Legal Connecticut Online Poker Sites
Unlike some US states that are entirely anti-gambling oriented, Connecticut favors poker players and offers numerous gambling opportunities. The Constitution State has legalized different types of gambling over the years. Thus, its residents can now legally play poker at tribal land-based casinos and online. Connecticut is one of the few states that regulated online casinos and poker in 2021.
This article will discuss the state’s current stance on gambling and land-based and online poker in Connecticut.
Is Online Poker Legal in Connecticut?
The first form of gambling in Connecticut was harness racing, dating back to the 19th century. It appeared in 1876 and remained unregulated for the next 100 years. Once the 20th century began, the state decided to legalize a few forms of gambling. Thus, bingo was approved in 1939, but only for charitable purposes. In 1955, the state expanded the scope of charitable gambling and added bazaars and ruffles to the mix.
The year 1971 saw the legalization of the Connecticut lottery and pari-mutuel wagering on sports that featured this betting system. However, in 1976, this pari-mutuel law was extended to include off-track wagering, and horse and greyhound racing and jai alai were legalized.
One of the two federally-recognized Native American tribes in the state, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, opened a bingo parlor in 1986. The court ruled that the parlor could operate on sovereign Native American land as a for-profit enterprise, which was different from charitable bingo.
Thanks to the Indian Gambling Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988, the parlor became a casino and started offering table games, including poker. Finally, the first land-based gambling venue, Foxwoods Casino, opened its doors in 1993, and another, Mohegan Sun, followed suit in 1996.
Connecticut decided to legalize online casinos, poker rooms, and sports betting in May 2021. Although this showed the state’s pro-gambling stance, things have been going slowly poker-wise. This is why many poker players visit sweepstakes sites or play at offshore casinos.
Like anywhere in the world, laws are a highly sensitive matter in Connecticut, too, and we cannot interpret them as we see fit. Thus, it is advisable to read them carefully. To get familiar will all the CT gambling-related legislation, check out the following:
Best Legal Poker Rooms in Connecticut
After learning about CT gambling laws, let’s check where you can play online and land-based poker. In the following sections, we will examine both topics in more detail.
Legal Online Poker in Connecticut
After flirting with online gambling legislation for some time, Governor Ned Lamont decided to sign House Bill 6451 in May 2021, making Connecticut the seventh state to legalize online casinos. The ruling also pertains to sports wagering and poker rooms.
But before this law became a reality, the state had to reach an agreement with the two local Indian tribes — Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan. Since they have a monopoly on gambling and run the only two brick-and-mortar casinos in the state, they were granted exclusive rights to offer all forms of online gambling.
Under the bill, each tribe can launch one site for online casinos and one for sports betting. But when it comes to online poker, tribes are only allowed to have one gambling partner, so future poker rooms cannot be launched independently from online casinos.
This sounds like great news for CT poker players, but the reality is different. While sports betting is flourishing and three major operators launched their websites, online poker still awaits its turn. The main reason why this is happening is Connecticut’s small population of only a little over 3.5 million, which makes its gambling market less appealing to potential providers.
Experts argue that the Constitution State would solve this issue if it entered the Multi-State Internet Gambling Agreement (MSIGA). They state there is little chance that online poker will ever be regulated without shared liquidity. Signing this agreement would also boost the player pool significantly and attract the stakeholders’ attention.
Another thing that they also speculate about is who would be the first candidate to apply for the license and launch its platform. Currently, FanDuel has the best chance, simply for being owned by Flutter (the PokerStars parent company). For this reason, Connecticut players cannot currently participate in any interstate online poker action.
Until online poker gets going, CT poker players are staying busy and frequently visiting sweepstakes sites. These poker platforms are legal as they use two virtual currencies — sweeps and gold coins.
Gold coins have no monetary value, but by purchasing them, you accumulate sweeps coins, which you can also receive through giveaways or mail. Once you are satisfied with the accrued amount, you can convert it to US dollars.
Another alternative is offshore casinos. They operate in the gray area in the Constitution State. State laws don’t explicitly prohibit them, but they also don’t exactly encourage them. Offshore sites have a long history in CT, and players are particularly fond of them.
Most offshore sites are licensed, and the best ones come with excellent gaming options, lucrative bonuses, and many other perks. Plus, they cater to CT players and host frequent poker tournaments. If you are interested in giving one of them a go, browse our list of the top-rated ones at the beginning of this page.
My list of the best US poker sites which I consider to be the best rooms to play in 2024:
- BetOnline Poker
- Ignition Poker
- Everygame Poker
- Juicy Stakes Poker
- ACR Poker
- Bovada Poker
- BlackChip Poker
- SportsBetting Poker
100% Legal & Licensed Verified Bonus Mobile Friendly Advertiser Disclosure. Must be +18 to participate.
Land-Based Poker in Connecticut
As we have already mentioned, Connecticut has only two land-based tribal casinos — Foxwoods Resort Casino, owned and operated by Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and Mohegan Sun Casino, owned and run by Mohegan Tribe. Since they first opened in the 1990s, the two Indian casinos have become major tourist attractions. With those two establishments in place, Connecticut has found no reason to add commercial casinos to its landscape, which is unlikely to change anytime soon. Thus, they are the only places you can see live poker action.
Once these gambling halls reached an agreement with governor Lowell P. Weicker Jr. in 1993, they added casino games to their game floors. Currently, you can play anything from blackjack and roulette to hundreds of slot machines at both establishments. Each has a poker room with an outstanding reputation, offering many poker titles. Foxwoods Casino’s poker room features almost 150 tables, while at Mohegan Sun, you’ll find 42.
Aside from their gaming floors, the casinos attract people worldwide by offering luxury accommodations and a slew of bars and restaurants for fine and casual dining and entertainment. If you’d like to visit any of them, you must be 21 or older.
How to Register at a Legal Online Poker Site in Connecticut
Poker players in Connecticut who want to test their skills online can sign up with one of the offshore online casinos listed above. Our guide will walk you through the registration process:
Choose A Poker Room
Find your favorite online casino by browsing our list at the top of this page.
Go to its official website, alternatively, click on the link we have provided. It will take you directly to the provider’s official website.
Start the registration process by clicking the Register/Join/Sign Up button.
Set up an account by supplying the necessary information and submitting your request.
Verify your email address if the casino requires this step, and log into your account.
Deposit & Play
Visit the Cashier section and choose the payment method that works best for you. Then, make a deposit and wait for the transaction to clear.
Go to the games section, find the poker variant you want, and start playing.
Land-Based Casinos With Live Poker
Since land-based poker falls under the jurisdiction of IGRA, the Constitution State only has tribal gambling establishments. Currently, there are two — Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casino. The former is located on the tribe’s reservation in Ledyard, while the latter is only 20 miles away in Uncasville.
Aside from offering an enjoyable gambling experience and employing friendly staff, these venues feature numerous poker variations. Caribbean Stud Poker, Four Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Texas Hold’em, and Three Card Poker are some of them.
Additionally, both casinos are poker tournament hubs with excellent reputations. Foxwoods Casino’s poker room is famous worldwide, and it was frequently part of major poker events in the past, such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the World Poker Tour (WPT). Aside from that, CT poker players can enjoy daily Texas Hold’em events (up to four or five on weekends).
You cannot go wrong with any of these two brick-and-mortar casinos. If you decide to test your poker skills, this is where you can find them:
- Foxwoods Resort Casino — 350 Trolley Line Blvd, Ledyard, CT 06338
- Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort — 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Montville, CT 06382