Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Connecticut?
Sports betting is not legal in Connecticut but the wheels are already in motion to make it happen very soon.
This year all across the US, states have been introducing bills to legalize sports betting and Connecticut has been more proactive than most. In fact, the state introduced a new sports betting bill in 2018.
All the activity is due to the pending removal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) by the US Supreme Court. More on that later in this guide.
Legal sports betting requires regulation and the state is currently awaiting laws that will clarify how it’s all going to work. It has been suggested that a special session of the Connecticut legislature may be called to speed up the process. All in all, the Nutmeg state is just waiting for the final piece of the jigsaw to fall into place for legalized sports betting to come into effect.
If you’re curious about whether sports gambling is legal in Connecticut, you’ve come to the right place. This page has everything you need to know about sports betting in Connecticut.
We will run through the history of gambling in the state, the recent legal changes this that have opened the door to the legalization of sports betting plus what we can expect in the future.
We’ll also explore the state of sports in Connecticut since it will help shape the legal sports betting landscape we expect to form soon.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Connecticut
Historically Connecticut has been governed by the same act, PASPA, that has prevented the vast majority of states in the US from offering legal sportsbetting.
PASPA, short for the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, was signed into existence in 1992, and has made it illegal to operate regulated sportsbooks in Connecticut and almost all other states.
Even though sports gambling has never been legal, the state does have two tribal casinos which offer different gaming options and there is a state lottery. Horse and dog racing also exist in Connecticut.
This means that while sports betting has not historically been legal in Connecticut, residents of the state are no strangers to recreational gambling. Casual bets among friends has probably been the height of sportsbetting in the state so far.
And it is clear there has been a growing appetite for sports betting in the state. As early as 2017, Connecticut introduced a law anticipating its possible legalization. The law, which required a change in federal law to come into effect, paved the way for the regulation of sports betting.
Finally, in May 2018 the Supreme Court made the decision to repeal PASPA which effectively lifted the ban on sports betting, and gave every state the opportunity to decide for themselves.
Keep reading to see how Connecticut lawmakers are reacting.
The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in Connecticut
Right now, Connecticut is right on the verge of legalized sports betting. If it was a football game, they’ve got the ball on the 5-yard line.
Connecticut introduced a bill to explore sports betting in 2017, before PASPA was even repealed, and since then the state has been engaged in a process of research and education about the sports betting industry. They’ve even sought input from the NBA and MLB.
The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) currently oversees all gambling in the Connecticut and the 2017 law confirms that it will be open to them to regulate sportsbetting when it is successfully introduced. The DCP is not yet ready to move forward, and are waiting for more legislative direction. This is the last step before legal sports betting will be introduced.
Sports betting legalization will also have to be done with the approval and collaboration of the Indian casinos already operating in the state. They have been positive about the project, and sportsbetting will likely be offered at their casinos as well once the process is complete.
Right now for Connecticut, it is simply a process of sorting out all the red tape and making sure everyone is on the same page. The exact details not yet clear, and neither is it clear whether online sports betting will be legalized at the same time. But things are clearing moving in the right direction.
Which Online Sports Betting Sites Are Legal in Connecticut?
At the moment, no sports betting sites are legal in Connecticut. Once the kinks are ironed out, sportsbetting will become legal and we’ll have a clearer picture of the betting options that will be available. At the moment, we don’t know whether this will include online sports betting, but things are moving in that direction.
In the meantime, it is possible to be on unregulated offshore betting sites while in Connecticut. There are not exactly legal though, and can be considered something of a risk. The smart play is to wait until all betting is legalized and regulated.
What Sports Can You Bet on Online in Connecticut?
Right now, you can not legally bet on any sports in Connecticut but that doesn’t mean there aren’t sports fans in the state.
In this section we’ll explore the sports landscape to see what kinds of sports people in Connecticut will be most excited to bet on when legalized sports gambling becomes available.
NFL Football in Connecticut
Although no NFL teams make their home in the Nutmeg state, college football is really popular. And no wonder. Connecticut is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the entire country.
The Connecticut Huskies represent the University of Connecticut in the NCAA Division 1, and they have plenty of conference titles to their name.
The Yale Bulldogs meanwhile represent the Ivy League school, and every two years New Haven hosts one of the most hotly contested college football rivalries anywhere, when the Bulldogs take on the Harvard Crimson.
