Connecticut Online Gambling Laws
While gambling is welcome in Connecticut, there are a lot of restrictions surrounding both sportsbooks and casinos. If you don’t have time to read the nitty gritty, here is the hit list of all legal forms of gambling in Connecticut:
- Land-based casinos (there are two)
- Online casinos (two online extensions of the land-based casinos)
- Pari-mutuel wagering on horses, greyhound and jai alai
- Connecticut State Lottery
- Sports betting (land-based and online)
The State of Connecticut is very straight and plain when it comes to the legality of gambling. Section 53-278a(2) of the General Statutes says that any gambling activity in the state is illegal unless specifically authorized by law. That means there’s no room for grey areas. Even residents of Connecticut who access a site that’s legal in the next state will be classed as going against the law.
Those who are seeking out a casino experience must visit one of the two land-based casinos. This might not seem like such a broad choice, but Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are both large, well-equipped casinos providing Vegas-style gaming. They both have their own online casinos that can be accessed online, or you can download the Apple and Android apps. On the other hand, sports betting can be legally accessed online, and also within the casinos. DraftKings launched a sportsbook within Foxwoods, rounding off their gambling services perfectly.
Gambling History in Connecticut
Connecticut's relationship with gambling is a relatively new one. It's only recently that the industry has begun to pick up traction. From a Iegal standpoint, we can trace gambling activity back to 1955 when bazaars and raffles were sanctioned. Charities were also allowed to hold Las Vegas-style events from 1972, but this law was later repealed in 2003. The Connecticut Lottery was also introduced in 1972, which eventually became the domain of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.
In 1976, racetrack betting saw a boom because the state deemed it Iegal to bet off-track. Greyhound racing was particularly popular with locals. It's still a popular wagering option today, but the main greyhound race tracks have been closed. The same goes for horse racing which, despite being Iegal and active in the state, doesn't have its own live race track available.
Today, all race betting in Connecticut is off-track betting. Tribal gaming took over the state's major gambling establishments, beginning in 1986. Things kicked off with a high-stakes bingo parlor on tribal sovereign land. This parlor eventually expanded to become the Mohegan Sun Casino. In 1992, Foxwoods Resort Casino was launched by the other major tribe in the state. Both casinos legally offered table games and slot games according to a memorandum of association. This was refreshed and reinforced in the form of a gaming compact in May 2021, that also brought online and in-person sports betting into the state.
Does Connecticut Allow Casino Apps?
The state of Connecticut rather quietly decided to legalize online casinos. So quietly, in fact, that the government website has yet to publish updated regulations. But the legalization isn't widespread, because the state only established particular partnerships rather than launching a blanket license for anyone who wishes to operate in the area.
The gambling laws were revisited and agreed upon in 2021. They allow sports betting, both in person and online, and they also allow the existing land-based casinos to have an online presence in the form of both a site and an app. The major sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings have teamed up with these apps, funneling in their sportsbooks and online casino games. SugarHouse is a dedicated sports betting app. It's owned and operated by the state, which also runs the Connecticut Lottery.
Popular Online Casino Games at Connecticut Casinos
Seeing as Connecticut is home to the fourth largest casino in all of the USA, it’s safe to say that the state has a thirst for casino variety. Just to give you an idea of scale, the smaller of the two land-based casinos houses nearly 5,000 slot machines, and well over 300 table games. Only very obscure games are absent, and players are able to take their pick from popular classics like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.
There is also a collection of other games like craps, pai gow, and multiple styles of poker. Both casinos also offer sports betting facilities, where you can get competitive odds on pretty much any ongoing sporting event. Since the land-based casinos offer their services online, players have access to all of this on the go.
Online Slots in Connecticut
There are two ways to play slots in the state of Connecticut. You can visit one of Connecticut's two online casinos for the full slot experience in person, or if you download one of three available casino apps on Android or Apple. Take a look at our recommended list at the top of the article to get started. If you aren't looking to play slots for real money then you can always try out one of the many social casinos that allow you all the thrill without the risk.
