Connecticut, also known as the Constitution State, has a rich history. In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the US Constitution. The world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus was built in the state in 1954. On top of this, a number of iconic in Connecticut including the Polaroid camera, the helicopter and color television. However, when it comes to the state’s gambling offerings, Connecticut has been slow to adapt.

 

Is it legal to bet on sports in Connecticut?

At the moment, residents and visitors can only place pari mutuel wagers on horse racing. In terms of full-scale sports betting, legislation has been introduced which has the potential to pave the way for legal US sports betting in the future. In 2017, state lawmakers passed a bill that would allow the Commissioner of Consumer Protection to introduce sports betting regulations if the federal law was ever changed to permit sports betting.

After the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, lawmakers in Connecticut revisited the issue of legal sports betting in Connecticut and made it clear that they intended to put forth legislation that would legalize the activity. Legislation is still being reviewed by lawmakers in the state.

The biggest challenge with introducing legal and regulated sports betting in Connecticut is navigating the compacts between tribal gaming establishments and the state as these entitle tribal establishments the exclusive rights to offer different forms of gambling in the state.

In 2018 Governor Dan Malloy attempted to call a special legislative session to discuss and legalize sports betting in the state but ran into issues with the tribes that run Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. The Mashantucket and Pequot tribes stated that they have the exclusive right to offer sports betting thanks to the tribal-state compacts.  If the state was to violate the compacts, then the state would lose the 25% of slot machine revenue they are currently entitled to. This 25% translates to over $200m annually.

However, lawmakers in the state have shown a willingness to educate themselves on the topic of sports betting which indicates that we could begin to see legislative efforts in 2019.

 

Where will I be able to place bets on sporting events in Connecticut?

State lawmakers and regulators have yet to detail where and how wagers on sports may be placed in the state. At the moment, residents can place bets on horse racing at off-track betting parlors located throughout the state or at one of the state’s two tribal casinos, Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun.

 

What sports will I be able to bet on?

It is not yet clear which sports residents in Connecticut will be able to bet on if the state does legalize sports betting. However, if state lawmakers follow the examples set by other states, it’s

likely that it will be legal to bet on events from the major professional and collegiate sporting leagues in Connecticut.

 

 What else can I bet on in Connecticut

At a first glance the state of Connecticut appears to offer a very small variety of gambling options, but when you look closer, it is clear that the state prioritizes quality over quantity. Although the state only has two tribal casinos conducting operations, these are two of the biggest casino names in country, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. These two venues offer a variety of games including:

  •    Slots
  •    Poker
  •    Blackjack
  •    Craps
  •    Roulette
  •    Baccarat
  •    Sic Bo
  •    Bingo

 

 

Casino

 

 

Location

 

 

Contact

 

 

Email

 

 

Opening times

 

Foxwoods Resort Casino 350 Trolley Line Blvd, Mashantucket, CT 06338, USA +1 860-312-3000

 

Online form 24 hours

 

Mohegan Sun 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Uncasville, CT 06382, USA +1 888-226-7711

 

onlinecustomerservice@mohegansun.com 24 hours

 

The state-run Connecticut Lottery also offers residents a variety of games which can be played to win real cash prizes. The state also permits charitable gambling activities such as
raffles and bingo games.

Online gambling is partially legal in Connecticut. Residents can place online wagers on horse racing events on TwinSpires.com and BetAmerica.com. These two sites are available in almost every US state that permits betting on horse racing. As an alternative to sports betting, residents can also play real money fantasy sports games online with either FanDuel or DraftKings.

According to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP): “The State of Connecticut and the Department of Consumer Protection do not authorize, license, permit, or
regulate in any manner any Internet gambling in any form. Under General Statutes of Connecticut Section 53-278a any gambling activity in Connecticut is illegal unless specifically
authorized by law. Neither the state legislature nor any state agency has approved any form of gambling on the Internet, including the purchasing of raffle tickets. Even if a gambling website is legal in another jurisdiction, such as a foreign country or another state, it is illegal to use that site to gamble from within Connecticut.”

It is worth mentioning that Section 53-278a is only the state’s definition of gambling. The law was not initially written to cover online gambling sites but the DCP says it falls under the same category.

The state has made attempts to expand its online gambling offerings in the past. In 2017 lawmakers attempted to introduce legislation that would allow the Connecticut Lottery to sell tickets online. The bill was unsuccessful and was dismissed the same year it was introduced.

