Connecticut online poker bill passes

It looks like Connecticut could be the next state to go online as a US poker site.

Earlier this week the Connecticut Senate passed a bill that would allow both the Mohegan Tribe and the Masahantucket Pequot Tribe to offer online gambling in the state. That would include online poker, online casino games and online sports betting. The bill will also allow the Connecticut Lottery to offer sports betting.

Did Connecticut online poker bill pass easily?

The bill passed through the Senate with a vote of 28-6. A week earlier it also easily made it through the Connecticut House of Representatives by a 122-21 vote. The bill will now go to the desk of Governor Ned Lamont to be signed into law.

The bill is not expected to receive any opposition from Lamont considering he helped bring the tribes to the negotiation table to discuss online gambling expansion earlier this year.

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Under the bill the existing gaming compact between the state of Connecticut and the two tribes will be updated. This changes will allow the tribes to offer online gambling in the state and retail sport betting at their brick and mortar casinos. In exchange for these expansions the tribes agreed to allow the state lottery to offer online and retail sports betting.

However, since the new bill deals with an existing gaming compact between the tribe and the state it also needs federal approval from the Department of the Interior. This approval is expected to come without any problems, but it is one hurdle the bill will need to cross before online poker is officially legalized in the state.

If the bill does get federal approval Connecticut will become the seventh state to legalize online poker, joining Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Michigan. No timeline for the launch of online poker, or other forms of online gambling has been announced.

Under the terms of the bill online gambling revenue will be taxed at 18 percent for the first five years and 20 percent afterward. Sports betting will be taxed at 13.75 percent. Estimates from the government predict that this gambling expansion will generate $27.9 million in additional tax revenue annually.

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