At the moment it is unclear whether it will be possible to gamble on college sports once sportsbetting is finally legalized, but if it is it would certainly generate plenty of interest.
MLB Baseball in Connecticut
In Baseball, Connecticut does not currently boast a MLB franchise, but the Hartford Yard Goats and the Connecticut Tigers both have plenty of Minor League street cred. There are also the New Britain Bees who play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
Of course, once sportsbetting is legalized it will also be possible to bet on MLB teams from across the US, from individual games to World Series winners.
Basketball in Connecticut
Although Connecticut has no representative in the NBA, The Connecticut Sun women's basketball team represents the state in the WNBA and has a great record in the league. The Sun have made the playoffs in eight of their last fourteen seasons up to 2018.
Hockey in Connecticut
No NHL teams currently reside in Connecticut, but in the AHL the state is represented by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the Hartford Wolf Pack, both of who are affiliated with New York NHL Franchises. Once sports betting is legalized both AHL and NHL will be free to bet on.
Other Sports in Connecticut
In golf, the Travelers Championship is a PGA tour event held at the TPC River Highlands course just outside of Hartford.
The New England Black Wolves represent Connecticut in the National Lacrosse League. Lime Rock Park in Salisbury hosts a variety of NASCAR and other racing events throughout the year.
Overall, there are plenty of sports teams and devoted sports fans to be found in Connecticut, and very soon they are going to have the chance to bet on the sports they love.
Is Betting on Fantasy Sports Legal in Connecticut?
At the end of October 2018, after months of negotiation, the Connecticut General Assembly finally passed a bill designed to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports.
The bill mimics those that have been introduced in other states in the wake of PASPA:
- The minimum age for players will be 18.
- The DCP will have regulatory oversight.
- Operators will pay an annual fee of $15,000 or ten percent of revenue generated from Connecticut players.
- Revenue is taxed at 10.5%.
There is one final step to sort out before fantasy sports is completely legalized: a deal must be reached with the existing tribal casinos. Changes to the tribal pacts will be required before the bill can truly take effect, so a mutually beneficial agreement with the Indian casinos will have to be reached. We expect this to happen very soon.
Is There No Deposit Sports Betting in Connecticut?
At the moment, there is no legal online sports betting in Connecticut of any kind.
Offshore betting sites, which are accessible from Connecticut but unregulated and not legal, may offer no deposit betting. However, residents would be best advised to wait for the legal options that are on the horizon.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in Connecticut?
Sportsbetting was on the cusp of full legalization in Connecticut until talks between the tribal casinos currently operating in the state and the regulatory authorities of state ended without agreement at the end of summer in 2018.
Before things move forward, both parties will have to agree on the nature of sportsbetting available in the tribal casinos compared with new sportsbooks, and whether they will have the ability to offer the same bets.
Currently the authorities are awaiting some legislative guidance on the nature of the betting regulation, which has resulted in a series of studies with input from major league authorities.
What is clear is that legalization is something that all parties want, and it is in everyone’s interest to sort out this situation sooner rather than later. Governor Dannel Malloy has even suggested that a special legislative session may be called before the end of the year to speed up the program.
If that is the case, you can expected fully legal and regulated sports betting in Connecticut as early as 2019. If a special session is not called, you may have to wait a few months more. Either way, at this point it is a matter of when, not if, sports betting is legalized.
Will Online Sports Betting Ever Be Legal in Connecticut?
Yes. The vast majority of the work has already been done, and the legalization of sportsbetting is supported by all parties involved. Sports fans in Connecticut just need to hang on a little longer, but is it absolutely on the horizon.
A New Era of Sports Betting for Connecticut
The repeal of PASPA in 2018 opened up the door to a new world of sports betting for every state in the US. Out of the gate, Connecticut has already proved itself to be one of the more industrious states, in that it made steps towards legalization quickly.
Now, neighbours all around the Nutmeg State have overtaken them in the legalization process. Rhode Island, New York and Delaware have all successfully passed bills but Connecticut’s own bill is not quite there yet.
Once those the regulation issues are sorted out, pending additional guidance from legislators, sports betting in Connecticut will be fully legal and regulated. This is an exciting time for both sports fans and betting fans across the US and it looks like people in Connecticut have great reasons to believe they’ll soon be in on the action.
To stay up to date on everything that’s happening, browse our state by state guides to US sports betting laws.