number or numbers or any other thing by which the person or another person or persons promises or promise, guarantees or guarantee that any particular number or numbers, character, ticket or certificate shall, in the event or on the happening of any contingency in the nature of a lottery, entitle the purchaser or holder to receive money, property or evidence of debt; or

(4) The person uses or employs any other device by which such person or any other person promises or guarantees as provided in subdivision (3) of this section.

Advancing gambling in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1401; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 130, 8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1402. Foreign lotteries; prima facie evidence; class A misdemeanor.

(a) A person is guilty of engaging in a foreign lottery when the person brings, sends or procures to be brought or sent into this State any scheme of any lottery or any drawing of any such scheme or any ticket or part of a ticket or certificate of or a substitute for any ticket or part of a ticket, and sells or offers for sale any such ticket or part of ticket or any certificate or substitute for a certificate, and circulates in any manner any scheme or any drawing.

(b) On the trial of any person under subsection (a) of this section any lottery scheme drawing, ticket, certificate of or a substitute for a ticket or parts of tickets, which shall be proved to have been by the accused brought or procured to be brought, or sent or procured to be sent into this State or printed or procured to be printed within this State, for the purpose of circulating the same by mail or otherwise, shall be prima facie evidence within the description of this section.

(c) Engaging in foreign lotteries is a class A misdemeanor. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1402; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 130, 8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1403. Advancing gambling in the first degree; class A misdemeanor.

A person is guilty of advancing gambling in the first degree when:

(1) The person keeps, exhibits or uses, or is concerned in interest in keeping, exhibiting or using any book, device, apparatus or paraphernalia for the purpose of receiving, recording or registering bets or wagers upon the result of any trial or contest, wherever conducted, of skill, speed or power of endurance of human or beast; or

(2) Being the owner, lessee or occupant of a room, house, building, enclosure or place of any kind, the person keeps, exhibits, uses or employs therein or permits or allows to be kept, exhibited, used or employed therein, or is concerned in interest in keeping, exhibiting, using or employing therein any book, device, apparatus or paraphernalia for the purpose of receiving, recording or registering bets or wagers as provided in subdivision (1) of this section, or of forwarding in any manner money, thing or consideration of value for the purpose of being bet or wagered as provided in subdivision (1) of this section; or

(3) The person records or registers bets or wagers, or receives, contracts or agrees to receive money or anything of value for the purpose or with the intent to bet or wager personally or for another person as provided in subdivision (1) of this section; or

(4) The person directly or indirectly bets or wagers, or promises to bet or wager, money or anything of value as provided in subdivision (1) of this section.

This section does not apply to a bet or wager made on a horse race within the enclosure of any race meeting licensed and conducted under the laws of this State, and made by or through the means of a pari-mutuel or totalizator pool, the conduct of which is licensed by the Delaware Racing Commission or other state licensing agency. Such exception need not be negatived in any indictment or information.

Advancing gambling in the first degree is a class A misdemeanor. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1403; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 130, 8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1404. Providing premises for gambling; class A misdemeanor; unclassified misdemeanor.

A person is guilty of providing premises for gambling when:

(1) The person lets, demises or transfers to another person any building, structure, room or rooms knowing that the same will be used for the purpose of committing any gambling offense; or

(2) The person knowingly permits any house, structure, building, room or rooms of which the person has possession or control to be used for the purpose of committing any gambling offense; or

(3) The person contributes to the support and maintenance of any house or place where gambling is carried on or conducted; or

(4) The person keeps or maintains any house or place where gambling is carried on.

Providing premises for gambling or contributing thereto is an unclassified misdemeanor, unless the accused has been convicted, within the previous 5 years, of the same offense or of an offense under 663 or 665 of this title as the same existed prior to July 1, 1973, in which case it is a class A misdemeanor. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1404; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 130, 8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1405. Possessing a gambling device; class A misdemeanor.

