As of December 2020, Connecticut online sports betting is in a curious legal limbo. Betting in Connecticut has been technically legal since 2017. However, CT sports betting isn’t actually available, and you won’t find any Connecticut sportsbooks or betting sites yet.
If that all seems a bit counterintuitive, that’s because it is. The Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act was repealed in 2018, kicking off a race to legalization among many US states. In contrast, changes to Connecticut sports betting laws began before that.
Legislators first modified the law in 2017, passing a comprehensive gambling bill. The purpose of the bill was to establish the CT sports betting industry ahead of future changes to federal law. The measures gave the state an ample head start before PASPA was repealed.
However, this headstart was insufficient to tackle the many competing agendas involved. While all parties seem interested in legalizing Connecticut sports betting apps and sites, each side has its own priorities. There’s been considerable friction from tribal casinos in the state as well.
Despite all of this, Connecticut betting sites are clearly on the horizon. A few legal details need to be worked out first, though.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Connecticut
Daily fantasy sports took the United States by storm in the past decade. Entering a largely unregulated market, early DFS operators quickly expanded throughout vast parts of the country. For most states, DFS fell into a gray area, failing to meet the definition of gambling.
That’s precisely the state of affairs that DFS operators preferred. Wherever state authorities ruled DFS to constitute gambling, DFS operators exited the market. This process was mirrored even in states with legal gambling, such as Nevada.
There are obvious advantages to working in an industry grey area, including the lack of licensing fees and special taxes. In Connecticut, things weren’t much different. There were some efforts to regulate DFS in the state, but they largely failed.
At the time, DFS was ruled not to constitute CT sports betting. However, authorities still sought to regulate DFS under its own framework, allocating funds in the 2017 budget to do so. State tribes quickly objected, considering the bill to violate the exclusivity of their gaming compacts.
To date, there have been no other attempts to regulate DFS in the state. Daily fantasy sports operators still offer their (unregulated) services in Connecticut. It’s unclear if future Connecticut sports betting apps legislation would also regulate DFS apps.
Most Likely Connecticut Sportsbooks
At the moment, there are no Connecticut betting sites to speak of. However, given the legal situation explained above, Connecticut sportsbooks are likely to debut sooner rather than later. When and if that happens, the following would be the likeliest Connecticut sportsbooks.
DraftKings sportsbook is one of the companies that pioneered daily fantasy sports in the US. After PASPA was struck down, DraftKings evolved to meet the needs of the nascent sports betting market. As of late 2020, the company offers sports betting action across almost a dozen states.
The company would likely be among the first Connecticut sportsbooks to open up shop after regulation. DraftKings recently negotiated a market access partnership agreement with the Foxwoods Casino, giving it a firm foothold in the state.
FanDuel sportsbook is one of the best-known daily fantasy sports operators in America. Much like DraftKings, the company has rapidly grown within the sports betting sector since 2018. FanDuel now has a presence in over nine different states, with several planned expansions.
When legislators and stakeholders finally regulate Connecticut betting sites, FanDuel is ideally positioned to enter the state’s gambling market. Back in 2016, FanDuel entered a partnership agreement with one of the state’s tribal casinos, the Mohegan Sun.
MGM Resorts International is one of the United States’ largest and most recognizable gambling operators. The company’s online betting platform, BetMGM, is quite popular in several US states. It’s a more polished version of their previous PlayMGM app, which had lackluster results.
BetMGM sportsbook has learned all the right lessons from that prior attempt. When Connecticut sports betting apps are legalized, MGM Resorts is likely to try to enter the market. The most likely route for that would be a market access partnership with a local tribal casino.
FOX Bet is one of the newest entries to the legal US sports betting sector. It’s the product of a partnership between broadcasting giant FOX Sports and PokerStars owner, The Stars Group. The platform is the first joint venture between a media company and a betting operator.
As a result of its joint nature, FOX Bet combines instant brand recognition with a polished software platform. It’s one of the fastest-growing sportsbooks in the nation. After Connecticut sportsbooks are regulated, FOX Bet will probably be among the first to jump into the market.
Connecticut Betting Laws
Like most other states in the Union, Connecticut sports betting was entirely illegal until recently. PASPA, first introduced in 1992 by George H. W. Bush, froze the state of sports betting legislation nationwide. No state could change their laws on the matter at all.
In Nevada and a few other grandfathered states, this meant sports betting remained legal. Elsewhere, it largely barred the mere notion of it. Things changed after New Jersey started pushing back against PASPA, in a bid to bring life to Atlantic City. Federal courts proved open to reconsidering the legality of PASPA itself.
It was in this environment that CT sports betting bills were first discussed. The state saw an opportunity to increase revenues through a booming new industry, and prepared. By 2017, Connecticut sports betting was legalized. At least in theory, anyway.
In practice, things proved somewhat more complicated than just passing a bill. CT sports betting was legalized by the bill, but the regulatory framework is still pending. What this means is that Connecticut betting sites and sportsbooks can’t launch just yet.
Many issues need to be figured out first, such as taxes and revenue sharing. Stakeholders in betting in Connecticut want their voices heard in the process, particularly the state’s existing tribal casinos.
States where you can already place an online sports bet today :
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Future of Connecticut Online Sports Betting
What the future might have in store for Connecticut sports betting apps is still anyone’s guess. However, things are looking bright. While no Connecticut betting sites or sportsbooks are live yet, the regulations are being negotiated and drafted.
Many competing interests and agendas are in play. On one hand, legislators likely wish to see maximized revenues towards the state’s coffers. As in other states, there may be some disagreements regarding the earmarking of gambling revenue for various purposes.
Then, there are many national gambling operators. Each seeks to secure its piece of the pie that the Connecticut sports betting apps sector will represent. Typical priorities for these potential Connecticut betting sites include easy market access and a fast licensing process.
