Connecticut Legal Poker Sites

Connecticut StateIf you are only going to have two casino poker rooms in an entire State, then you’d be very happy that these were the mega resort casinos of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods in Connecticut. These are high points in a State which is otherwise not gambling friendly. Fortunately there are cash games up to high levels and some of the biggest tournament events around at these casinos.

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This page gives you a detailed overview of how and where to find poker games in the State of Connecticut. First of all, live casino poker games are covered – focusing on those two huge tribal casino resorts. After that I have looked at social poker games. Next you’ll find information on playing online poker from this State – followed by some key excerpts from the Statutes which are relevant to poker fans.

Live Poker Games In Connecticut

By the standards of any casino outside of Las Vegas or Atlantic City, Foxwoods and Mohegan sun are giants. They provide hotel, restaurant, conference and entertainment complexes in addition to the gambling games. Millions of people are drawn to these venues every year, coming from not only Connecticut, but neighboring States including Massachusetts and New York too.

You can enjoy some of the biggest tournament events around including the World Poker Tour and World Series Circuit events at these venues. These are in addition to all the regular tournaments (including their own events) and of course a ton of cash game action.

These casinos are both on the land of native tribes, there are no State licensed casinos at all in Connecticut.

Social Poker – Are Home Games Legal Here?

You can play social poker home games in Connecticut legally – though there is an additional rule on top of the usual ‘nobody can profit from running the game’ concept. This is that there has to be a real social relationship between the people involved in the game. This seems a nebulous concept to try and prove in a court room – though these types of games are not the focus of any enforcement activity in this State anyway.

There are free poker tournaments in restaurants and bars in CT. These currently exist in a legal grey area, though a bill was put forward to give these free-to-enter games a carve-out from the Statutes. Holdem is currently prohibited under the charity gambling laws in Connecticut.

Online Poker Games In Connecticut

Even with the casino resorts making this State a famous east-coast gambling destination, the government here is far from open to progress when it comes to the general gambling climate. Internet gambling and poker games are assumed to be covered by the general Statutes. There is little to indicate that Connecticut will regulate internet poker any time soon. At the moment Mohegan Sun run a free poker site.

Offshore sites, who operate from locations like Netherlands Antilles and Antigua, welcome players from CT. These internet poker rooms are completely legal in their own countries, and offer players from most US states a wide range of cash games and poker tournaments. Remember that from a legal perspective you are playing at your own risk, though no Connecticut player has ever been busted for merely enjoying real money online poker.

What Do The Connecticut Gambling Statutes Say?

The Connecticut Statutes focus on risk and gain, and do explicitly list poker in their books under the gambling definitions. As in many States, what the laws do here say that every possible form of gambling is illegal – and then make exceptions in clauses for such things as social poker home games, charity gambling and so on. The tribal lands are governed by their own laws, though there are deals (known as ‘compacts’) in place between the tribes and the State.

Here is the key definition of what constitutes illegal gambling activity under the CT Statutes. This is from Section 35, 278A of the code:

…risking any money, credit, deposit or other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance or the operation of a gambling device, including the playing of a casino gambling game such as blackjack, poker, craps, roulette or a slot machine…

It might be possible to argue that poker in this context refers to casino poker games (the ones where the house has a built-in edge). My opinion is that the conservative nature of this State would see this kind of case quickly thrown out.

Connecticut Poker – Summing It Up

Famous for the biggest and best casino resorts on the East Coast, Connecticut is in reality very strict in its anti-gambling laws. If it were not for the tribal lands which host Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, there would be virtually no gambling here at all. Those casinos have prompted nearly States including Massachusetts and Rhode Island to legalize their own casinos. The leak of potential tax revenues into Connecticut proved to be the tipping point. There will soon also be some competition from upstate New York, where some new State casinos have been approved.

There is little likelihood of Connecticut regulating online poker games any time soon. If and when many surrounding States are benefiting from the revenue generated from these games, we might find the government here taking a look into the area.