Not everyone knows it, but under federal law, gambling is generally not illegal (with some major caveats, of course). As a result, states have taken it upon themselves to regulate the gaming industry. This has resulted in each of the fifty states having gambling laws that make various forms of gambling either explicitly legal or illegal. The most common forms of gambling in the United States include horse racing, tribal casinos, commercial gambling, charitable gambling, and the state lottery.
In Connecticut, “gambling” is defined as risking something of value for gain contingent on chance. When it comes to permitted forms of gambling, Connecticut allows licensed horse-racing, licensed dog-racing, jai alai and the state lottery. Charitable organizations' gambling and social gambling are also permitted.
Connecticut law allows the large Indian casinos run by the Pequot and Mohegan tribes. These tribal casinos in Connecticut are hugely popular. So much so, in fact, that neighboring Massachusetts recently legalized the opening of three casinos (commercial and/or tribal depending on who wins the bids for the licenses).
Indeed, America's biggest casino isn't on the Las Vegas Strip or Atlantic City Boardwalk. Opened in 1986 in western Connecticut, Foxwoods Casino has long been the reigning largest casino in the United States. A complex of six casinos with 17 different types of table games, it was recently surpassed as the largest in 2009 by the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma.
|Code Section||12-557 et seq.; 53-278a et seq.|
|Gambling||Risking something of value for gain contingent on chance.|
|Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting||Daily double, exacta, quinella, trifecta, superfecta, twin trifecta, pick four, pick six, and other forms of parimutuel betting allowed. Off-track betting allowed.|
|Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting||Off-track betting allowed. Wagering on out-of-state dog races allowed.|
|Casinos Allowed?||Bingo parlors allowed. Pequot and Mohegan tribes permitted to operate casinos per Tribal-State Compact. Gambling devices otherwise prohibited.|
|Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned||Jai alai allowed. Any person licensed to conduct betting or wagering events must display informational materials for the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of compulsive gamblers. Charitable organizations' "Las Vegas Nights" allowed. Social gambling allowed.|
More Gambling Law Information
For more information on gambling, in general, read FindLaw’s Details on State Gambling Laws article. You can do additional research by clicking on the links below which lead to websites providing information on Connecticut laws, as well as gaming laws. Finally, if you have a more specific question or would like more in-depth information, consider consulting with a Connecticut gaming lawyer.
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Contact a qualified attorney.