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Delaware Lottery to launch new online poker on Halloween

Vernon Kirk, director of the Delaware Lottery, has confirmed that real-money online poker will launch in the US state on October 31.

In an interview with the Cardplayer.com website, Kirk said that although the state is ready to go live on Halloween, some online casino games may not be ready for some time.

“We are doing poker. Some video lottery terminals, some video poker, some slot machines,” he said.

“We are kind of restricted right now because of the integration piece to our service provider, which is 888 Holdings. So we are restricted to those games for launch.

“They are working with other game content providers for integration, but it will still be a while.”

The confirmation of the late October launch date means Delaware will go live ahead of New Jersey, which plans to launch on November 26 after a five-day trial period.

Delaware first launched free-to-play online gambling in August in order to prepare the US state for the real-money venture.

Kirk said that the free-to-play service had attracted “a lot of interest” and bodes well for next Thursday’s launch. However, he did not confirm whether these free-to-play titles would remain in place once the real-money services launches.

“The free games were more about the casinos creating the beginnings of a market database, rather than a learning experience. But they have been popular,” he said.

Kirk also said that Delaware had been in discussions with New Jersey and Nevada about interstate compact agreements in order to boost player numbers.

“We have had conversations with both states, and it’s a little bit too early in the process to project how that is going to work out,” he said.

“My guess is that, certainly with Nevada, they are definitely anxious to compact with us, and us to them likewise.

“Once we get up and running we will be pursuing that more aggressively. Right now we are just concentrating on getting our site up. But that will be one of the very first steps we take after launch.”

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