- Bills were raised back in 2017. Once thought to the one of the first to legalize sports betting, it is lagging further and further behind other US States.
- Acrimony and litigation abounds in CT. Not a good sign!
Welcome to your CT Sports Betting Guide. Currently the sports betting laws (or lack of) is stuck in the doldrums. Back in 2017, there was great optimism that CT would be a leading state in sports betting legalization. But alas, here we are, with discussions throughout the most of 2019 left off the government’s agenda and placed in the too hard to do basket.
If you’re looking for Connecticut Sports Betting news, legislation or best places to put on a sports bet then please read on!
Summary of Sports Betting in Connecticut
- The two major native American tribal casinos are demanding exclusivity for sports betting.
- The state is arguing that the sports betting industry should be open to entrants outside of native American tribes.
- Embroiled in the sports betting legalization drama, is the broader change to gambling including casino games.
- Triggering further potential litigation is the States approval for a third casino in the State, which opponents say is unconstitutional.
The year 2019 was a quiet year in Connecticut for changes in sports betting. Quiet because resolving the impasse between the State and the two native American casino operators was parked in the too hard to do basket.
The native American casinos refused to budge on their demands to have sports betting exclusive for themselves, whilst the State is arguing that other entrants are permitted to enter the sports betting market.
Connecticut Current Gambling Environment
At the moment, there are two native American casinos – Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun – which have a duopoly in the casino market. A third native American casino – which is jointly owned by Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun – has been approved to be established but is facing litigation from opponents (MGM Resorts).
At the heart of the debate is the compact between native American tribes and the State. The compact, which is an agreement, outlines exclusivity in gambling for the native American casinos. In return for exclusivity, the native American casinos must pass on 25% of their slots revenue – approximately $270 million – to the State.
What is the issue?
The two native American tribes argue that their contribution of 25% to the State includes exclusivity for sports betting. They are adamant that all forms of gambling should remain between the two tribes and prevent any other entrant into the sports betting market.
The State is arguing that external entrants should be permitted to offer sports betting in Connecticut. The State maintains that the agreement of exclusivity does not include sports betting.
In addition the State is attempting to change casino gambling laws to also allow other entrants.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
In December 2019, Gov. Ned Lamont attempted to revive discussions with the two native American tribes. He advised that it was very positive with hope leading into the next decade that perhaps small changes to the State’s gambling laws might be easier to achieve rather than making broad sweeping changes.
It remains to be seen whether the two native American tribes will budge from their long held position of exclusivity.
Sports Gambling Laws and Legislation in Connecticut
Following the overturning of the PASPA act in May 2018, the gambling laws in Connecticut remain entrenched in the “as is” position. Though the Supreme Court paved the way for individual states to take ownership of gambling laws within their borders, Connecticut has yet to come to an agreement internally to proceed with any changes.
Thus, gambling laws continue with only Foxwoods and Mohegan Suns operating casinos. It also continues to not address offshore online sports betting and online casinos, which remains in a gray area of the law.
Colorado Online Sports Betting
Not many sports bettors are aware, however, offshore sports books accept US sports bettors online. In the year 2019 approximately $13 million was wagered on sports bets via offshore sports books. To place this in context, the Mohegan Suns and Foxwoods had a turnover of $7 billion and $5.5 billion!
A drop in the ocean, once you realize how much these two casinos are earning.
Is it illegal to bet at online sportsbooks?
It is a gray area. The current state laws do not clearly articulate whether gambling offshore online is illegal or not. Therefore, you will find many online sports books (and online casinos) accepting US players from states that have ambiguous gambling laws – Connecticut is one of those states.
Is it dangerous?
There are several aspects to this question.
Firstly, will you get caught or fined?
I highly doubt it. Till this day, there has been no precedence of anyone being charged with breaking the law for playing at offshore online sports betting books or offshore online casinos.
Secondly, are offshore sports betting books trustworthy and reliable?
Very much so. They have been operating in the market for many years and sports betting is a clear cut outcome (when compared to online casino games). It’s therefore extremely difficult to challenge an outcome of a sports bet.
Thus you can bet safely at offshore online sportsbooks.
The alternative to online sports betting is to head out to your neighboring states of New York and Rhode Island. You will find that both these states offer legal sports betting.
Popular Sport Bets in Connecticut
Unfortunately there are no local teams to support in Connecticut. In each of the major leagues none have a Connecticut sports team.
- NFL – Connecticut has no NFL football teams.
- NBA – Connecticut has no NBA basketball teams.
- MLB – Connecticut has no Major League baseball teams.
- NHL – Connecticut has no NHL ice hockey teams.