Is iGaming coming to Connecticut? 

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has thrown his support behind legalizing sports betting and online gambling for 2021.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has thrown his support behind legalizing sports betting and online gambling for 2021.

Last week the governor gave his “State of the State” address and noted the hardships the state of Connecticut has faced and will continue to face due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Connecticut has seen over 220,000 cases of COVID-19 so far, and even with the roll out of the new vaccines, the number of cases are expected to continue to go up. 

Due to the pandemic, many states have seen huge losses in tax revenues that they ordinarily depend on to fund their annual budgets. This has meant a lot of states are now looking to slash funding for essential services like education and transportation. 

However, Gov. Lamont is taking a different approach for his state. Instead of immediately turning to slashing funding for programs, he is seeking out new means of revenues; specifically by tossing his weight behind legalizing online gambling for his state. 

This is not a surprise seeing how not too far away in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania states have done the same and seen record-breaking revenues in the past year. 

Why is Connecticut changing course on online gambling?

Gov. Lamont said in his speech, “Sports betting, internet gaming, and legalized marijuana are happening all around us. Let’s not surrender these opportunities to out-of-state markets or even worse, underground markets.”

Offshore casinos continue to be popular with players in states that have not legalized online casinos. These sites are not regulated by any government agency, and as such players cannot be guaranteed that their games are fair nor that their personal and financial information is safe and secure. Additionally, each time players play at an offshore casino the state is losing out on much needed potential revenue. 

Gambling in Connecticut is currently controlled by two native tribes in the state: the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation-owned Foxwoods and Mohegan Tribe’s Mohegan Sun. This means that any legalization for online casinos will have to have the full support of both tribes. 

Previous attempts to legalize online gambling in recent years were met with defeat. However, with the closures of the land-based tribal casinos, both the legislature and the tribes have started to reconsider their positions. 

In fact, both tribes have already partnered with operators for online casinos once the legislation is passed and signed into law. Foxwoods has partnered with DraftKings to launch both online and mobile casinos, and Mohegan Sun is already partnered with Unibet operator Kindred Group in both PA and NJ. 

Who’s next?

This is exciting news coming for players in The Constitution State. Once online casinos are live in Connecticut that will have both major neighbors of New York with legalized online gambling. While Gov. Cuomo of NY is pressing to allow online sports wagering in the state, there has been no mention of online casinos as of yet. But with all neighboring states now having legalized or moving forward with doing so, we can be rest assured that it will only be a matter of time before The Empire State does the same. 


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