House Passes Bill Would Legalize In-Person Betting
Legal sports betting in Connecticut is a cloudy landscape to navigate. On one hand, certain outlets report that Connecticut is offering sportsbooks in tribal areas but this isn’t true. However, no legislation has been enacted in the state of Connecticut as of late 2021 which allows for state-regulated sports betting platforms to work, be it online or off-line. Therefore, you must tread carefully if you want to partake in sports betting.
The first place you should look for information about Connecticut sports betting is the New Jersey Star-Ledger. The newspaper reports regularly on local events and sports picks and will occasionally mention the likelihood of certain teams winning or losing as well. It is a great resource for those who live in or near Connecticut. You can also connect with the writer via email or phone.
One of the more prominent publications in Connecticut that carries sports betting advice is the small town of Hampton. In 2021, the city conducted an online gambling license auction in an effort to raise funds. According to the officials, nearly three-quarters of the participants were out-of-state residents, many from places like Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. Most of the proceeds, however, went to out-of-state businesses because the legislature had not legalized gambling in the state. As such, the majority of licenses were non-residents. The Connecticut House and Senate were not in session at the time and did not pass a bill to legalize gambling, despite the request from Governor Malloy.
The lack of legislation surrounding sports betting has made it difficult for local municipalities to move forward with these efforts. Those towns that do have proposed bills face significant resistance from out-of-state politicians, who have influential sway over municipalities. Despite this, advocates of online gambling continue to lobby for passage of bills throughout the state. Critics of these efforts point out that the lack of regulation has left sports books open to fraudulent transactions, much like traditional casinos.
The Connecticut State House recently passed a bill that would eliminate the requirement that licensed gamblers provide the state with detailed information on the games they plan to bet on. The bill, which awaits Governor Malloy’s signature, would also require major bookies to allow customers to create virtual accounts. The proposal, according to supporters, is meant to strengthen the state’s ability to monitor the integrity of its licensed gambling houses. The proposal is opposed by gambling proponents, who argue that it will put the power back in the hands of gambling businesses and give gamblers more options when it comes to placing bets on online casino games. Although the legislature may attempt to push through a version of this bill that passes both chambers, the final version most likely will be different and more comprehensive.
Opponents argue that the final bill does not go far enough. One proposal under consideration would allow tribal casinos to participate in sports betting tournaments without obtaining a license from the state. Should such legislation pass, it could allow tribes to establish a secondary revenue stream by taking part in wagering tournaments for games that they have a professional interest in. Such tribal casinos, critics argue, will simply seek to take advantage of the legal loopholes that currently exist and circumvent the original purpose of tribes entering the sporting arena: to provide an alternative gaming option for individuals who would otherwise have no option. Critics of the bill fear that such measures may further empower the gaming industry and give control away from the states to unlicensed entities.
Opponents of the bill warn that the move could open the door to organized crime. Unlicensed establishments would then have the ability to place bets without following the same laws that regulate licensed casinos. Further, they argue that there is a serious lack of evidence to suggest that in-person sports betting leads to a decrease in overall gaming activity. While it is unlikely that such a law will be passed, the mere fact that the legislation has been brought up may serve as a scare tactic by some in congress to garner support for their own bill. This legislation could easily pass through both houses of Congress with strong support, thereby effectively killing the chance of legalization.
Although it is unlikely the House will pass an in-person gambling bill anytime soon, Rep. Craig Fishbein (R Ontario) has introduced legislation to legalize sports betting across the nation. The sports betting industry has remained largely unregulated until recently, allowing tribes and individual sport fans to place bets on any event taking place within the United States. Should the U.S. House approve this particular bill, tribes and individual supporters could begin contacting Congressmen in hopes of securing its passage.