Primary Delaware Online Gambling Vendor Selected; PokerStars on Outside Looking In
Yesterday, the Delaware Lottery issued a very brief press release announcing that a grouping of Scientific Games International, which also owns WMS, and 888 Holdings had been awarded the prime position of the primary vendor in regards to Delaware’s rollout this fall of a complete menu of online gambling offerings, including poker. (The complete press release is at the bottom of this post.)
This is unsurprising, and is another little piece of negative news for PokerStars in a week in which a lot of new hasn’t gone Stars’ way. There were fourteen bidders who responded to Delaware’s request for proposals, as we reported on a couple of months back, including both Stars and the SciGames / WMS / 888 grouping.
Here was the complete list of applicants, which I obtained from Delaware Lottery officials in March: Amaya-Bally Technologies; CAMS; Continent 8 Technologies; GB Group PLC; IGT (International Game Technology); INCOMM; KGM Gaming; Loc-Aid; Rational Services Limited (PokerStars); Scientific Games (includes WMS) / 888 / Williams; Session Gaming; SHFL (formerly ShuffleMaster); Stan James PLC; Williams Gaming (also known as WMS).
Of the fourteen, the three I’ve put in boldface were the only applicants who offered a range of products and services broad enough to be considered as the primary vendor, which Delaware sought, and which has the responsibility of filling in all the supporting-vendor slots. Those openings are for specialty gaming slots, and associated services, such as payment processing and player ID verification.
Once you saw the list and how the Delaware bidding was constructed, you became aware that this was a longshot for PokerStars from the outset. It had nothing to do with Stars and questions of legality; rather, it was that the favorites for the primary-vendor spot had their own poker software, and wouldn’t need to bring Stars aboard anyway.
And that’s exactly how it shook out. Scientific Games was the betting-line favorite from the outset, because the firm already has a big contract in place assisting Delaware with its sales and administration of lottery tickets. One source monitoring the situation reported that it was between the SciGames / 888 / WMS group and Bally-Amaya, but this one was pretty easy to handicap early on.
Most of the remaining bidders offered niche software products (which describes Stars in this instance), also including keno and bingo. The remaining bidders have to do with geolocation, player ID, payment processing, etc., and were again never in the running for the primary slot.
It’ll be some form of 888 poker software in play in Delaware. which draws upon one of the most venerable histories in online poker. Besides 888 Poker itself, the company also introduced Pacific Poker, among the first handful of online cardrooms to go live, well over a decade ago.
. . . .
May 2, 2013
DELAWARE STATE LOTTERY SELECTS SGI-888 AS PRIMARY VENDOR FOR iGAMING SYSTEMS AND SERVICES SOLUTION
Dover, DE – The Delaware State Lottery announced today that it will begin negotiations with Scientific Games International–888 Holdings as the apparent successful Primary Vendor selected under a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by the Lottery Office earlier this year. Upon contract award, the successful vendor will deliver systems and services that will allow Delaware to become the first U.S. State to offer Internet-based, casino-style gaming to adult players who are present within the State’s boundaries.
888 Holdings is a worldwide Internet gaming leader offering best of breed poker and casino products across 150 global markets. Scientific Games offers an array of experience in the gaming industry with a distinctive history in Delaware’s land based environment.
About the Delaware Lottery:
Since the start of operations in 1975, the Delaware Lottery has contributed more than $3.9 billion to the state’s General Fund to help finance needed state services that benefit everyone in Delaware. The Lottery offers a variety of games: POWERBALL®, MEGA MILLIONS®, HOT LOTTO®, MULTI-WIN LOTTO, PLAY 3, PLAY 4, Keno, assorted Instant Games, Video Lottery, Sports Lottery and Table Games. Delaware Lottery game and promotional details are available at delottery.com, at licensed retailers, and from the Lottery’s office in Dover.