Connecticut is a very interesting state when it comes to the gambling industry. With a major percentage of the population of the state working in either New York or Massachusetts, there is a far larger external influence on the legislators in Connecticut than other states. As a result, the gambling laws are a bit of a jumble, so we’ll take this page to bring you up to speed on everything you need to know.
Sports Betting in Connecticut
The hot topic in the United States, especially on the East Coast, is regulated sports betting. Since the PASPA repeal in May by the Supreme Court, many states have jumped into the regulated sports betting pool. This includes New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia among others.
The initial reaction to sports betting in those states has been overwhelmingly popular, and Connecticut tried to get out in front of their neighbor states by drafting legislation in 2018 that would give out several licenses for sports betting in the state. However, these efforts were derailed for a couple of reasons.
First, a special session of the legislature would have to be called, and without enough support, it was unlikely that this would happen – that is, in fact, the case.
Second, the governor of the state was in the final few months of his term, so it seemed more appropriate to have the incoming governor take on the concept of regulated betting in the state. With the election over and a Democrat in the office, it is very likely that there will be legislation tabled and passed in early 2019.
Online Sports Betting
When it comes to online gambling, Connecticut has a more liberal stance than other states (more to follow below) but sports betting, for the time being, is relegated to unregulated sites. With a population that spends a fair amount of time in New York City and Boston, unregulated sportsbook sites are very popular in Connecticut.
To counteract this attraction, it looks likely that the sports betting legislation in Connecticut will include provisions for license holders to offer their platforms online via PCs and mobile devices, rather than only in Casinos or racetrack.
This is good news for sports betting fans in Connecticut as it will allow them to bet from anywhere in the states.
Another reason to choose the sportsbooks licensed in Connecticut over any other is that they have promotions that are tailored to the interests of players in the state. From special promotions for sports and teams close to the population to a loyalty program that understands the needs of its players, you can’t go wrong registering for an account there.
Horse Betting in Connecticut
There are currently no horse or dog tracks operating in the state of Connecticut. There was a greyhound track in Bridgeport at one point, and while the OTB still exists, there is no local racing at that track. Horse race betting, on the other hand, is wildly popular in the state, and there are 16 off Track Betting locations to serve fans of both horse and dog racing.
These range in size from smaller facilities to larger, sports-bar themed locations. All of these OTBs fall under one license which is owned and operated by the horse racing software company Sportech.
Online Horse Betting
As we mentioned, Connecticut has a more liberal stance on online gambling, and this comes in the form of online and mobile horse betting. The state license holder for horse racing also allows players who are willing to make an account to bet from home or their phones.
Now, there is nothing stopping a Connecticut resident from also playing at sites like DRFBEts and Twinspires, both of which are located outside the state but have a license that allows them to take bets legally in over 40 states. Sportech has fought hard to restrict access to these sites to protect their own business, but to date, no measures have been put in place to stop the bleed of players to rival platforms.
Casino Gambling in Connecticut
Until recently, Connecticut was a hotbed of land-based casino activity for those who loved it up and down the east coast. With no casinos in New York City or Massachusetts, players flocked to one of the two tribal casinos that are licensed by the state. These Vegas-style resorts are Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, and each resort gives players a chance to feel all the glitz and glory of Bellagio while located in a remote area of Connecticut.
A new casino in Springfield, MA on the border of Connecticut and one being built in the suburbs of Boston have given cause for concern for the tribes running these Connecticut casinos, which is one reason why the two have been so active in trying to get a sports betting license.
Online Casinos in Connecticut
As with most states, online casino games are illegal to operate in Connecticut. However, just like online sports betting, residents are not blocked from being able to access any unregulated online casino that is willing to take their action.
This number is limited, as many larger online brands stopped taking play from the US in 2006 when banking legislation was passed. There are still many online casinos available in the market however, each of which provides the basic casino games to players looking to gamble without having to travel to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun. These Casinos being licensed outside of the USA, there is a major risk in playing there however and we do not recommend Connecticut residents to play in unregulated casinos.
The tribes had been pushing for online casino licenses as well, but this is likely on hold while the state tackles the lower-hanging fruit of regulated sports betting. If that legislation passes in 2019, look for an amendment to add online casino and poker shortly afterward.
In the meantime, while we await some sort of legislation, Connecticut residents will have to make a trip out of Casino gambling and visit one of the great land-based casinos in the state.
Lottery in Connecticut
One vertical that has not had any issues when it comes to legality in Connecticut is the lottery. The state offers lottery games to players across the state, allowing players to buy scratch cards in retail locations and via vending machines, and being able to choose their favorite numbers in the draw games like Mega Millions and Powerball.
While there is no current online lottery service in Connecticut, it is clear that the government is interested in increasing tax revenues by any possible means, and the introduction of online sports betting will probably push the regulators to also allow for mobile lottery to be an available product to residents of the state.
Connecticut Gambling FAQ
Is Sports betting legal in Connecticut?
At this stage, if you wanted to walk into a facility and make a sports bet, you are not allowed to do so. The casinos licensed in connecticut are not yet authorized to offer sports betting. It will all change in 2019 however and players in Connecticut should be able to walk into any casino in the state and place bets and also enjoy online sports betting.
Once the legislation changes, Betting News will provide a list of recommended sites and offer an entire section dedicated to reviews of many sites we think are worth your time and money.
When will sports betting be legal in Connecticut?
With a bill getting very close to being voted on in the state in late 2018, we think that there is a very good chance that sports betting will be legal in Connecticut by the end of 2019.
For that to happen, the state legislature will come back into session in January and someone will have to introduce another bill to be debated and voted on. The regulations will then have to be drafted and licenses awarded.
What is the best sportsbook for Connecticut?
Right now, there are many big unregulated sportsbooks but we do not recommend them to players from the state. To place bets on sports, Connecticut residents have to bide their time, go to Las Vegas or visit New Jersey to bet on sports.
There are a lot of factors that go into our recommendations – if you check out our review section, you will find all the items that our experts look for before telling our readers to check out one sportsbook over another.