(a) A person is guilty of possessing a gambling device when the person knowingly manufactures, sells, transports, keeps, exhibits, manages, places, possesses or conducts or negotiates any transaction affecting or designed to effect ownership, custody or use of a slot machine or any other gambling device.

(b) Possessing a gambling device is a class A misdemeanor.

(c) A person is not guilty of a violation of this section if the device or machine is either:

(1) An antique slot machine which is not used for gambling purposes; or

(2) Any slot machine or gambling device which is manufactured (including, without limitation, the retrofitting or alteration of a finished machine or device), assembled, transported, kept, exhibited, managed, placed or possessed by a person within this State or which is the subject of any negotiation which involves a transaction affecting or designed to affect the ownership, custody or use of such machine or device by such person in this State where:

a. Such person is duly licensed to conduct a manufacturing or other business in this State; and

b. Such person is registered in accordance with the federal Gambling Devices Act of 1962 as amended (15 U.S.C. 1171 et seq.) and is in the business of designing, assembling, manufacturing, selling, supplying, repairing or retrofitting slot machines, gambling devices or component parts thereof exclusively for lawful possession and use.

(d) For purposes of this section, a slot machine is an antique machine if such machine is at least 25 years old.

(e) For purposes of this section, a "video lottery machine," as defined in 4803(i) of Title 29, which is owned or leased by the State for use in the Delaware video lottery shall not constitute either a slot machine or a gaming device. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1405; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 130, 8; 68 Del. Laws, c. 252, 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 375, 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 421, 1, 2.)

1406. Being concerned in interest in keeping any gambling device; class A misdemeanor.

(a) A person is guilty of being concerned in interest in keeping any gambling device when:

(1) The person keeps or exhibits a gaming table, faro bank, sweat cloth, roulette table or other device under any denomination at which cards, dice or any other game of chance is played for money, or other thing of value or other gambling device of any kind whatsoever; or

(2) The person, with the intent that it shall be kept or exhibited for use by the public, buys, sells or distributes a gaming table, faro bank, sweat cloth or other gambling device; or

(3) The person is a partner or concerned in interest in the keeping or exhibiting of a gaming table, faro bank, sweat cloth or other gambling device.

(b) Being concerned in interest in keeping any gambling device is a class A misdemeanor.

(c) An antique slot machine, as defined in 1405 of this title, is not a gambling device for purposes of this section. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1406; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 130, 8; 68 Del. Laws, c. 252, 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1407. Engaging in a crap game; violation.

A person is guilty of engaging in a crap game when the person takes part in or is knowingly present at the form of gambling commonly known as crap, in which money or other valuable things are played for by means of dice.

Engaging in a crap game is a violation. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1407; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 130, 8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1408. Merchandising plans are not gambling.

Sections 1401-1405 of this title are inapplicable to any plan for stimulating public interest in, or sale of, merchandise, services or exhibitions unless the plan requires that the chance to win a prize be paid for in money or something of actual pecuniary value or that some items be bought or to any lottery under state control for the purpose of raising funds. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1408; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 364, 1.)

1409. Exemption of law-enforcement officer.

Nothing in subpart D of subchapter VII of this chapter shall apply to any law-enforcement officer or officer's agent while acting in the lawful performance of duty. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1409; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1411. Unlawfully disseminating gambling information; class A misdemeanor.

A person is guilty of unlawfully disseminating gambling information when:

(1) Being a public utility it knowingly furnishes to another person a private wire for use in disseminating information in furtherance of gambling or for gambling purposes; or

(2) The person knowingly uses a private wire in disseminating or receiving information in furtherance of gambling or for gambling purposes; or

(3) The person engages in the business of or receives compensation in any form for disseminating or receiving information in furtherance of gambling or for gambling purposes by means of a private wire or a call service.

Unlawfully disseminating gambling information is a class A misdemeanor. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1411; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 130, 8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1412. Revocation of service contracts or denial of application for service; exemption from liability.

