The state of Delaware has selected a joint bid by UK online gambling operator 888 Holdings and US lottery and gaming operator Scientific Games (SGMS) to provide the technical backbone of its planned online gambling offering. The Delaware Lottery issued a request for proposals in February that attracted 14 bidders, including the Rational Group, the parent company of online poker giant PokerStars. On Thursday, the Lottery declared the 888/SGMS bid as “the apparent successful Primary Vendor” and contract negotiations will now commence ahead of the planned online gambling launch later this year.
SGMS was considered an early frontrunner for the Delaware tech gig, given its lengthy track record of providing a wide variety of services to the Lottery, including instant tickets, VLTs at state racinos and handling the state’s parlay sports wagering system. SGMS and 888 are already linked by 888’s deal to supply its online poker product to Williams Interactive, the online arm of WMS Gaming, which SGMS acquired earlier this year. Williams Interactive will provide Delaware with its online casino product, while 888 will handle the poker side.
Canadian online gambling outfit Amaya Gaming Group was among the bidders not selected by Delaware, but Amaya had its own announcement to make on Thursday. Amaya has expanded on its existing relationship with Australian gaming device maker Aristocrat Technologies Inc. to offer online poker to US residents (on a free-play basis, until regulators play ball). Aristocrat already supplies its nLive free-play online gaming platform to brick-and-mortar casinos such as Maryland Live!, but the new deal will add Amaya’s Ongame poker network to the nLive offering. Amaya CEO David Baazov said the two companies “share a common vision of integrating land-based gaming with online gaming.”