Connecticut is home to a pair of Indian tribes that operate all domestic gambling in the state (aside from the CT Lottery). These are the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and they run the Mohegan Sun and the Foxwoods Resort casinos, respectively.
These two casino venues are among the largest in the world, and they offer slot machines, live casino table games, electronic casino table games, poker, sports betting, bingo, and more. And, as of May 2021, they also offer all these pastimes in an online capacity.
However, due to tribal gambling exclusivity, Connecticut online gambling laws are necessarily beholden to the new CT tribal compacts and can be a bit convoluted – but they don’t have to be! For a brief yet comprehensive overview of all your options for Connecticut gambling online and off, our guide to CT betting laws cuts through the legalese with legal ease!
Other Connecticut Gambling Pages
What Types Of Gambling Are Legal In Connecticut?
As of the May 2021, the following types of gambling are legal in CT, and the minimum age for participation is also included. Domestic Connecticut gambling markets vary in their minimum ages, with some types of gambling requiring players to be 21 or older and others requiring players to be just 18 and up. All offshore gambling at the US-friendly casino sites we recommend is typically available at just 18-plus.
- In-person Class III Casino Gambling – 21+
- Online Class III Casino Gambling – 21+
- Offshore Casino Gambling – 18+
- In-Person Sports Betting (NCAA Restrictions) – 21+
- Online Sports Betting (NCAA Restrictions) – 21+
- Offshore Sports Betting (No Restrictions) – 18+
- In-Person Poker Gambling – 21+
- Online Poker Gambling – 21+
- Offshore Poker Gambling – 18+
- In-Person Bingo – 18+
- Online Bingo – 18+
- Offshore Bingo – 18+
- OTB Horse Racing Betting – 18+
- Online Horse Racing Betting – 18+
- Offshore Horse Racing Betting – 18+
- Connecticut Lottery – 18+
- Online Connecticut Lottery – 18+
- Offshore Lottery Games – 18+
- In-Person Keno – 21+
- Online Keno – 18+
- Offshore Keno – 18+
- In-Person Charitable Gambling Games – 18+
General Gambling Laws In Connecticut
Gambling in CT underwent a major expansion on May 27, 2021, when Gov. Ned Lamont signed HB 6451 into law. Formally dubbed “Public Act No. 21-23,” the new Connecticut gambling law expanded the scope of gaming in the state considerably.
The biggest change, of course, was that the new CT betting law officially legalized online casino gambling, online sports betting, online poker, online keno, online daily fantasy sports (DFS), and online lottery ticket sales.
While residents have long been able to use offshore Connecticut gambling sites for all of the above, the new legislation has allowed for domestic tribal venues to host these real-money gambling amusements, too.
That said, the law does not criminalize offshore gambling in any way, so if you’re already used to betting real money online at CT online casinos, CT online sportsbooks, CT online poker rooms, CT online bingo halls, etc., you can continue to participate as normal.
And while we recommend checking out the new local betting options, we still think the offshore sites give you far more bang for your buck.
Connecticut Gambling Laws And Statutes
Connecticut players who are interested in reviewing the actual laws and statutes governing gambling in the state can visit the General Statutes Of Connecticut (Title 53-278a) for access to this information.
Please note that the above online transcription of the CT statutes is out of date and reflects the law as of January 1, 2021. For gambling-related amendments to the CT law, you can check May 2021’s Public Act No. 21-23 here.
The US Department of the Interior approved the revised Connecticut tribal compacts in September 2021, and you can see these by clicking or tapping the following links:
**This website is intended for informational purposes only. We are not lawyers, and this page does not constitute legal advice. If you are seeking a professional interpretation of any CT law or statute discussed here, you must contact an attorney specializing in such services.
History Of Connecticut Gambling Legalization
Connecticut has a long history of legalized gambling, and it’s always been one of the most gambling-friendly states in the union.
In 1939, CT legalized bingo for charity, allowing non-profit charitable organization to host bingo games as fundraisers. In 1955, raffles, bazaars and mock “casino nights” were added to the list of games charities could conduct to raise money.
In 1972, the CT state lottery was introduced. At the time, the Connecticut Lottery was amongst the first such markets in the USA, as CT was one of the first states to introduce legal lottery games. Connecticut also quickly became a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), allowing CT lotto vendors to sell Mega Millions and Powerball tickets.
In 1996, the Connecticut state lottery became a quasi public agency in an attempt to realign its business orientation. As a result, the CT Lotto is now maintained and overseen by the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.