(a) The Attorney General, if the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any service furnished by a public utility is being used or will be used to disseminate information in furtherance of gambling or for gambling purposes, may give notice to the person who has contracted with or is applying to the public utility for such service that the Attorney General intends to seek a court order that the service contract be revoked or the application for service be denied.

(b) The notice permitted in subsection (a) of this section shall be served personally upon the person who has contracted with or is applying to the public utility for the service. If personal service is not reasonably possible, the notice may be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises to which the service is furnished. The notice shall specify the time and place where the hearing will be held, and the court before which it will be held.

(c) A hearing shall be held in the Superior Court at the time specified in the notice. At the hearing, evidence bearing on the use of the public utility service in question may be presented by the State and by or on behalf of the person who has contracted for or is applying for the service.

(d) If the Court, after hearing, determines that there is probable cause to believe that the service furnished by the public utility is being used or will be used to disseminate information in furtherance of gambling or for gambling purposes, it shall order that the contract to furnish the service be revoked or that the application for service be denied.

(e) No public utility shall be held liable at law or in equity for revocation of a contract, or denying an application for service, when ordered to do so as provided by this section. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1412; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1421. Obstructions; service of notice.

If the Attorney General finds that access to a building, apartment or place, which the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe is resorted to for the purpose of gambling in violation of the laws of this State, is barred by an obstruction, the Attorney General shall cause to be served in the manner provided by law for service of civil summons upon the occupant or owner a notice to appear before the Superior Court and to show cause why the unusual obstructions should not be removed. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1421; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1422. Posting of notice.

If the occupant or owner cannot be found, the prescribed notice shall be posted upon the outside of the premises. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1422; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1.)

1423. Contents of notice.

The notice which is served personally upon the occupant or owner or is posted upon the outside of the premises shall in all cases designate the name of the Court in which the rule will be heard, and shall further contain the time and the date upon which the rule will be brought on for hearing. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1423; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1.)

1424. Hearing .

At the time stated in the notice, a hearing shall be held in the Superior Court. At the hearing, evidence bearing on the matter may be presented by the State and by or on behalf of the person served with the notice or alleged to be the occupant or owner of the premises. The Court may grant a continuance if it is reasonably necessary in order that all relevant evidence may be heard. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1424; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1.)

1425. Findings of Court; order for removal.

If the Court, after a hearing upon the requisite matters, finds that there is reasonable cause to believe that the premises are resorted to for the purpose of gambling and that access is barred by an obstruction, the Court shall order the occupant or owner to remove the obstruction. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1425; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 203, 26, 31.)

1426. Official removal upon noncompliance with removal order.

In the event that the obstructions are not removed within a period of 7 days after the order for removal, the Attorney General shall cause the obstructions to be removed from the premises or place. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1426; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1.)

1427. Collection of removal expenses; status of contractor; amount of lien.

The expenses of a removal under 1426 of this title shall be collected by the Attorney General in the manner provided by law for the filing and collection of a mechanic's lien. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1427; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1.)

1428. Maintaining an obstruction; class A misdemeanor; a violation.

A person is guilty of maintaining an obstruction when, being the owner or occupant of a building or other place from which an obstruction has been removed as provided in 1421-1427 of this title, the person again erects or permits the erection of an obstruction.

Maintaining an obstruction is a violation unless the accused has been convicted of the same offense within the previous 2 years, in which case it is a class A misdemeanor. The section does not limit the power of the State to seek the removal of the obstruction as provided in 1421-1427 of this title. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1428; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 130, 8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

1431. Telephone messages received or overheard by police as evidence.

In any prosecution for a gambling offense, evidence that a police officer, when making an arrest for a gambling offense, received or overheard telephone messages intended for the accused or an associate of the accused which tend to prove that gambling activity was being conducted is admissible. The gathering and disclosure of such evidence, including the contents of the telephone messages received or overheard, does not violate any law of this State. (11 Del. C. 1953, 1431; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, 1.)