Gambling has been pastime in Delaware since before the United States became a country. The first racetrack opened there in 1760. On November 8th, Delaware attempted to add legal online poker to its gambling history. Attempt is the key word here, but more on that later.
I received that email last night and was thrilled to get a chance to play. You can download the software from any of the websites belonging to the three brick and mortar casinos in Delaware. I chose www.doverdowns.com, the link to online gaming was prominently featured right at the top of their front page. It brought you here:
Most questions had a nice tab for explanations. The first deposit promotion is a 100% match bonus up to $200 and you get 50 free spins on a slot machine, but your winnings on those spins are restricted to $20. There is also a point system that allows you to climb ‘Status Levels’ with the eventual goal of achieving VIP status, but the only bonus described for VIPs is priority processing for deposits and withdrawals.
Deposits can be made using bank transfers, Visa and Mastercard. Withdrawals require account verification by scanning and uploading a driver’s license. Withdrawal options are bank transfer or bank draft.
The download and installation was as quick and easy as could be. Registration was nice since your preferred username is almost guaranteed to be available and you didn’t have to add a random string of numbers to the end of it. I clicked sign in then was instantly logged out and given an error message.
I only had the poker software and a web browser open, but OK. I closed the web browser, but still got the error. I restarted my computer, opened the poker software back up, and was greeted by the same message. I was on my wife’s laptop (she has a bigger screen), so I decided to try it on my laptop and was able to log on just fine, but then was greeted with a new error message.
My address is in Dover and the laptop I tried to log in from is sitting with me in my living room in Dover, so I was confused. I decided to try to deposit, just in case that was the welcome message given to everyone. It isn’t very hospitable, but possible. After that message, I tried just depositing the minimum, and that went smoothly. The options were there just like the website had claimed, and the deposit from my debit card linked to my Dover address was accepted without a problem. I was finally ready to play.
No Limit Hold’em was offered 6 handed or 9 handed from 1¢/2¢ to 2$/4$. Fixed Limit Hold’em was offered only 9 handed from 5¢/10¢ to 5$/10$. Omaha and Omaha hi/lo is offered 6 handed from 1¢/2¢ to 25¢/50¢. Stud and Stud hi/lo is offered, but the table details and stakes wouldn’t load. There is a wide array of sit & go tournaments available and a couple of scheduled freerolls too.
There was only one hold’em game going, but that wasn’t too surprising since it was mid morning here, not peak hours by any means. I tried to sit down and was given the error message again stating that I couldn’t play real money because I wasn’t in Delaware. I guess I’ll be emailing customer support, but I figured I could at least try the play money tables for now. Upon clicking over to those tables I got this message.
I picked up my phone and sure enough I had a text that read,
“Welcome to DDHandC. Up to 2msg/month. To confirm registration & enable mobile location reply YES. No? Reply NO. HELP? reply[SIC] HELP. Msg&Data rates may apply.”
They had asked for my phone number during registration, I guess that made sense as a method for guaranteeing I was in Delaware. I turned on my phone’s GPS and replied, “Yes.”
“Thanks for registering with DDHandC. Your mobile location will be collected. Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel. Msg&data rates may apply.”
Excellent, I had simply missed that text, and now things were going to run smoothly. I figured I’d need to give it a minute and restart the software. I did that and received the same error about not being in Delaware. Time to go back to the plan of emailing customer support.
All in all, the software has a good look to it, but if I can’t actually play poker, it’s tough to grade this launch as a success. There were people playing, so clearly the problems I encountered aren’t universal. I guess we’ll wait and see what the response time is on their customer service. For now if I want a game, I’ll have to make like Delaware residents of the 1760s and do it at a live casino.