I recently got to take a return trip to the Casino at Delaware Park, located (perhaps obviously) in Delaware near some close family friends. Both of my trips have been the evening before Thanksgiving, so I wasn’t able to experience everything it has to offer, but I’ve had a decently good time both times I’ve gone there.
Given it’s effectively a racino – a casino attached to a racetrack – there’s less amenities and services than a regular casino resort, most notably the lack of any hotel or offerings that tend to be found at such a larger complex. Instead, the focus here was on the casino and ancillary offerings like dining and bars, which makes sense.
The Casino Floor
This property is interesting in that it’s a long, two-story facility. In some ways it reminds me of Empire City Casino, another racino with a two-story format. Delaware Park is smaller, but no slouch in the casino floor department, with more than 2,000 slots including a high limit area, but predominantly a vast library of penny slots.
They seem to be on some sort of replacement cycle. Many of the slots downstairs were new or fairly new games, and they appeared to be in the process of making room for more slots. By comparison there were more older games upstairs, and in some areas they were still spaced out from the COVID-19 restrictions days, like they were ever so slowly unwinding that on the older machines.
Games I had recently seen at G2E, like Cashnado, were on the casino floor there. But a note to Delaware Park – a game like that is supposed to use sound to attract players. No one was playing them when I was there, and I suspect that was in large part because the games were completely silent. Games with a frenzy mode use sound in part to attract people, and on a new game like that no sound means people are likely to walk right by it.
The video poker I checked out wasn’t too bad. They offered 8/5 Jacks or Better at quarters and 9/5 at dollars – certainly not the best but not the worst I’ve seen either. The table games area wasn’t huge, but was crazy busy when I was there. I didn’t get a chance to check minimums during my visit.
Overall it definitely has a lot going for it on the casino side of things.
Their players club had been overhauled since my last visit. They work on twice a year cycles and have three tiers, based on the number of tier credits earned. They don’t offer clarity on how much it takes to earn a tier credit, but based on the speed with which I was earning tier credits with the budget I was playing with, and I suspect getting a higher level isn’t particularly difficult.
The players club works on six month cycles, so if you only visit occasionally tiering up won’t provide much benefit. And the higher tiers don’t provide a whole lot either – valet parking, check cashing, LARGE (their caps) soft drinks, priority gift pickups, small discounts at the main restaurant… nothing particularly exciting to me, but perhaps to locals it means a bit more.
Their food tends to lean towards the more informal, and some of their offerings are only open during the live racing season. But they have added and evolved over time, such as the 1937 Brewing Company addition in 2021, with beers they brew on site.
They have the ability to order beverages on screen. It noted a $2 charge for a Diet Pepsi, despite the fact that the brochure promises free soft drinks and drink ordering on screen, but it could have been because of my holiday weekend visitation. I attempted to order on screen anyway and nothing ultimately happened – it stayed stuck on the first step. However, when I went to the bar open inside the casino floor, I got a soft drink right away, so ultimately that worked out fine.
The self-service soda machines they had before the pandemic were offline, so perhaps that’s why a charge was on the screen – perhaps in more normal times you pay for them to bring it to you. Still, like a few things at Delaware Park, things were still in a bit of a post-reopening mindset and setup there, with shortened hours.
Among these, the upstairs slot area is not open as long as the downstairs area. As such, keep that in mind if you go during off-times as it may not be fully opened up, at least until things return to something closer to normal.