Online Gambling For Real Money in Connecticut
Connecticut is most famous as far as gambling goes by serving as another major gambling playground in the New York City area, giving NYC residents another good choice besides going to Atlantic City. Connecticut’s casinos are also a good drive away, but these two are both much bigger than anything they have in Atlantic City.
There’s more to Connecticut gambling than just the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods though. Although they are the most dominant forces in the market, if Connecticut ends up deciding to spread the love around more, Connecticut’s gambling scene could see some big changes.
We’ll show you what they have now, which is pretty impressive, as well as what may be coming soon. We’ll also show you why the gambling scene in Connecticut is considerably bigger than most think, when you count all of the gambling that occurs outside official revenue numbers.
History of Gambling in Connecticut
Many have the perception that Connecticut is one of the more progressive states in the country when it comes to gambling, mostly from the fact that the state has 2 of the biggest 3 casinos in the U.S. Overall though, Connecticut is at best average, and among the states that do not license casinos, or have any form of online gambling now or in the works.
The first legal gambling came to Connecticut in 1939 when the state passed a law to permit charitable bingo. Connecticut added raffles in 1955, and Las Vegas nights in 1972 where approved charitable organizations could offer blackjack and roulette, but that was repealed in 2003 as part of Connecticut’s effort to block more Indian casinos.
Pari-mutuel betting was legalized in 1971, only the state didn’t have any tracks to bet at. There were plans to build one in the 1970’s, but it never did get the funding. Off-track betting took over in 1976 and has been going strong ever since.
As part of the bill that legalized pari-mutuel betting, Connecticut also included a section to permit a state lottery, and tickets began being offered for sale in 1972. The Connecticut Lottery now has revenues in excess of a billion dollars a year, paying out over $700 million to their players in prizes.
Indian gaming in Connecticut pre-dated the Indian Gaming Act of 1988 that caused the explosion of tribal gaming that swept much of the country in the aftermath. Foxwoods sued the state for the right to offer bingo, on the claim that the state’s regulations that govern bingo aren’t applicable on tribal land. The court sided with the tribe and in 1986, Connecticut had its first tribal bingo operation.
Foxwood added table games to their bingo parlor in 1992, which is unusual given that tribal casinos usually add slots first, or both, but don’t really go from bingo to casino table games. They did add slots the following year in 1993.
Up until 1996, Foxwoods had the entire state to its own, which was the year that their rival casino Mohegan Sun opened. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are still the only two casinos in Connecticut, but they have grown to become 2 or the 3 biggest casinos in the United States, with the only one bigger being Winstar World Casino and Resort in Oklahoma, another tribal casino, and the largest casino in the world period.
These tribes are not particularly interested in competition, so they pay the state 25% of its slot revenues in exchange for the state agreeing to not allow slots anywhere in the state apart from their land. Given that these two casinos have almost 10,000 slot machines between them, this has served to successfully keep slots out of the state, although Connecticut really isn’t all that eager to roll these out and the revenue from whatever number they would be comfortable allowing would be dwarfed by what the Indians pay them not to do this.
The two tribal casinos have teamed up to offer a third casino in the state, to try to capture some of the business that the MGM Springfield Casino across the border in Massachusetts is taking away from them. The state approved the Tribal Winds in 2017, with the federal government adding their approval in 2018, but the tribes are still battling lawsuits from private individuals and will have to wait until they are resolved to finally build it.
Connecticut has a bill in play to legalize sports betting, both land-based and online, but the tribes have demanded the exclusive right to offer it in Connecticut and a competing bill has been created to do this. It does seem very likely that sports betting will be coming to this state very soon, one way or the other.
Connecticut Gambling Laws
Connecticut is one of several states that take aim at various games of chance with their anti-gambling laws, and they definitely score a clear win with forms of betting that rely on chance to some degree. The definition of gambling in this state involves staking anything of value “for gain, contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance or the operation of a gambling device.”
It even specifies some examples that would fall within this definition, including “blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, or a slot machine.” All these games depend in whole or in part upon chance, on the randomness of a deck of cards, a roll of the dice, or the spin of a wheel. This would also include any result that has an element of randomness in it and closes the door completely to all forms of gambling that depend upon chance.
Mentioning the particular examples of games was not at all necessary due to all of them having the obvious element of randomness, although the use of randomness instead of chance would have been even better. We understand chance clearly enough for this not to be an obstacle to the interpretation though.
