The US state of Delaware has begun testing of its new online gambling service ahead of its proposed full launch on November 8.
According to the Delawareonline.com website, between 25 and 75 players that have registered on websites maintained by the state’s three racetrack casinos will be permitted to play a week of live testing.
If the test period goes well, anybody registered and located in Delaware will be able to access online, real-money versions of poker, blackjack, roulette and slots games from November 8.
In recent weeks, the state opened up the service to allow people to play for fun and this will continue until at least the projected launch date.
Delaware officials said that when fully launched, the service will become the first “full suite” of online gambling in the US.
Officials also hope the move will help revive revenues for an industry that has suffered at the hands of border states.
Casino revenues in Delaware had hit a high of $241 million (€178.5 million) in 2010 but are only expected to amount to $176 million this year.
“This is another chapter in Delaware’s history of staying competitive in the gaming industry,” Delaware finance secretary Thomas Cook said.
“It is something that has to grow but we’re in a fiercely competitive environment here. This is just one more opportunity for entertainment.”
Cook also said the goal is to generate new customers, rather than encourage regular visitors to the state’s casinos to gamble from home instead.
“Then we have taken a step back because it’s taking away business from the bricks and mortar where people are employed,” he said.