(Population of 3.597 million as of 2014)
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 Governor 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. Dan Malloy has been open to gaming issues in the past; the state’s deficits need to be reduced and social opposition could be lower than typical amounts in Connecticut, 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.
With the tribes and Governor’s office pushing for iGaming, and the pressure of nearby states (Delaware and New Jersey) reaping the rewards, it seems Connecticut stands a legitimate shot at legalization, though it’ll certainly take time (don’t expect much movement this year) and for legislators to get on the same page.