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
Once PASPA was repealed in 2019, New Jersey was quick to launch legal sportsbooks in its state. This created such a buzz on the east coast of the U.S. that it was assumed that all surrounding states would also quickly enter the fray. However, this was not the case, and in Connecticut, in particular, there have been several stumbling blocks preventing the passing of sports betting legislation.
In 2019, the new governor made all gambling issues in the state a priority, but there was a healthy debate between the tribes and other interested parties as to who should have the right to offer legal sports betting. Unfortunately, this debate outlasted the legislative session, so it has been pushed into the 2020 session to find an appropriate solution.
Online Sports Betting
Online sports betting has also been caught up in the endless debate about who will be allowed to operate sportsbooks, so as of November 2019 there is still no legal sports betting in the state. However, the proximity of states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where online and mobile wagering is authorized and regulated, there is potential for residents fo Connecticut to make their wagers. If a player is within the physical borders of any legal sports betting state, they can create an account, fund it and make bets. These sites will not work once someone leaves the geofenced region, however with so many Connecticut residents commuting to other places for work, the opportunity exists.
With other neighboring states planning to pass legislation soon, it is expected that the Connecticut government will move quickly to ensure tax revenues are not lost from gamblers who find betting options close to home.
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. Part of the arguments during the 2019 legislative session surrounded two casino proposals – one proposed by MGM and one from a joint venture of Mohegan and Foxwoods – that have been wrapped up in legal red tape for the entire year.
Online Casinos in Connecticut
Legal online slots and table games continue to be unavailable for Connecticut residents. However, there has been discussion of adding them into the legislation that will also include sports betting. This is excellent news for anyone who doesn’t want to travel to one of the land-based casinos in the state to play their favorite games. However, this legislation has been hotly contested, and it is difficult to say if when all is said and done that other forms of online gambling, aside from sports betting will be regulated in 2020.
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.
Is Sports betting legal in Connecticut?
As of November 2019, sports betting is still not legal in Connecticut. This is frustrating to many residents who are seeing residents of neighboring states abel to bet on their favorite teams while still being shutout within their own state borders.
When will sports betting be legal in Connecticut?
While we don’t have a crystal ball so we cannot say with absolute certainty, we have to assume that legal sports betting will be coming soon. When the state legislature sits again in early 2020, it is expected that the conversation around sports betting will once again be revisited. With a couple of years of discussions under its belt, and the states around Connecticut also planning to launch sportsbooks, the pressure will be on to find a solution sooner than later.
What is the best sportsbook for Connecticut?
As of November 2019, there are no regulated sportsbooks for players from Connecticut to enjoy, so it is difficult for us to give any recommendations. Of course, you can find many offshore sportsbooks that accept wagers from Connecticut residents. However, we cannot guarantee the security of your funds at any of these websites.
If you are looking to make wagers on sports legally, your best bet is to head to a neighboring state that allows legal sports betting, or else you will have to be patient while the government sorts out legislation.