(Population of 3,576,452 million as of 2016)
It’s no secret that the state’s two massive casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, have been hemorrhaging money due in no small part to competition in surrounding states. In an attempt to raise revenue, the Democrat-controlled legislature legalized keno last year, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has come out in support of iGaming.
What’s more, the two federally-recognized tribes that run the casino properties – the Mashantucket Peqout and Mohegan – have said that if and when state or federal legislation permits, they want in on the action.
"The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation believes that regulation of internet gaming, either at the state or Federal level, is inevitable," Cheryl Allen, public affairs coordinator for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, previously told The Courant.
"Regulation of Internet gaming will provide the much-needed player protections that are currently not available through unregulated offshore operators who are currently taking bets in the US and Connecticut. MPTN has been diligently studying the Internet gaming space and is preparing itself to be an active participant in the marketplace when regulations permit."
Obviously both properties would like to follow New Jersey’s lead and allow all forms of iGaming, not just iPoker. However, there is opposition among the state’s Republicans.
Gov. Malloy has been open to gaming issues in the past; the state’s deficits need to be reduced and social opposition could be lower in Connecticut than most places, according to Online Poker Report.
In March 2016, lawmakers voted against a motion to pursue a study in order to introduce a third casino in the state (alongside Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun).
But that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be a casino. The two tribes involved in the casino can now move forward with site proposals (bypassing the study), which were narrowed down in January 2017 to northern Connecticut’s East Windsor and Windsor Locks, according to the Associated Press.
In January 2017, a Coalition Against Casino Expansion in Connecticut formed to oppose the casino efforts. The location selection process slowed down the approval and earlier enthusiasm for expansion.
Early 2018, though, saw progress made. Foxwoods partnered with online gaming platform provider PariPlay, according to Online Poker Report. Mohegan Sun already has online gambling up and running in New Jersey. Legislators hinted at online gambling bills being on the docket, and online lottery bills were introduced.
With the tribes and Governor’s office pushing for iGaming, and the pressure of nearby states (Delaware, New Jersey and soon enough, Pennsylvania) reaping the rewards, it seems Connecticut stands a legitimate shot at legalization.