State law will often make it difficult to understand how the term chance is to be applied, where games of chance are illegal but we’re not sure what they mean by games of chance. Does this mean games where the outcomes of bets are entirely based upon chance like roulette or craps? What about if there is a mix of chance and skill like blackjack, which has elements of skill in it? What about the game of poker, which is substantially based upon skill even though chance plays a part in the deciding of wagers with certain hands at least?
There are many wagers in poker that are not dependent upon chance at all, which includes all hands that are not shown down. Just using the term game of chance does not provide much insight into the degree of chance needed to fit the definition, and if anything, there are better reasons to believe that the outcomes need to be entirely based upon chance than to think that any degree of chance is enough to make something a game of chance.
Connecticut relies on the in whole or in part qualification to solve this problem beautifully, and there is no need for further interpretation to make it certain that all casino games as well as poker are included here.
What about betting on an election? Does that involve an element of chance, either in whole or in part? Elections aren’t decided by contingency at all, they are completely decided by people voting and the votes being counted to determine a winner. What about betting on the outcome of a sporting event? No chance at all here either, as these contests are entirely decided upon the skill of the competitors, a pure contest of skill rather than chance.
We can be confident that whoever wrote this law missed this, and it’s pretty common in state gambling laws. The tell here is the fact that they felt the need to exclude contests of skill where only the competitors benefit, although it does not matter who benefits because gambling in Connecticut is defined on betting on games that rely on chance, and contests of skill are instead decided by skill.
They also included “legal business transactions under the law of contracts,” which does not add anything to the meaning of the law. All gambling falls under this definition unless players were under duress, a material misrepresentation was made, or other conditions which may invalidate contracts. Just like the authors of this law made their net too small by forgetting about games of skill, this one is far too broad and conflicts with the main provision and therefore can be simply ignored.
This law also excludes the playing of any lottery conducted in a U.S. state or territory, as well as any other gambling permitted by Connecticut law. Anything that is outside the scope of their prohibitions, games that do not rely on chance to some degree, are not made illegal, and the exclusions only apply to situations where an activity would be illegal save for the exemption, not activities that the law does not prohibit in the first place.
This all cashes out to it being illegal to play any casino game or poker game for money, without exception, but does not successfully prohibit betting on games of skill, including sports betting, which they seemed to have forgotten about when the law was written.
Land Based Gambling in Connecticut
Charitable gambling was the first legal gambling to come to Connecticut, and has maintained a steady yet very modest profile. Social gambling is also permitted by way of exception, although not only does approved social gambling require that only the players benefit, Connecticut is among the few states that also require that the players have a “bona fide social relationship” outside gambling interactions.
Connecticut raises $300 million a year for the state from its lottery. The Connecticut Lottery offers all the standard lottery games, including intra-state jackpots, although they do not offer it online yet. Connecticut also has legal pari-mutuel wagering, on dogs, greyhounds, and jai alai, but the state does not have any venues that run these races. They do have 26 off-track betting locations though where you can wager on out-of-state races.
Connecticut’s gambling scene is dominated by its Indian casinos, and while the state only has two of them, they are two whoppers. The Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino are the second and third biggest casinos in the United States, and rule over the market in this state.
These casinos are both situated right between Boston and New York City, and their sheer size is like nothing else on the East Coast, and the fact that these casinos are so large shows how big of a population that they draw from. New York City does not have any casinos at all nearby, and their gamblers used to have to go to Atlantic City for a Vegas style casino, but there are now two more choices within driving distance, and these two Connecticut casinos have sure feasted off it.
The Mohegan Sun has a win of over a billion dollars per year, with Foxwoods not being far behind at about $800 million per year. Those are simply amazing numbers coming from just the gaming take from single casinos. The people of Connecticut contribute to this considerably as well, and being in the state with the highest per capita income in the country doesn’t hurt.
Connecticut’s casinos are already well positioned for success, and contribute a lot of money to the state for the right to maintain their monopoly on casino gambling in the state. They also want a monopoly on sports betting, and their battling with the state over this is what is holding up sports betting coming to Connecticut.
The Mohegan Sun in Uncasville offers 5,000 slot machines, along with 300 table games including baccarat, mini-baccarat, blackjack bonanza, craps, roulette, casino war, Spanish 21, sic bo, and Wheel of Fortune. A separate 42 table poker room offers both live and casino poker, as well as pai gow tiles, something not easy to find at casinos. Off-track betting is also offered.
