What types of gambling are legal in Connecticut?
Connecticut has most forms of legalized gambling. This includes a state lottery, horse racing, fantasy sports, casinos and charitable gaming. Sports betting is legal but not currently licensed in Connecticut. Most forms of online gambling are illegal.
This list shows the types of gambling found in Connecticut and where to find it:
- Horse and greyhound racing (off-track and mobile)
- Lottery (scratch-offs, keno and lotto sales at retailers)
- Slots, video poker and table games (at the state’s tribal casinos)
- Bingo and raffles (only at registered charities)
- Daily fantasy sports (online only)
Online Gambling in Connecticut
There are two forms of legal online gambling in Connecticut. Horse and greyhound racing bets are permitted online and on mobile apps. TVG, TwinSpires and BetAmerica all accept players from the state.
Daily fantasy sports contests are exempted from the state’s gambling law. These events may be bet online in the same way as racing. All major daily fantasy sports companies accept players from Connecticut. This includes DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft and Yahoo.
Online Gambling Laws in Connecticut
Under Connecticut General Statutes 53-278a, all forms of gambling are illegal unless specifically authorized by the legislature or voters. This applies equally to live and online forms of gambling. The only two forms of authorized online gambling are racing and fantasy sports contests. Racing is permitted under the federal Horseracing Act. Racing bettors must be at least 18 years of age.
Fantasy sports contests were exempted from state gambling law as a game of skill under PA 17-2 in 2017. Operators must pay a $15,000 annual licensing fee and 10.5 percent of gross gaming revenues as taxes. Players must be at least 18 years of age.
Land-based Casinos in Connecticut
Casinos are only legal on tribal land in Connecticut. There are two casinos in the state. One is at Foxwoods. It is operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The other is Mohegan Sun. It is operated by the Mohegan Tribe. A proposed Tribal Winds casino is approved but has yet to break ground while a lawsuit challenges the validity of the reservation.
All typical casino games are permitted at Connecticut’s casinos. This includes slots, video poker, keno, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and proprietary table games. Off-track betting is legal at casinos, but sports betting has yet to launch. There are no bet limits at Connecticut casinos.
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Casino Laws in Connecticut
Connecticut casinos were not created through a constitutional amendment, which is normally the process for it. Instead, the state’s tribes took advantage of a charity gaming regulation that allowed for casino nights. The Mashantucket Pequots attempted to negotiate a gaming pact with Connecticut in 1988. In 1990, the tribe sued the state for refusing to enter a pact.
Foxwoods opened in 1992 with table games, pursuant to charitable gaming that allowed these forms of gambling. There is no tax on any revenue earned at tables at the state’s casinos. In 1993, the state and the Mashantucket Pequots agreed to a 25 percent tax rate on slots and video poker. This rises to 30 percent if gross gaming revenue falls below $100 million in a fiscal year.
The casinos are entirely on tribal land. This means that the state’s smoking ban does not apply to the facilities. Players must be at least 21 years of age.
Sports Betting in Connecticut
Sports betting is technically legal in Connecticut with a license. However, no company is licensed to offer the games at this time.
Sports Betting Laws in Connecticut
Connecticut got in front of the sports betting expansion. It passed a law in 2017 to allow the activity but required a change in federal law for it to become enacted. This was a year before the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was struck down by the US Supreme Court. However, attempts to build framework to allow the state’s tribal casinos to offer betting on sports have failed. This leaves sports betting legal in Connecticut, but dormant, as there are no licensed providers of the product.
Poker in Connecticut
Both Connecticut casinos offer poker rooms. Foxwoods, with 114 tables, is one of the largest in the country. It spreads nearly any game you can imagine at all limits and hours. Cash games, sit and gos and multi-table tournaments are available.
The poker room at Mohegan Sun spreads 33 tables. While it is much smaller than Foxwoods, it still offers ample action with most games and limits.
Connecticut Poker Rooms
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Poker Laws in Connecticut
Live poker was legalized through the charitable casino night loophole. It did not require a change in law due to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The casinos do not pay taxes on poker revenue. Players must be at least 21 years of age.