Finally, you have the state tribes. As the sole providers of legal gambling action in CT, tribes are uniquely concerned about the new regulatory framework. Common priorities for tribes in these situations is to seek retail-only formats or, alternatively, revenue-sharing schemes.
It’s too soon to tell what the outcome will be in this three-way power struggle. One thing is near-certain, though: we’ll be seeing Connecticut sports betting apps sooner rather than later.
Connecticut Online Sports Betting: Events and Betting Markets
While Connecticut sports betting may not have taken off yet, sports in the state have a long history. There are many high-profile sports events taking place every year in CT with massive audiences. When CT sports betting finally debuts, the following events are likely to draw considerable interest from gamblers.
The Travelers Championship is a professional golf tournament, part of the PGA Tour. It takes place in Hartford every year since 1952. It consistently ranks among the top contenders for the PGA Players Choice Award, noting its remarkable services, attendance, and hospitality.
Golf is a wildly popular event within the gambling industry, and would probably attract many CT sports betting fans. When Connecticut sportsbooks open up shop, it’s sure to spark considerable betting action.
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is a racing series that takes place in Canada and the United States. Organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), the series was born after the merger of the American Le Mans and Rolex Sports Car series.
Lime Rock Park, a natural-terrain racetrack in Salisbury, Connecticut, hosts a race in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It’s one of the oldest racetracks in the country, dating back to 1957. The race would likely be a favorite with Connecticut sports betting apps.
Betting on pro sports teams in Connecticut
CT residents have a passion for sports. When it comes to pro-sports teams, though, the state isn’t particularly blessed. There have been no men’s professional sports teams in Connecticut for several years now.
NFL betting in Connecticut
There are no NFL franchises in CT. Connecticut sports betting fans instead opt for backing nearby teams.
New England Patriots betting
The Patriots are by far the most popular NFL team with CT sports betting fans. In fact, the team almost moved to Hartford once upon a time, before ultimately settling in Foxborough, MA.
NBA betting in Connecticut
Much like with the NFL, there are no NBA teams for betting in Connecticut. Instead, Connecticut sports betting fans usually back teams from neighboring states.
Boston Celtics betting
The Boston Celtics hail from Massachusetts, which lies to the north of CT. Many Connecticut online sports betting fans back the Celtics, particularly those east from Hartford.
New York Knicks betting
New York City lies southwest of CT, which is why many state residents choose to back the Knicks in the NBA. The Knicks are particularly popular with Connecticut sports betting fans from Bridgeport and New Haven.
NHL betting in Connecticut
Connecticut online sports betting fans used to have a local NHL franchise in the Hartford Whalers. However, the Whalers moved to North Carolina in 1997. When Connecticut betting sites finally launch, residents will likely back popular teams from neighboring states.
Boston Bruins betting
Massachusetts’ Boston Bruins are the most popular NHL team among the local population. When Connecticut sports betting apps launch, the Bruins will likely get the support of most fans.
New York Rangers betting
The New York Rangers are quite popular in CT as well, especially along the southern border of the state. The team would likely see considerable action from legal Connecticut sportsbooks.
MLB betting in Connecticut
With no MLB franchises in-state, Connecticut online sports betting fans tend to split between the teams from two neighboring states.
Boston Red Sox betting
Most of the fans in CT back the Red Sox. The Boston team has a lot of support throughout the state, and would likely be quite popular with Connecticut betting sites.
Other Connecticut teams to bet on
Beyond professional leagues, there are many collegiate teams that would likely see significant action from Connecticut online sports betting fans.
Betting on College Football in Connecticut
UConn Huskies betting
The UConn Huskies are massively popular with Connecticut sports betting fans. The Huskies have a long history, dating back almost a hundred years. Part of the NCAA’s Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, the team plays in the Big East conference.
Yale Bulldogs betting
The Yale Bulldogs represent the world-famous Yale University in the NCAA’s Division I Football Championship Subdivision. It’s one of the oldest collegiate sports programs in the world, dating back to 1872. It’s part of the Ivy League conference.
Betting on College Basketball in Connecticut
UConn Huskies betting
The University of Connecticut also has a men’s basketball team. The UConn Huskies compete in the NCAA’s Big East conference.
Central Connecticut Blue Devils betting
The Central Connecticut Blue Devils represent Central Connecticut State in the NCAA’s Northeast Conference.
Connecticut Online Sports Betting FAQ
Up next, we’ll answer a few common questions about Connecticut sports betting.
Where can I bet on sports in Connecticut?
Nowhere, at the moment. Despite recent legislative progress, Connecticut sports betting hasn’t launched yet.
Is sports betting legal in Connecticut?
Yes, technically. Connecticut sports betting has laws on the books. However, without a regulatory framework, betting operators can’t launch in the state just yet.
How do I withdraw my winnings in Connecticut?
As Connecticut sports betting isn’t live yet, you can’t currently have (or withdraw) any winnings.
Can I bet online on my phone in Connecticut?
Not at the moment. After the official launch of Connecticut online sports betting, it’s very likely that you’ll be able to bet on mobile.
When will Connecticut sports betting go live?
It’s unclear. Negotiations between legislators and stakeholders are still ongoing. It could happen as early as 2021.
Final Thoughts on Betting in Connecticut
Connecticut sports betting fans saw an early legal victory in 2017. However, adoption has been sluggish, and is now somewhat behind the national curve. Despite the legalization of CT sports betting, efforts to agree on a regulatory framework have been fruitless so far.
Still, all parties are interested in making Connecticut sportsbooks a reality, so the future still looks bright. Sports fans in the state will likely see the first Connecticut sports betting apps as soon as 2021.