The Mohegan Sun comes with two hotels, one with 400 rooms and a larger one with 1,175. It also features 12 restaurants. It has been named the best casino hotel in the U.S. by USA Today three years running.
Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket is the other monster in the state. It has 6 different casinos offering 4,800 slots and 280 table games. It also has a 4,000 seat bingo hall and the second biggest poker room in the country with 147 tables. It features 5 different hotels, all AAA four diamond hotels, and 22 places to eat.
There is a third Indian casino in the works, a partnership between the two tribes, in East Windsor, 13 miles away from the MGM Springfield across the border in Massachusetts that has been taking business away from the Connecticut tribes. The $300 million that the tribes want to spend on this is less than a third of what the MGM spent on theirs, but the goal here is to get in front of the MGM as far as Connecticut gamblers go, and this one will be opulent enough when it gets built.
The proposal is still tied up in the courts, although the dispute isn’t with the state or federal governments who have both given their approval, it is with lawsuits from businesses, which are in the midst of being resolved. Once that is out of the way, we will finally see a third casino in Connecticut.
Connecticut Online Casinos & Slots Gambling
Like many states, the Connecticut online gambling scene can be summed up very simply. There simply isn’t one, at least not yet. It’s not that online gambling is not on the state’s mind though, and they are close to allowing both land-based and online sports betting. This would see Connecticut permit online gambling in any form for the first time, and may at least serve to open the minds of legislators more toward it.
Online sports betting is now on the table and may come to Connecticut sooner rather than later, and this will at least give the uninitiated in Connecticut an opportunity to bet on sports online. People in the know have been doing this for years, some for decades, and have not only been enjoying betting real money on sports but also playing real money online casino games and real money poker online.
Connecticut is like all states, they rely substantially on propaganda, based upon false ideas such as you can only gamble online if the state gives you permission, or the more hidden assumption that they can stop any of their residents from doing it.
We do provide expert legal analysis of state anti-gambling laws, but while this may be interesting, it is for entertainment purposes only as laws against online gambling are unenforceable. Only North Korea has managed to keep people from online gambling, and it’s because their people do not have access to the internet, as that’s the only way to stop online gambling.
It is interesting to know that Connecticut does not have any valid law against sports betting, so you could do it online and not actually break Connecticut law. However, would it matter either way if they had no way to catch you breaking this law?
Unlike in some states where it is not clear at all whether playing real money online poker or real money online casino games are legal or not, there’s no question that they are against Connecticut law.
If you chop down a tree in the forest contrary to the law and there’s no one around to see it, you still might get arrested. Maybe there’s a camera hidden in a nearby tree. What if you just imagined chopping down a tree, could you get arrested for that? The authorities can’t see you thinking this, nor can they see you gambling online. The door has always been wide open to Connecticut real money online gambling, you just have to walk through it.
Future of Gambling in Connecticut
The gambling market in Connecticut has been virtually ruled by the state’s two Indian tribes and their two mega casinos. The state is starting to open its mind more though, and the fact that there are competing bills in the state, one giving sports betting completely to the Indians and the other allowing other competitors alongside them are showing us that this wall is starting to show some real cracks.
The future of sports betting in Connecticut is knocking on the door now, and there seems to be plenty of support among state lawmakers to open the door to this. The only real issue is who will get to offer it, which still needs some work.
However, regardless of whether or not the Indians get sports betting all to themselves, including overseeing its online rollout, or others can get involved in this as well, the most important part of this is that things are starting to finally open up in Connecticut now.
This bodes well for not only sports betting being allowed in the state, but other forms of online gambling as well. It’s not really that big of an issue that Connecticut regulates online gambling or not, as it is readily accessible anyway, but it at least would make it easier for players to deposit and withdraw with their offshore online gambling accounts, needing to rely on alternative methods of funding such as gift cards, Western Union, and cybercurrencies.
It’s not that this is any sort of real challenge for those who don’t mind a minor inconvenience such as using Bitcoin to make these deposits and withdrawals, or other means that are off the main track, but a lot of players would prefer using their credit cards, their bank accounts, and their internet wallets to do this, like you used to be able to do.
Connecticut also needs to get over the complex they suffer from which has them thinking that the state regulating certain real money gambling games is some sort of bad thing that should be avoided, or passed on to the Indians, who hold no such prejudice and are glad to take in billions of dollars that the state has left them to grab because the state believes that their hands will be soiled by touching this.
