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Connecticut Poker & Gambling Laws

ConnecticutConnecticut is one of the few states that have actually deemed poker a form of gambling. The legal codes in most states leave many questions when it comes to the age old question Is poker a game of skill or a game of chance? Connecticut does not dabble with this issue and just groups poker with all other casino games.

Connecticut has many laws pertaining to poker in their state. With that being said, there are many legal avenues to play poker in Connecticut. Connecticut is the home to the famous Foxwoods Casino that is one of the largest casinos in the United States. Players will find plenty of legal poker action here.

Home poker games are legal in Connecticut as long as no one is taking a rake from the game. So, you can have a friendly home poker game without the fear of being prosecuted.

Up until recently charity casino nights were legal in Connecticut, but that was recently made illegal. Persons in Connecticut are allowed to apply for permits to have charitable bingo games, raffles, bazaars, and sealed ticket events. [1]

Can Players From Connecticut Play Poker Online?

Yes! Poker players from Connecticut are welcome to play at the top poker sites that we have listed on our homepage. Connecticut has been in discussions about legalizing online poker in their state, and we think that this may happen in 2014. We will have to wait and see. As for now, players from Connecticut can play online poker at the sites that are still accepting players from the United States.

Is it Legal to Play Online Poker in Connecticut?

Connecticut has not taken a stand on the issue of the legality of online poker as of yet. Some of the laws in the penal code can be interpreted to make playing poker online illegal, but they do not specifically address playing poker online.

We do know that no individual has ever been charged or prosecuted for playing poker online in Connecticut. We also know that it is likely that Connecticut will follow other states in legalizing online poker in the near future. The tribal casinos want to legalize online poker so that they can compete in the market.

Below you can see some quick facts about the gambling laws and impacts of gambling in Connecticut:

  • By law, it is illegal to gamble in Connecticut unless the gambling (1) is specifically authorized by state law or other legally binding state agreements (charitable gaming and Indian casino gaming) or (2) fits an exemption in the criminal laws. It is also illegal to solicit or induce others to gamble, or be present when others are gambling. A violation of the gambling laws is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both (CGS 53-278b [2]).
  • The law exempts people from prosecution and punishment for gambling (including poker), when such gambling is incidental to a bona fide social relationship, is participated in by natural persons only and… no person is participating, directly or indirectly, in professional gambling (CGS § 53-278b).
  • Connecticut has never charged any person to date for gambling online.
  • Social poker games are permitted as long as no person takes a rake from the game.
  • Casino nights are not permitted in Connecticut for fund raisers or any other purposes.

It will mean a lot of money for Connecticut if they legalize online poker. The casinos in Connecticut pay the state 25% of their revenue; which ends up being hundreds of millions of dollars each year being pumped into the state of Connecticut. The casinos also bring in extra money for the state through tourism income. All in all casinos in Connecticut have been a positive impact on the economy. [3]

Please be advised that we are not the authority on gambling laws in Connecticut. If you have questions pertaining to the legality of playing poker online in Connecticut then you should contact the local authorities for clarification of the laws.

Connecticut Gambling History

Legal gambling started in Connecticut in 1939 when Connecticut legalized charitable bingo organizations. This was a big draw for Connecticut. Many people enjoyed the game of bingo, but as with most gamblers they wanted more offerings than just bingo.

Connecticut continued to add more legal charitable gaming options over the years such as bazaars and casino nights. Through the years they even added horse races and dog races to the legal gambling ventures. The Tribes wanted to open full blown casinos, but Connecticut was not interested in that.

That all changed in after the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed Congress in 1988. The Tribes in Connecticut petitioned the court to allow casinos on their lands. It was a battle, but finally in 1992 the Tribes had won. This is when Foxwoods was turned into a full blown casino.

Foxwoods was opened on the Native Indian Reservation owned by Mashantucket Pequot. Pequots traveled from as far away as California and Hawaii to their native lands in southeastern Connecticut to help run the casino. A steady job was something that the Pequots looked forward to, and it did yield a steady job for many. In fact, a lot of the people became very wealthy from the Foxwoods Casino.

Legalized Gambling Options in Connecticut

Connecticut boasts a variety of legal options when it comes to gambling. In Connecticut people can legally play at the casinos, bet at the horse races, bet at the dog tracks, play charitable bingo, and have social poker games.

Connecticut has three Tribal Casinos in their state. Foxwoods Casino, Mohegan Sun Casino, and MGM Grand Casino all offer players the opportunity to legally gamble. Foxwoods Casino is one of the largest gambling halls in the United States and includes bingo as well as casino games.

Will Connecticut Legalize Online Poker in the Future?

It is likely that Connecticut will legalize online gambling in the future. The law makers and the Tribes have already been in discussions about legalizing online poker. The Mohegan Sun has expressed their strong support for legalizing online poker. In fact, Tribal Council Chairman Bruce Bozsum has been to Congress to testify on this matter twice.

Chuck Bunnell, chief of staff for the tribe, said that he believes any online gambling regulation should be for online poker only. He says:
We believe in poker only, and having people play slot machines online at home is not the business that we’re in, Bunnell explained. We’re in the business of creating a resort entertainment experience, not that in-home full gaming experience that we think would be detrimental to the men and women that count on the tribe for their employment and certainly for the tribe and providing services to its membership. [4]

The Tribes would like to move forward, and it looks like this may become a reality in 2014.

References:

  1. Jump up ^ Connecticut Charitable Gaming
  2. Jump up ^ CGS § 53-278b
  3. Jump up ^ Legality of Poker in Connecticut
  4. Jump up ^ Mohegan Sun Would Like Online Poker Legalized
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