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Where You Can Play Online Poker In Connecticut


Can You Play Online Poker in Connecticut?

Connecticut seemed like a logical next step for online poker in the US. After all, the Constitution State has a very prolific gambling and poker market. CT has two big tribal casinos in Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. The two combine for a respectable total of 200-plus poker tables available for players in the state. The poker room at Foxwoods Casino is, in fact, the largest poker room in the East Coast with over 150 tables. With such a favorable landscape, it’s fair to think that it would only be a matter of time before CT moved to legalize online poker.

Yet, this couldn’t be further away from reality. In fact, Connecticut online gambling legislation is among the strictest in the US. No form of online gambling is allowed in CT, and that applies even to raffling. And with poker also being considered gambling, it obviously means that online poker is illegal in Connecticut.

For now, all attempts to legalize internet gaming in the state have failed. Progress on that front has pretty much come to a halt. Despite having a very good market for live poker, CT remains a long way from offering legal online poker in the state. Here is our guide to online poker in Connecticut with everything you need to know about it.

History of Poker and Online Poker in Connecticut

Gambling in Connecticut dates back to the 1970s. While charitable gambling had been around since 1939, it did not allow any kind of Vegas-style gambling. The Connecticut Lottery was created in 1971, selling its first ticket a year later. Around that same time, the state also legalized horse racing, jai alai and dog racing betting. Poker in Connecticut, however, was only legalized in the 1990s. Foxwoods Casino was founded in 1986 as the Mashantucket Pequot Bingo Hall. In 1992, it was rebranded into Foxwoods and added its first table games. That’s when live poker in CT finally became available for residents in the Constitution State.

Connecticut then added another poker room when Mohegan Sun Casino opened to business in 1996. Currently, Foxwoods Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino offer the only live poker rooms in Connecticut. The two tribal-owned businesses have also partnered to build a third casino in CT, although the plans are currently halted. Connecticut has a combined total of over 200 poker tables. With over 150 tables, Foxwoods Casino has the largest poker room in the East Coast.

While Connecticut has seen plenty of success with live poker, that hasn’t necessarily been the case with online gambling. CT is very strict when it comes to internet gambling. All forms of online gambling are illegal in the state under the General Statutes of Connecticut Section 53-278a(2). And, of course, that also applies to online poker. For now, online poker in Connecticut remains in the legislative limbo, with little prospect of becoming reality in the near future.

The Foxwoods Poker Room
The Foxwoods Poker Room

Summary of Connecticut Gambling & Poker Laws

  • Online Poker/Gambling - Online poker and all forms of online gambling are illegal in Connecticut under the General Statutes of Connecticut Section 53-278a(2)
  • Live Poker - Live poker is legal to play at the state’s two Indian casinos
  • Casinos - Connecticut currently has two Indian casinos
  • Sports Betting - Sports betting hasn’t been legalized yet in Connecticut
  • Fantasy Sports - Daily fantasy sports is legal in Connecticut under the Public Act No. 17-2, Paragraphs 649-652
  • Esports - Esports betting isn’t available in Connecticut
  • Other Gambling Options - State lottery, charitable gambling, pari mutuel wagering.

Online Poker in Connecticut

Just like most states, Connecticut does not offer legal real money online poker. Poker is defined as gambling under the General Statutes of Connecticut Section 53-278a(2). State legislation determines that all gambling activities are illegal unless specifically authorized. Therefore, online poker is considered illegal under CT legislation.

The Constitution State has yet to approve internet gambling. It also excludes offshore sites. Connecticut legislation does not allow its residents to play online poker for real money inside the state territory. If you want to play online poker in Connecticut, the only options available are social gambling apps. However, live poker rooms remain as the only way to play poker for real money in CT.

Is Online Poker Legal in Connecticut?

The short answer to this question is no, online poker isn’t legal in Connecticut. Section 53-278a of the General Statutes of Connecticut defines poker as gambling rather than a game of skill. This means that all gambling restrictions in the state also apply to poker. Connecticut legislation is among the strictest in the U.S. when it comes to online gambling. All forms of internet gambling are currently considered illegal in the state. That includes sites considered legal in other jurisdictions.

A recent push to allow online gambling in CT on a temporary basis during the COVID-19 pandemic was unsuccessful. In a sense, it also created another roadblock for an eventual internet gambling legislation. Governor Ned Lamont argued that legalizing online gambling in Connecticut wouldn’t be a small decision.

For now, real money online poker is still illegal in Connecticut. Social gaming apps remain the only alternative to play legal online poker in CT. If Connecticut residents want to play for real money, however, there is no viable option. Offshore sites are also considered illegal, and it’s highly advisable that you avoid them either way. These sites have very lax regulations and offer no guarantees to the players.

Where Can I Play Online Poker In Connecticut?

There is no way to play online poker in Connecticut for real money. The state does not allow any form of online gambling, and it will be a while before that changes. For now, social gaming apps are the only way to play legal online poker in CT. Other than that, it simply isn’t possible.