Home Poker Games
Connecticut has an exemption from its gambling laws for social gaming, which includes home poker games and other forms of wagers made among friends. Code Chapter 946 Section 53-278a allows for form of gambling which are incidental to a bona fide social relationship. There are no limits on games or bet sizes under this exemption. The house may not take a rake. All games must be fair with participants having an equal chance of winning.
Fantasy Sports in Connecticut
Fantasy sports contests are legal in Connecticut. All large fantasy sports operators accept players from the state. This includes DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft and Yahoo. College and professional events are allowed. Contest entries may be made on mobile apps or websites. Fantasy prop bets are not permitted.
Fantasy Sports Laws in Connecticut
Fantasy sports contests are excluded from Connecticut’s gambling definition. It is considered a skill game. The policy was enacted through under PA 17-2 in 2017. Licensed operators must pay a $15,000 annual fee and 10.5 of gross gaming revenues to the state. Players must be at least 18 years of age.
The Connecticut Lottery operates several games of chance. These include instant games, lotto drawings and keno. Instant scratch-off tickets are sold in prices from $1 to $30. Keno tickets are sold in amounts from $1 to $20. The drawings are held every four minutes from 5am to 2am daily.
The Connecticut Lottery sells tickets to eight lotto drawings. Three are in interstate pools. The other five are operated by the Connecticut Lottery.
Interstate Connecticut Lotto Drawings
- Lucky for Life
- Mega Millions
Intrastate Connecticut Lotto Drawings
- Play 3
- Play 4
- Cash 5
- Lucky Links
Connecticut Lottery Laws
The Connecticut Lottery was created in June 1971 through Public Act 865. The first tickets were sold on February 15, 1972. It was the fourth state lottery in the country.
The Connecticut Lottery is permitted to sell tickets to games of chance. These include instant games, as well as lotto and keno drawings. Players must be at least 18 years of age.
Bets on horseraces are permitted in Connecticut. These may be made at live races, off-track betting parlors and on mobile apps. TVG, TwinsSpires and BetAmerica all accept players from Connecticut. While live racing is legal in the state, there are no active tracks. There has never been a live horse track in the state since racing betting was legalized in 1971. Jai alai operated from 1975 until 2005. Greyhound racing tracks ran from 1976 to 2005.
The off-track betting parlors are at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos, as well as 14 off-track betting parlors operated by Sportstech. These are in taverns throughout the state.
Connecticut Racing Laws
Pari-mutuel betting on jai alai, as well as horse and greyhound racing, was legalized in 1971. It is regulated by the Gaming Division under Chapter 226 of Connecticut code. Off-track betting, the only way to bet races these days in the state, was legalized in 1976. Mobile betting was approved through the Horseracing Act. Off-track bettors must be at least 18 years of age.
Connecticut Skill-based Gaming Laws
Gambling is defined in Connecticut as placing money on an outcome that is contingent on chance. This leaves the door open for many games where the game is contingent on skill. Examples include chess, checkers, duplicate card games and individual athletic skill performances.
Like most states, eSports are not addressed under the state’s gambling laws. Participants and friends making wagers on these events would fall under skill gaming and social gaming exclusions. A bookmaking service taking action on these events would be illegal under Connecticut law.
Traditional Games of Skill
Traditional skill gaming sites do not think the sweepstakes law in Connecticut allows its products. You will not be able to play for real money at these sites as none accept players from the state.
Skill-based Gaming Machines
Skill-based gaming machines may only be played for cash prizes at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. Arcades may offer the games for prizes.
Connecticut Charity Gambling Law
Registered Connecticut charities may offer bingo, raffle and ticket games to raise funds. Charities wishing to hold a gaming event must be licensed for it through the Charitable Games Section of the Gaming Division. This law was created in 1939 to include bingo. Raffles were added in 1955, with sealed envelop prize pools legalized n 1987.
Las Vegas-style casino nights were legalized in 1972. It was repealed in 2003 during a failed attempt to quash tribal gaming expansion. Casino nights were used as the existing gaming that allowed Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to offer live table games without paying any taxes.