Connecticut Lawmakers Hint About Online GamblingPublished March 6, 2018 by Elana K
Last week, Connecticut lawmakers held a press conference in which they discussed the possibility of legalized sports betting. During the conference, three lawmakers also brought up the issue of online gambling. Could the state be ready?
Back in 2017, when pundits were trying to predict which states were most likely to legalize online gambling in 2018, they named New York, Michigan, New Hampshire, Illinois, and a few others. No one cast a glance at Connecticut - but now, it seems that the Constitution State wants to throw its hat into the ring.
Last week, state lawmakers held a press conference in which they discussed the possibility of legalized sports betting. During the conference, three Connecticut lawmakers also brought up the issue of online gambling: House Speaker Joseph Aresimowicz, House Majority Leader Matthew Ritter, and Chairman of the Public Safety and Security Committee, Rep. Joe Verrengia.
Why is Online Gambling Being Discussed Now?
We know why legalized sports betting is being discussed now - the Supreme Court is due to issue a ruling on its legality in a matter of months. Currently, sports betting is illegal in all but four states due to a law passed in 1992; NJ Governor Chris Christie challenged the law as unconstitutional and is thus now awaiting the Supreme Court's ruling.
But what about online gambling? Perhaps the discussion of this up-and-coming industry is due to Connecticut’s new online lottery bill, introduced on Wednesday, that would allow the state to sell a variety of online lottery tickets and perhaps expand to offer online games as well. Plenty of other states have expressed interest in creating online lotteries, including Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
Another reason for Connecticut’s seemingly sudden interest in online gambling may be due to its location. New Jersey already boasts a booming online gambling industry, Pennsylvania recently became the 4th state to legalize online gambling, and New York is considering legalizing it as well. Which means that since all of Connecticut’s neighboring states are offering online gambling, it may be a good time for lawmakers to consider offering it there as well.
While no public steps have been taken toward online gambling yet, there has never been a better time for Connecticut lawmakers to introduce bills and push them forward.