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Connecticut Online Gambling Laws

The State of Connecticut currently has two Native American tribes who are operating land based casinos in the state, operating pursuant to Connecticut Gambling Laws. Each of these establishments offers poker, slots, table games, and bingo. These casinos are regulated by the State of Connecticut Division of Special Revenue and the Connecticut State Police, with 25% of slot machine revenue being paid to the State of Connecticut as part of the state compacts between the Tribes and the State of Connecticut.

Definition Of Gambling In Connecticut

The definition of gambling under Connecticut law includes casino games and poker, and does not specifically mention Connecticut online gambling. The law specifically mentions poker as a gambling game along with several other games. Gambling refers to the risking of money, deposit, credit or anything of value (in whole or part) on lot, chance or the operation of a gambling device including a casino gambling game. The following games are considered as casino gambling games:

Connecticut gambling law makes it a crime to engage in any behavior that amounts to gambling. Engaging in gambling, encouraging other to gamble or merely being present while others are engaging in gambling can result in a class B misdemeanor charge. Sending or receiving gambling information using telegraph, telephone, semaphore, radio or any other means is a class A misdemeanor.

While Connecticut gambling law does not specifically outlaw online gambling, a game of online poker or online casino games could be interpreted by law enforcement as running afoul of this particular provision of Connecticut gambling law. However, these laws were designed to prevent players from participating in illegal gambling operations. There are multiple Connecticut online gambling sites which legally operate within the industry, but that are licensed and regulated outside of the United States and are located within a licensing jurisdiction which has made online gambling legal. Hence, players from Connecticut which visit these legal offshore brands are not participating in an illegal gambling operation of any kind. In fact, legal online gambling sites accepting CT players include Connecticut online casinos, poker rooms, online bingo halls, and sports betting sites accepting CT players.

Connecticut Gambling Laws Concerning Professional Gamblers

The term professional gambling is generally associated with those who make a living by gambling as a player. However the term professional gambling under Connecticut gambling law refers to those who profit from a gambling business. Organizing, promoting or operating gambling as a business is a serious offense with additional penalties.

What Types Of Land Based Gambling Are Legal In Connecticut

Not all forms of gambling are illegal in Connecticut. There are legalized forms of gambling in the state. Connecticut has a long history of legalized gambling. In 1939 the state legalized bingo for charity - charities could use bingo to raise money. In 1955 raffles, bazaars and mock casino nights were included to the list of games charities could conduct to raise money. In 1972 when the state lottery was introduced, it was amongst the first few states to do so. It is a member of the multi state lottery association. In 1996 the state lottery became a quasi public agency in an attempt to reflect its business orientation. The state lottery is managed and run by the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.

Off-track betting, greyhound racing and jai alai were legalized in the 1970s. Online betting on horse racing debuted in June 2013. 1981 saw the first attempt to legalize casinos but the bill failed to get the required support. Subsequent years saw more legislative attempts to legalize casinos but even those failed to get the required support. In 1988 the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed and the Indian tribes in the state were soon allowed to operate casinos on Indian reservations. Taking advantage of the compact, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation converted the bingo hall that they started in 1986 into a full fledged casino - Foxwoods Resort Casino. This is the largest casino in the country and amongst the largest in the world.

Connecticut Poker Gambling Laws

It is possible to legally play real money poker in Connecticut. It is legal to play real money poker at casinos in the state that offer poker. Charitable gambling is legal in the state. However in the last decade, the law was changed to prevent charitable organization from holding casino nights. Home poker games are legal provided the participants are in a bona fide social relationship and no one receives any money from the game. Home poker games with real money can violate Connecticut gambling law. Home poker games are illegal if:

There are several legally licensed and regulated Connecticut online poker rooms which are located outside of the United States. These sites are legitimately certified and hold licenses from respected governing jurisdictions which have made online poker legal in their respective territories. These sites accept USA players, including those from the state of CT. There are no state or federal laws which expressly prohibit players in Connecticut from participating in this type of legally licensed online gambling operation.

Where Does The State Of Connecticut Stand Concerning Online Gambling

In 2011 after the Department of Justice stated that the Federal Wire Act did not apply to online gambling or poker, the state of Connecticut began to examine the issue of online gambling. Governor Dan Mallory openly acknowledged that once a state legalizes online gambling, all others would follow suit. In February 2012 the Public Safety and Security Committee held a hearing to examine the issue. At the hearing the two Indian tribes in the state supported the idea of online gambling. Presently the legislators and the Indian tribes are discussing the issue. The state has already legalized online betting on horse races. The Mohegan Sun casino offers a free play online poker site. Foxwoods is making plans to offer real money online poker once the necessary regulations are in place.

The Federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 does not make it illegal to play online poker or casino games. It is applicable to companies that process payments received from online gambling activities and not to individuals who indulge in online gambling as players. The law places strict regulatory oversight concerning how online gambling transactions can be processed in order to make the financial end of online gambling safer for both players and gambling site operators.

Connecticut Gambling Laws

Connecticut players who are interested in reviewing the actual laws and statutes governing gambling in the state can visit the official State of Connecticut Government Website for access to this information.

**This website is intended to serve as informational only, and not to substitute for or provide professional legal services. If you are seeking professional interpretation of any law or statute, or any type of professional legal advice, we recommend that you contact an attorney who is trained to provide such services. We are not lawyers and are not able to provide any type of legal services of any kind.