Connecticut could be on the brink of joining NJ, PA, MI, DW, and WV as a US state with legal online casinos. But what are the chances of the Nutmeg State joining this exclusive club in October 2021?
The state of Connecticut took its first step towards in legalizing online gambling in May 2021, when Governor signed a compact with the two Native Indian tribes which run CT’s land-based casinos. This compact covered poker, and sports betting as well as the real money casino vertical.)
Confirmation by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior took place on 9th September.
The only missing hurdle had been a stamp of approval from the state regulator (Connecticut Lottery Corporation, or CLC) – and they finally gave the required permission on Tuesday 28th September.
With online casinos in Connecticut now legal, we are seeing licensed operators rush to bring the first product to market, and it could happen in a matter of days.
What does the Connecticut gambling compact allow for?
The deal allows the two Native Indian tribes (the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation) to operate one joint online casino/sportsbook each.
The tribes have nominated DraftKings and FanDuel as backend partners respectively - although it is not yet known how the actual websites will be branded.
The deal also sees the CLC running their own joint sportsbook (although not a casino) – and it appears that they have plumped for a partnership with Rush Street Interactive, who operate the BetRivers site in several states, including Pennsylvania.
Right now, it looks like Connecticut will kick things off with 3 online gambling operators – and these will most likely be BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel.
Will sports betting open before the online casino vertical?
Yes, sports betting will open on Friday 1st October, in time for that weekend’s round of NFL games. This pattern of sportsbooks opening before casinos has been a typical one in the US over the past year. But unlike the situation in Colorado, Illinois, and several other states, Connecticut does not require specific new legislation for online casinos.
The challenge to CT online casinos is now a logistical one; and no longer a legal one.
When will Connecticuters be able to play casino games online for real money?
October 7th seems to be the date that the two tribes are aiming for. However, since we are not sure how the sites will even be branded, that may prove to be over-ambitious.
On the other hand, both FanDuel and DraftKings have existing online casino products ready in 4 other states, so if the tribes do hand over branding responsibility to these two gambling giants, then the early October timeline should be possible.
What kinds of games could we see at a Connecticut online casino?
The compact encompasses all kinds of casino products – including slots, live dealer, table games, and poke, with DraftKings and FanDuel having plenty of experience with all these product lines.
There’s no reason why CT online casinos won’t launch with all these games in the lobby.
What kinds of CT casino bonuses are we likely to see?
DraftKings operates an online casino in 4 states already – and the welcome bonus is the same in each – a generous $500 matched deposit with the first 24 hours allowing for $200 risk free gambling. The most likely scenario is that we will also see this offer available to Connecticut players.
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