Delaware Public Media

Dover Downs to be open for gambling on Christmas

Dec 22, 2018

Dover Downs is taking advantage of a new wrinkle in Delaware’s gambling landscape.

As part of the casino relief package passed by state lawmakers last session, the First State’s three casinos are now allowed to open on Christmas and Easter.

Only Dover Downs Hotel and Casino is doing so this Christmas.   The other casinos at Delaware Park and Harrington Raceway will be closed.

Dover Downs President and CEO Denis McGlynn says making gambling available to hotel guests makes sense.

"Over the years, we’ve had a rather large number of our customers – and they’re all of various origins, creeds and religions, and not all of them are Christian – those who don’t necessarily celebrate Christmas were complaining about not being able to gamble whule staying at the hotel," said McGlynn.

McGlynn notes Dover Downs currently has about 350 rooms booked on Christmas, but concedes he's unsure how much business they’ll do.

"I think it will be decent," said McGlynn.T "here’s no way to estimate exactly how much it will generate, but certainly it will be more than nothing which is what it was in the past."

McGlynn adds that Dover Downs’ other amenities, including its restaurants, will also be open for hotel guests and anyone else that wants to visit the casino on Christmas.

McGlynn says opening on Christmas and Easter was one option the casinos offered the state as they sought a compromise on the casino relief bill.

That legislation changed the casino revenue sharing structure , allowing the three casinos to keep more slots and table games revenue while suspending the table gaming license fee.  The state is estimated to lose about $16.8 million each year in gaming reveune under the new structure.