Other forms of gambling, such as off-track horse betting, greyhound racing, and jai alai were legalized in the 1970s. However, there are no longer any active horse tracks, greyhound tracks, or jai alai frontons in the state.
Domestic online horse racing betting debuted in CT in June 2013, and this simulcast market remains available over the Internet and at OTBs. Meanwhile, dog racing – though technically still legal – is completely inactive and unsupported by domestic betting operators/OTB venues. Remote jai alai betting is available in an OTB format at domestic CT casino venues.
Understanding Connecticut Tribal Casino Compacts
As far as Connecticut casinos, 1981 saw the first attempt to legalize casinos in the state. However, the bill failed to get the required support. Subsequent years saw more legislative attempts to legalize casinos, but even those ultimately came up empty.
Then, everything changed overnight in 1988. That year, the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) was passed, allowing federally recognized Indian tribes in the state to operate real gambling houses on Indian reservations.
In 1992, taking advantage of the IGRA, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation converted a bingo hall that they’d opened in 1986 into a fully fledged casino. This became known as the Foxwoods Resort. Not to be outdone, the Mohegan Tribe shortly followed suit with their October 1996 opening of the Mohegan Sun casino.
Over the years, both venues have undergone renovations in efforts to overtake one another in size and gambling capacity, and the result is that these two destinations continue to feature prominently on the list of the top 10 biggest casinos in the world.
For years, nothing much changed. Then, on May 14, 2018, the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), allowing every US state to craft its own sports betting legislation.
On May 27, 2021, CT Gov. Ned Lamont signed HB 6451 into law, formally legalizing domestic and online sports betting, online casino gambling (aka Connecticut iGaming), online poker, online keno, DFS, and more. The state also revised its existing gambling compacts with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Indians, giving them exclusivity to offer most of these amusements.
Only DFS – operated by DraftKings and FanDuel – operate outside of tribal exclusivity, and the Connecticut Lottery operates an online sportsbook and online keno product in a partnership/revenue agreement with the tribes.
Connecticut Gambling Laws FAQs
What are the consequences of unregulated gambling in Connecticut?
If you participate in any unregulated behavior that the state has defined as “gambling,” you could receive a class B misdemeanor charge. To the state of Connecticut, gambling means “any game where a person risks money or anything of value on a game of chance.”
Class B misdemeanors in Connecticut fines of up to $1000 and jail terms of up to six months. However, there is no CT gambling law against betting with regulated in-state operators or offshore vendors such as those recommended here.
As long as you’re not participating in underground gambling inside the state, you’re safe.
Why does a gambling site need to be located outside US borders to be legal?
This is only the case for online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms that aren’t legally authorized to operate domestically. In other words, unless a CT gambling product is offered by the Mohegan Sun, the Foxwoods Resort, or the Connecticut Lottery, it can’t legally be sold inside state borders.
However, if a gambling vendor is located outside both CT and US borders, state residents are free to gamble with such services. This is because Connecticut and United States gaming laws target operators, not players.
Thus, if an operator is outside of the US, that operator is not bound by US laws. And since players are also not restricted from participating with these sites, the entire offshore online gambling process constitutes a lawful transaction.
That said, it’s still crucially important that you choose a legitimate, established offshore casino operator if you want to ensure that your experience is not just legal but also 100% safe and secure.
Does Connecticut have tribal casinos?
Yes! Connecticut has two tribal casinos: The Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard and the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville. These are not only two of the biggest casinos in America, they’re also two of the biggest casinos in the world.
Commercial casinos are not permitted to operate in CT, and there is no momentum to change the state laws to remove tribal exclusivity from the market.
In 2021, the state of Connecticut signed renewed and expanded gaming compacts with both tribes.
Does Connecticut allow for social gambling?
Yes. Like most states, social gambling – or private gambling – is legal. As long as the games are purely social and no “house” entity makes any profit off of hosting the games, you are free to participate in these events.
Just to be clear, in order to remain lawful, these private CT gambling events cannot charge entry fees of any kind, no extra costs can be added to any games in any form, and pot raking is not allowed.
Is there charitable gambling in Connecticut?
Yes. CT gambling laws allow for charitable non-profit organizations to hold fundraisers using bingo and raffles to raise money for social programs and aid.
That said, there are many compliance rules that go along with hosting charitable gambling games in Connecticut, so please be sure to read and understand these if you’re going to be a host.