As a New England State and a member of the original thirteen colonies, Connecticut, like other New England states, can sometimes get a reputation for seeming staid and stuffy. For the most part, however, or at least with respect to gambling, it is anything but. The state offers a number of gambling opportunities for its residents and out of state visitors alike. For instance, dog racing and off track betting are permitted. Additionally, casinos are allowed to exist per the Tribal-State Compact, which specifically allows the Pequot and Mohegan tribes to operate casinos in the state. Bingo is allowed as well. An interesting point of fact regarding Connecticut gambling laws is that operators must provide information to gamblers pertaining to ways to prevent addiction. In this sense, the state uses its regulatory power to ensure that it addresses its prevailing interests to protect residents of the state. Residents are afforded the uninhibited opportunities to play games via social gambling and for charitable fundraising via activities such as raffles. The state’s legal gambling ages are 18 for most gambling (lottery) and 21 years old for casino gaming.
Gambling in Conneticut
Connecticut has recently become a go-to place for gamblers in surrounding states that do not have as many gambling liberties. The state’s lottery is perhaps one of the oldest mediums for gambling. The state has increased its gambling offerings over the course of the last century. Considering its most conservative, puritanical legal observances such as the Blue Laws, among which mandate that alcohol cannot be purchased or served until after noon on Sundays, the state has considerably liberal gambling laws. This is at least true when compared to more conservative states such as Alaska. The gambling boom likely erupted when the lottery made a come back in the early 1970s, engaging the entire state.
It should be noted that the state (as a state-run entity) lacks commercial casinos. However, coastal tribal casinos are frequented by many. As already mentioned, off track betting (OTB) is legal, which is convenient for residents since there are currently no “functioning race tracks” in the state. Online gambling is still very much considered a new frontier for the state. There is up and coming legislation to address online gambling, but nothing has passed so far. Consequently, there’s no state regulation of online gambling.
Recent Updates to Gaming Laws
This is something state senator Danté Bartolomeo indicates she would like to change. Pushing for more, definitive legislation, Bartolomeo wants to prohibit online casinos, mainly because she feels that they target infirm groups such as the elderly. Therefore, according to her, it is the government’s duty to regulate online gaming so as to protect the well-being of older residents – individuals who may be too mentally compromised to be informed gamblers. Other legislation and talk of legislation has been introduced in the past year, often in the context of trying to compete with regional states such as Rhode Island, which is increasing its gambling offerings, including those on the Internet.
Casinos in Conneticut
There are only 2 casinos in Connecticut, but they are absolutely top notch and they include the following:
- Foxwoods Resort Casino
- Mohegan Sun