Online Poker in Connecticut
Poker is a regulated topic in Connecticut, but the regulations are far more lenient than you might expect. As long as you're not making a profit, the state will refrain from prosecuting anyone who engages in real money poker, even on outlawed sites. But poker for real money wins is still embraced at both tribal land-based casinos, as well as on their online sites. However, unlike other table games, poker isn't very easy to come by online, and you're probably better off looking for a game at a land-based casino.
Lottery Games in Connecticut
The Connecticut State Lottery has been in place since 1972. It's extremely popular with both residents and the state since it generates a massive amount of revenue for the government to utilize on multiple (often charitable) projects. Just to give you an example of the scale, the lottery has annual gross sales of over $1 billion, but prizes paid out usually hit around $700 million. Of course, these numbers fluctuate year on year, and with the introduction of new gambling markets, it's very possible that this revenue will become diluted with time. Connecticut operates a multi-state lottery offering scratchcards, Powerball and Mega Millions options.
Roulette in Connecticut
For a very long time, players in Connecticut could only play roulette if they visited one of the two available land-based casinos. Now those sites have launched an online presence each, complete with a highly functioning app. Alongside slots and other table games, roulette is widely available in a number of limits and styles. Connecticut also allows other companies like DraftKings and SugarHouse to offer their own online gambling services, but for traditional casino games, you're probably best off sticking with the Mohegan or Foxwoods, either online or in-person.
Online Blackjack in Connecticut
As with roulette, blackjack is widely available for strategy-loving players in Connecticut. Both land-based casinos have numerous tables where you can pull up a seat and feel like a pro. But if you prefer to play on the go, then you can download the apps belonging to each land-based casino and have a super convenient, if not quite identical, experience. There's also a regular website for each if you prefer playing on a desktop computer. The law allowing certain online casinos is very recent, meaning the sites and apps on offer will certainly continue to improve. All in all, Connecticut is a pretty great place for blackjack lovers.
Live Dealer Games in Connecticut
If you want to interact with a real dealer but you don't want to make the trek to a land-based casino, then Connecticut finally has a solution. The Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos both have an online presence that offers live dealer games. These tables are powered by FanDuel at the Mohegan, and by DraftKings at Foxwoods. They allow you to pull up a virtual seat where a dealer will greet you by name and place your bets. This is quite a revelation for a state that was previously anti-online gambling.
When Did Connecticut Legalize Sports Gambling?
Sports gambling became legal and went live in Connecticut in 2021. The law was finalized after lengthy discussions between the state and the Mohegan and Mashantucket tribes. The result was a tightly regulated compact that stipulated the two land-based casinos are allowed to have sportsbook partnerships with approved providers. In the end, FanDuel and DraftKings came out as the top choices. The third sportsbook is owned by the state in partnership with Rush Street Interactive and operates under the name ‘SugarHouse’. It only offers sports and lottery services.
The sports gambling market is very tightly controlled and it completely disallows any other competitors from entering the market. Aside from apps and sites, players in Connecticut can also place bets in person at one of 15 retail betting shops.
Daily Fantasy Sports Betting in Connecticut
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are a popular gaming option in the US and Connecticut is no exception. There was much debate across the states regarding whether or not to classify team drafting games as gambling. Many states faced pushback from tribes that operate land-based casinos, who feared that allowing such sites would infringe on their business. Despite this, DFS became legal in Connecticut, which allowed the state to tax profits. Every daily fantasy sports operator must pay an annual registration fee of $15,000, plus give up 10% of all revenue. That's a pretty sweet deal for lawmakers.
Horse Betting in Connecticut
Connecticut has no issue with horse betting and even embraces greyhound racing. It's been legal since 1971 but the landscape has changed today. There are no longer any race tracks left, all of them closed down and decommissioned over the years. What remains is a strong system of off-track betting (OTB), where bettors can place pari-mutuel bets on horse racing, greyhound racing, and jai alai. These OTB parlors (there are 16 of them around the state) are operated by a company called Sportech. Off-track betting is also offered at both land-based tribal casinos. The state-run OTG website ‘Winners’ allows residents to place bets online.