Real progress with gambling regulation requires that attitudes change, the sort of thing that happens when you dare to more closely examine your rationale for wanting to prevent gambling in any form. Connecticut still has significant progress yet to be realized on this front, but at least in the mean time we have the means to stick our tongues out at them virtually as we vote for gambling online anyway, and our vote is the only one that counts.
We happen to be experts on offshore online gambling, for those who may be interested in either trying it for the first time or find higher quality places to do it at for those who already enjoy this. You do need a guide, and for those who wish to play anyway, we’re happy to oblige.
Connecticut Online Slots & Casinos FAQs
What types of gambling does Connecticut have?
Connecticut allows for both charitable gambling and social gambling, as well as the lottery and off-track betting. Connecticut itself does not permit casino gambling in any form, although there is lots and lots of it that goes on at the state’s two tribal casinos, both among the biggest casinos in the world. Connecticut is also ready to allow sports betting although the details still need to be worked out.
What does Connecticut gambling law allow and disallow?
Connecticut gambling law focuses exclusively on games of chance, and you cannot bet on games whose outcomes are even partially due to chance, other than what they allow you to play. Allowable gambling on games of chance include the lottery, gambling run by approved charities, social gambling, and off-track betting on horses. There’s nothing in there about gambling on things not dependent upon chance like sports betting.
How could Connecticut completely miss sports betting in their gambling law?
Connecticut is far from alone in making the mistake of leaving sports betting out of their gambling laws, where they probably intended to include all gambling. Sports betting does not depend upon chance in whole or in part, and illegal gambling in Connecticut is limited to this type of betting. This isn’t a matter of a loophole here, as there isn’t anything even suggesting sports betting is illegal in Connecticut in their law.
Why doesn’t Connecticut have any casino gambling on non-tribal land?
When we look at Connecticut’s complete absence of casino games such as real money slots, casino table games, and real money poker, we might get the idea that they are like a lot of states that simply are opposed enough to gambling to not allow it. We’re not even sure what would be permitted if not for the arrangement that Connecticut’s Indian tribes have with the state, where the tribes pay a lot of money to the state to continue to give them a monopoly on casino gambling.
Does Connecticut have real money casinos?
While Connecticut does not have any “commercial” casinos, which are what they are called when they are operated outside tribal lands, the state does have a couple of Indian casinos, a couple of mega casinos in fact. The Mohegan Sun is the second biggest casino in the country, and Foxwoods is the third largest in the U.S. The two tribes have partnered to offer a third casino in the state, the Tribal Winds, but are still waiting for the wind to blow right to get this built.
Is Connecticut among the states that is seeking to add sports betting?
Connecticut has two competing sports betting bills making the rounds, with one seeking to open up sports betting to non-tribal locations as well as tribal locations, and the other giving this right completely to the tribes like they do with casino gambling. The Indians want a monopoly on this too, but the state doesn’t make money directly from this, and also may want to spread things around a little more. We’ll have to see which bill wins.
How can Connecticut “legalize” sports betting if it is already legal?
There are some states where it is completely legal to gamble at anything you want to, you just can’t offer gambling or certain types in the state. In this case, gambling is legal, where offering gambling is not. We’re not even sure Connecticut lawmakers even know that sports betting is legal in their state, but licensing and regulating it is completely different from prohibiting betting. It sets a framework where those under Connecticut law can offer it commercially.
Is online gambling legal in Connecticut?
If there’s no law against sports betting in a state, there wouldn’t be any prohibitions against doing it online either. We could therefore say that online sports betting is legal in this state, but given that poker and casino games involve the element of chance, one would be staking money on the outcome of games of chance when playing these games online as well. However, online gambling laws are actually meaningless because there’s no way to enforce them.
Why aren’t Connecticut’s online gambling prohibitions enforceable?
When you are gambling on the physical plane, somewhere in Connecticut, even in a secret cave, there’s always the potential of getting caught, however small. Offshore gambling online does not take place in Connecticut at all, it happens offshore, and there just isn’t any way that the state could find out you were doing this, as badly as they might want to. The evidence is on servers in other countries and Connecticut has absolutely no access to this.
Can Connecticut players gamble online for real money right now if they want?
There are some advantages to having your state license and regulate online gambling, but these advantages are fairly minor, such as being able to deposit with your credit card. There are plenty of locations around the world where it is legal for sites to provide online gambling to those in other locations such as Connecticut. We can show you where the best places to enjoy your favorite real money online games, including poker, casino, and sports betting.