Gambling and Lottery History in Connecticut
Charitable gaming was one of the first forms of gambling that was legally accepted by the state and in 1939, Bingo was permitted, followed by raffles and charity bazaars around 1955. The gates were opened to Tribal casino operations, which was a great economic advancement, considering the available job posts and the revenue contribution – 15% of the job growth in the state between the 90s and the first decade of the new millennium was coming from the Tribal casinos.
The CT Lottery was established in the 70s and after expanding its operation (adding Cash Lotto in ’92 and Powerball in ’96) it became the most frequently exercised form of gambling. It was estimated that almost 30% of Connecticut’s legally authorized gambling population is playing the lottery on a monthly basis.
Four years after the state Lottery started operating, pari-mutuel dog racing, off-track betting, and jai alai were introduced in Connecticut. The new millennium has changed the public view on greyhound racing and after years of struggling to maintain attendance, the tracks closed, ending the dog races in 2005, although the sport is technically still legal.
Best Casinos Connecticut
Even though Tribal Connecticut casinos are the most significant revenue generators in the state, there are 17 Connecticut Casinos with around 12,300 gaming machines and almost 1000 table games.
Located in Uncasville, Mohegan Sun Casino Resort is the largest gambling facility in the state, operating on more than 350,000 sq ft and offering 5,500 slot machines with 377 table games. The gaming area is separated into three levels: Casino of the Earth, Casino of the Sky and Casino of the Wind, each with the appropriate interior design that matches the theme. The Casino of the Earth, for example, features the Fours Seasons design and has 2,500 slot machines and 160 tables across 180,00 sq ft. Casino of the Sky even includes a planetarium within the premises.
MGM Bridgeport is the runner-up; this casino covers 100,000 sq ft, providing 2,000 slots and 160 tables.
Apart from Mohegan Sun Casino, Connecticut has one more Tribal operated casino – Foxwoods Resort, in Mashantucket, operated by Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The venue has an excellent offer of table games like Blackjack, slots, bingo, keno, racebook, poker, etc, and provides an online gambling option as well.
Legal Aspects of CT Gambling, Sports Betting and Connecticut Casinos
The entire gambling scene in the USA is affected by the Supreme Court ruling and the new status it brought to the sports betting national-wide ban. With the PASPA now regarded as unconstitutional, the states governments are trying to figure out if the legalization of sports betting will turn out to be beneficial for the state and how the existing gambling industry will be affected.
Gov. Dannel Patrick Malloy seems to be growing more tolerant to sports betting legalization in Connecticut, despite his personal views. He may not be the only one; many are anxious to see this matter resolved, and the legislators are under a pressure to address sports betting as soon as possible. So far, Nevada has been the only state that held the legal monopoly of the sports betting, but after the ruling, quite a few states will start to share the profit estimated at $150 billion, which is the approximate amount of illegal annual wagers.
The new compacts with the Tribes are still in their early stage but if the state decides to give its official approval to the sports betting, the Tribal casinos will have the state’s permission to offer sports betting platforms inside their facilities. What is yet to be determined is the Tribes’ legal right to claim their share of the state’s sports events or even hold an exclusive right to sports betting. The complexity of the issue arises from the unclear sports betting definition – sports betting is already offered in Las Vegas casinos, which arguably classifies it as a casino game. The Tribes are already paying their agreed percentage for offering casino games, therefore categorizing sports betting under this particular section would limit sports betting on Tribal operating casinos.
Consequently, that means that a lot of venues equipped and allowed to offer pari-mutuel betting would automatically lose the opportunity to provide this type of service to their visitors. Sharing the sports betting privileges would probably be beneficial for both of the parties – at the moment, both the state and the Tribes will have something to lose if the agreement is not formed. In 2017, the state received $270 million from the Tribal casinos and it is not very likely that the government will be willing to sacrifice their rapport with the tribes for a much lower estimated percentage of what the sports betting would bring. On the other hand, the Tribes will need the government’s support to prevent their strongest competitor, MGM Resort, from building a casino complex in Bridgeport.
As an extension to the sports betting issue, online betting is another aspect that the state officials will need to regulate and many have had concerns regarding the expansion of illegal gambling thanks to the smartphones and tablets. The problems that the availability can trigger can be considerable and gambling addiction experts have also requested certain clarifications from the governor.
The fact remains that internet gambling is already being offered by both the off-shore companies and the bookies and that the state was clearly not able to prevent these actions from happening. According to the governor, the state needs a better system which will ensure the fairness of available gaming, especially now when gambling is more common and easily accessible.
There are those, of course, who take a different view on gambling, arguing that legalization of sports betting in combination with online accessibility can lead to serious issues. This view will have to be taken into consideration and the consensus will be the cross between sports betting leniency and internet betting limitations.
Available Games in Connecticut Casinos
Bingo is probably the oldest legal form of gambling in Connecticut Casinos – to set up a bingo event, the organization must first request and obtain approval from the local officials. The law that deals with charitable gambling also covers raffles and sealed tickets which were permitted in the 80s.
The Lottery was established in 1972 and so far, more than $15 billion has been distributed to the winners. The largest portion of the Lottery proceeds is directed towards the Department of Education (over 20%) and around 15% goes to State Service. The rest is divided between Health & Hospitals, Judicial, Corrections, etc.
Casino games are offered by Tribal casinos and the offer of slots, progressives and table games is extensive: baccarat, blackjack, poker, pai gow, roulette, sic bo, craps, and wheel of fortune can all be found in Uncasville and Mashantucket resorts.
Sports and online betting are in the stage of being considered and it is still early to tell when the residents of The Constitution State will have the privilege of legally wagering on sports.
CT Casino FAQ
Can poker tournaments be organized in Connecticut?
Poker played for profit in bars or public places would be considered illegal – friendly games where no rake is involved are of course allowed, as well as poker played inside a casino.
In online gambling legal in Connecticut?
Internet gambling is not legal in this state and according to the law, any gambling activity that’s not explicitly permitted will be considered illegal.
What is the punishment for violation of gambling laws in Connecticut?
Breaking the gambling law in Connecticut is categorized as a class B misdemeanor and the penalty is $1,000 in fine and/or up to 6 months of imprisonment. Social gambling with the established and proven bona fide relationship between the participants is exempt.
What is the legal age requirement for gambling in the state of Connecticut?
Certain forms of gambling, such as the lottery, OTB (off-track betting) and sealed tickets, set the age limit at 18. Casino visitors must have at least 21 to take part in Connecticut casinos.