The state of Connecticut has always been lenient towards most old school forms of gambling, like lotteries, charitable gambling and pari-mutuel wagering. When the Supreme Court cut down the PASPA bill, all eyes were focused on the Constitution State to take the lead in paving the way towards online sports betting. Only it became apparent that the state was not willing to progress towards offering online gambling and sports betting services, even after the state was given the green light. While still boasting a hospitable environment for land-based casinos, having two of the best tribal casinos in the country, there doesn’t seem to be much movement forward. Either way, the iGaming market is taking the US by storm, with several states having legalised online gambling and more following suit at lightning speed.
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Is Online Gambling Legal in Connecticut?
Unfortunately, no. Online gambling is not legal as of yet in the state of Connecticut. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act still reigns supreme within the borders of the state, meaning that players cannot deposit funds at any online casino. The federal legislation states that residents in the United States cannot deposit funds into any account created at online gambling operations. Yes, this also includes sportsbook and poker. Ultimately, without funds, you cannot gamble, which effectively prevents and prohibits residents from Connecticut to gamble online. This goes for both domestic online casinos, as well as offshore providers.
There have been no talks about regulating the market or passing a bill that could allow residents to gamble online freely. However, top casino owners from both the Mohegan Sun Casino and the Foxwoods Resort Casino have both voiced their eagerness to move forwards into the digital age. Pleading for a similar legislation as is applied in New Jersey, where land-based casino owners are the only authorities to open up an online casino, the two only land-based casinos want to convince the senate to push for a legislative bill. Their arguments are that not only will it protect players from fraudulent offshore bets, it will also prove a beneficial for the state’s tax revenues.
The legislative session is bound to continue in 2019, with the two land-based casinos fighting for their bill to offer online gambling to state residents.
Connecticut offers two of the best tribal-owned land-based casinos in the country: Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mohegan Sun. These two casinos have been owned for decades by federally-recognised tribes; namely the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe. Both casinos offer an extremely high standard in both facilities and staff, while also being recognised as some of the largest casinos within the US.
The two casinos are responsible for large part of the tax revenue within the state’s borders, having to part with 25% of slot machine revenues. While this may be a substantial amount, in exchange for the fee, the government maintains the prohibition of slot machines outside the premises of the two casinos. Sounds like corruption to some, but in reality the slot machines at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are regularly audited for Return to Player percentages and fairness. This makes sure that punters won’t end up playing at rigged slot machines. Combined, the casinos offer a total of 13,000 slot machines, hundreds of table games, Keno, Bingo, horseracing and fully-equipped poker rooms.
The two casinos bring in an annual combined revenue of $13 billion, while paying out an average of $1 billion in winnings.
In many states within the US, poker seems to have disappeared overnight with the implementation of the The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the bill that prohibits electronic wagers to be made on all things gambling related. This bill saw the online poker scene basically vanish instantly. This means that players need to seek out a land-based casino that offers equipped poker rooms and hosts poker tournaments in order to participated in the skill-based game. This also means that a state needs to allow either tribal casinos or commercial casinos. As stated in the paragraph above, Connecticut is home to two of the biggest and most popular brick-and-mortar casinos in the country.
What does this mean for poker fanatics based in Connecticut? Well, luckily for them both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun host regular poker tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $60 to $300. Players will play No-limit Hold’em and can take home a maximum prize pool of 30,000 chips. Overall, the state is very hospitable for gamblers who love the game.
Connecticut falls under the category states that wish to move forward with sports betting after the Supreme Court has ruled the PASPA bill unconstitutional. While a bill to make sports betting legal has already been on the table since 2017, the government hasn’t made much effort in getting things moving. A big part of this is the monopoly the two major land-based casinos have within the state, since they don’t want newcomers to take a slice of the pie this new market offers.
The only form of sports betting available is pari-mutuel horse racing at one of the two casinos. Until the government and casino giants come to an agreement, residents won’t be able to bet on their favourite team any time soon.
When it comes down the Daily Fantasy Sports, the government seems to run into the same problem as it has with sports betting. The two casinos are not willing to give up their monopoly on the gambling market within the state. The government has legalised DFS by passing a legislative bill earlier in October 2017, yet changes in tribal compacts have proven to be a roadblock before the law can be fully implemented.
In order for DFS to become a thing in Connecticut, the casinos and the government first need to come to an agreements before players can legally play DFS online.
Connecticut owns a state-run lottery, a common sight within most states. The Connecticut Lottery offers scratch cards and draw games since 1971. Among popular lottery games you will find Powerball, MegaMillions, Lotto!, Lucky for Life, Cash5, Play3 and Play4.
Subsequently, players can also participate in Keno games. The distribution of lottery revenues is divided across several government institutions such as infrastructure, medical services and education. In the year 2018, the Connecticut Lottery was able to raise $345 million in tax revenue.
The minimum age to enter a land-based casino is set at 21 years old. However, players who wish to participate in lottery draws, pari-mutuel horse racing and sealed tickets only need to be 18 years of age. Bingo games and raffles come with no age restrictions.
The Gaming Division is the principal regulatory body overseeing all gambling-related operations within the state of Connecticut. The division is in charge of auditing slot machines and casino venues as well as licensing and permitting individuals and businesses to offer gambling services.
The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling is here to help should you struggle with keep your gambling habits under control. Their live chat supports and call service are available from Monday to Friday from 5:00 pm to midnight and on weekend from 12:00 PM to midnight.
Live chat: http://www.ccpg.org/
Telephone number: 1-888-789-7777 or 1-800-346-6238
The state of Connecticut has a lot of projects on the table, but does not seem to be able to move forward without butting heads with the two major casinos in the state: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. Both casinos want to maintain their monopoly within the market and refuse to make way for any newcomes, especially not online casinos. This corporate greed means that residents will have to wait it out before being able to venture online and play their favourite slots or table games. Sports betting is in the same boat; no progress will be made until the government and the tribal casinos can come to an agreement.