On the other hand, Connecticut offers some of the best live poker rooms in the East Coast. Foxwoods Casino offers the biggest poker room in the East Coast, with over 150 tables. Mohegan Sun Casino also has over 50 poker tables. The two tribal-owned casinos remain the only legal alternative to play legal real money poker in CT.

Considering that the most recent attempts to pass online gambling legislation have failed, it doesn’t look like online poker will become available in CT any time soon. The only option is to wait patiently. Avoid playing at offshore sites as well. These sites are considered illegal under CT legislation and aren’t particularly trustworthy either.

Where Does Connecticut Offer Legal Online Gambling?

Connecticut does not offer any forms of online gambling. The state has an extremely strict legislation regarding all forms of gambling. That, of course, also applies to internet gaming. All forms of online gambling are considered illegal in Connecticut. Gambling is also considered illegal unless specifically authorized. Connecticut has two tribal-owned casinos, Foxwoods Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino. Other than that, the only forms of gambling available in CT are charitable gambling, horse racing, dog racing, and jai alai betting.

The two casinos made a recent push for a temporary internet gaming license. Since both establishments had to halt their land-based operations during the pandemic-enforced lockdown, temporary online gambling looked like a viable alternative. That request, however, was denied by Governor Ned Lamont.

Online gambling in Connecticut remains a very distant possibility at best. CT residents will need to wait until any significant progress is made on that front. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun will definitely continue leading the efforts to have it legalized. PokerNews will definitely keep you up to date with the latest updates about any potential developments regarding online gambling in Connecticut.

Will Connecticut Regulate Legal Online Poker?

Legal real money online poker in Connecticut is a murky prospect at best. There hasn’t been any significant progress on internet gaming in the state. CT also remains among the states that have yet to legalize sports betting, which doesn’t improve the prospects for online poker either. And since poker is considered gambling under the state legislation, it means that there aren’t many options available. Connecticut residents aren’t allowed to play at websites considered legal under other legislation.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced both Foxwoods Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino to temporarily close their doors. An attempt to allow online gambling during that time also failed. In fact, it also represented a significant step back for internet gaming in CT. With the ongoing pandemic, legislative activity has significantly slowed down. Additionally, online gambling is naturally further down in the list of priorities. Considering that things were already quite slow on that front, it’s safe to say that the situation won’t improve in the next months.

That being said, it’s not all doom-and-gloom for online poker in Connecticut. New Jersey and Pennsylvania both offer legal online poker in their territories, joining Nevada and Delaware. Michigan and West Virginia are both set to join this list sooner rather than later. Online gambling has made some significant inroads around the U.S. in recent years. And while CT is lagging behind, it could eventually follow the example from other states and pass its own online gambling legislation. While things do not necessarily look great for the immediate future, this doesn’t mean the situation won’t change somewhere further down the line.

US Poker Laws 2020 – Connecticut FAQ

  • Is online poker legal in Connecticut?

    No, online poker isn’t legal in Connecticut. The General Statutes of Connecticut Section 53-278a defines poker as gambling. CT does not allow any forms of online gambling in its territory. Therefore, real money online poker is also considered illegal under CT legislation. This also applies to sites that are considered legal under other legislations, such as offshore sites or poker sites from other states. It’s also advisable that you avoid playing poker at offshore sites due to the lack of player protection. For now, social gaming apps are the only way to play online poker in Connecticut. CT does have two tribal casinos, Foxwood and Mohegan Sun, both of which offer legal real money live poker.

  • Can you play online poker for real money in the US?

    Yes, you can play online poker for real money in the US if you are physically located in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware or Pennsylvania. However, legal real money online poker isn’t available outside these four states. West Virginia and Michigan are set to join this list. While you most likely won’t get in trouble for playing at offshore poker sites, we still advise against it. Offshore sites have lax regulations and offer little to no player protection. Therefore, you are better off avoiding them and sticking to legal sites in your state.

  • Is it legal to play poker with friends?

    Yes, you can play poker with friends. Section 53-278b of the General Statutes of Connecticut exempts you from prosecution in this case. The state allows gambling “incidental to a bona fide social relationship”, which means that playing poker with friends is absolutely fine. That also applies to actually wagering real money, as long as the participants are the only ones profiting from the game.

  • Can I get in trouble for playing online poker?

    It is illegal to play online poker for real money in Connecticut. That also applies to sites that are legal under other legislation. However, it’s highly unlikely that you will get into legal trouble for it, as there is no known precedent. That being said, we still advise you against playing online poker at offshore sites. Regulations for offshore sites aren’t particularly strict, which opens the door for potential scammers.

  • Does Mohegan Sun have a poker room?

    Yes, Mohegan Sun Casino has one of the two legal poker rooms in Connecticut. The other legal poker room in Connecticut is located at Foxwood Casino. Both tribal casinos in CT combine for over 200 poker tables. Foxwood has the largest poker room in the East Coast, with over 150 tables. Mohegan Sun Casino has a poker room with over 50 tables available for its players.

US Poker Legislation: Where Can You Play Online Poker?

Choose a state to find out more about state legislation:

  • Regulation is currently under discussion
  • Regulation has been discussed but no recent movement
  • No legislation