Online Sportsbooks in Connecticut
Online sportsbooks are legal and running in Connecticut, with players offered not one but three options to choose from. Online sportsbooks in Connecticut were launched in October 2021 as soon as the regulations were agreed upon and finalized. Two of the sportsbooks are operated by the two tribal casinos. The third option is state-run and operated by the same arm that runs the state lottery.
But online sportsbooks require a different system to in-person betting, so the land-based casinos team up with powerful platforms to offer the service. Foxwoods went with DraftKings, and Mohegan Sun opted for FanDuel. The state option came to an arrangement with Rush Street Interactive, offering an online site called SugarHouse, with betting also possible in-person at all state OTB branches.
What Sports Can I Bet On in Connecticut?
Sports betting is legal in the state of Connecticut. Things kicked off in late 2021, after a long moratorium, and have been going strong ever since. Since the state and two tribal casinos chose to team up with super-professional and well-established platforms, the sports on offer are very well-rounded - wherever you choose to place your bets. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some of the major sports you can bet on:
- NFL Football
- NCAA Football
- NBA Basketball
- NCAA Basketball
- Euroleague Basketball
- NHL Hockey
- NCAA Hockey
- MLB Baseball
- NCAA Baseball
- Australian Rules
- Rugby Union
- UFC / MMA
How to Deposit and Withdraw Money on Connecticut Gambling Sites
Gambling is so heavily regulated in Connecticut that players should feel very comfortable in the knowledge that the payment options on offer are highly vetted and secure. Nevertheless, you should always research all the options in place because each carries different conditions and sometimes a few extra fees. If you decide to play at an online casino or opt for a little online sports betting, the payment options will vary according to the site or app. Generally speaking, players in Connecticut will be able to choose from:
- Online banking via ACH. This is a way to fund your gaming account directly from your bank account with no intermediary necessary.
- VIP Preferred. This is a deposit and withdrawal method that allows you to cash checks electronically.
- Credit and debit cards. This is a straightforward way to get funds to your account through your Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards.
- Pay with cash. Using payment methods like PayNearMe you can visit a nearby CVS, Family Dollar or 7-Eleven to top up your casino or sportsbook account with cash.
Gambling Bonuses in Connecticut
Although Connecticut allows online casinos and online sportsbooks to offer players bonuses and promotions, they're still heavily regulated by the state. Gaming regulations enforce that only bonuses that are consistently clear will pass muster. Any hint of deceptiveness or any misleading marketing, and the site will be at risk of heavy fines. These rules apply to all contests, sweepstakes, giveaways, or financial bonuses.
Boring stuff aside, the bonuses offered by Connecticut casinos and sportsbooks are super generous and enticing. As a new player, you're more than likely going to pick up a deposit match bonus worth $250 or more. Aside from initial joiner offers, there are also several promotions up for grabs packed with bonus cash, free spins, and special deals on exclusive games. Being loyal also pays off, as the sites come with VIP schemes that reward you as you continue to play.
Our Thoughts on How Gambling in Connecticut is Developing
Connecticut is a surprising state when it comes to online gambling. For a very long time, gaming options were highly limited to just two land-based casinos. Sports betting was completely outlawed in all forms except horse betting and greyhound racing. Things were even more dire in the online space, where social casinos were the only way to access gambling action on the go.
But then everything changed late in 2021. The state reached an agreement with the two local tribes, and they brokered a deal to offer online gambling options through a limited selection of sources. The change of heart was obviously financially motivated, as is the case with the land-based casinos that fork over 25% of their revenue to the state. The current state of affairs looks to be as far as Connecticut will go, as I can't imagine the government revisiting the laws again any time soon.