As an alternative to online gambling, residents can play social casino games online. Both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun offer social casino platforms on their websites. The Mohegan Sun platform is a part of the Play4Fun network. You can also find the usual social casino platforms such as Slotomania, Zynga, Double Down Casino and Big Fish in Connecticut.

Are offshore gambling sites legal in Connecticut?

No. Connecticut residents may not turn to offshore gambling sites to place their wagers online,
as these are illegal in the state. But, aside from legality, we’d recommend steering clear of offshore gambling and sports betting sites because of the lack of regulation. This means they may not be secure or may not have measures in place to protect vulnerable players. You also have no way of knowing who is handling the money you deposit into these online accounts.

You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name. If you see a domain that ends in .EU or .AG it does not hold a license to operate in Connecticut
and therefore should be avoided at all costs.

Will it be safe to bet on sports in Connecticut?

Connecticut already has strict gambling laws, which means that state regulators are likely to implement a tight regulatory framework for sports betting. This regulation will ensure that sports
betting is safe in Connecticut. However, it’s also up to bettors to gamble responsibly so that betting remains fun and safe.  If you’re worried that you, or someone you know, may be suffering from problem gambling, the National Council on Problem Gambling has a number of resources available. The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling also has various resources for people who may be suffering from a gambling problem.

You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:

Phone: +1-800-522-4700

Text: +1-800-522-4700

Online Chat

You can contact the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling via:

Phone: +1-959-230-4034

Helpline: +1-888-789-777

Online chat

Email: online form

 

Who regulates gambling in Connecticut?

Gambling in the state of Connecticut is overseen by the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). The DCP will also be responsible for overseeing the implementation of sports betting regulation in the future.

 

How old do I have to be to gamble in Connecticut?

To gamble in a casino, residents must be aged 21 and over and to place pari mutuel wagers, residents must be at least 18 years old.

 

The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in Connecticut

1971 – Horse racing, off-track betting and the state lottery were legalized. Shortly after the legalization of horse racing a horse racing track called Connecticut Park was proposed for construction in the state. However, the track did not receive state approval and was never
Built.

1972 – Dog racing and jai alai were legalized. The same year, the state lottery began selling
tickets.

1976 – The state’s first off-track betting parlors opened for business. The same year two jai alai
venue opened for business in the state with one in Bridgeport and one in Hartford. Plainfield Greyhound Park opened for business in 1976.

1977 – Another jai alai venue opened for business, this time in the Milford area.

1983 – The Connecticut Lottery begins

1986 – Foxwoods opens its doors. The establishment was initially opened as a bingo room for small-scale gambling after the courts ruled that state bingo laws did not apply to venues
on sovereign land.

1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states had legal sports betting regulations
in place.

1993 – Foxwoods added slot machines to its venue, offering a new way for residents and visitors to Gamble.

1995 – The jai alai venues in Hartford and Bridgeport closed and ceased operations.

1996 – Shoreline Star Greyhound Park opened for business at the former Jai alai venue in Bridgeport.

1996 – The state’s second tribal casino, Mohegan Sun, opened its doors for business. Both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods would go on to become two of the biggest names in the casino
world.

2005 – Both of the state dog racing venues were closed down due to concerns over animal safety.

2008 – Thanks to a partnership between MGM and Foxwoods, a second tower was built at the Foxwoods venue and was opened as the MGM Grand. After the partnership ended in 2013, the tower was rebranded as the Fox Tower.

2017 – State lawmakers introduced and passed bill 6948, a bill that would allow the DCP to craft a regulatory framework for sports betting operations in Connecticut depending on the ruling of the Supreme Court case between New Jersey and the professional sports leagues. State lawmakers attempted to expand online gambling offerings by introducing a bill that would allow the Connecticut Lottery to sell tickets online. This bill was unsuccessful and failed shortly after it was introduced.

2018 – On 14 May, the Court reached a decision. In a 7 – 2 vote it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as its commandeered power from states to
regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country.Connecticut lawmakers are now exploring how to go about introducing legal and regulated sports betting operations without violating the tribal-state compacts that grant the tribal groups the exclusive right to offer sports betting.

It is important to remember that Connecticut sports betting is yet to be legalized and that lawmakers are currently discussing the prospect of legalizing the activity, so make sure to check back with us for updates on legal sports betting in Connecticut.