Connecticut Online Gambling Update 2014

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Is online gambling legal in Connecticut yet? Almost.

As of November 9, 2014, Connecticut residents may only place pari-mutuel wagers at www.mywinners.com. The state licensed this website in return for a 3.5% tax on all wagers.

Can I bet somewhere else? No, according to the Attorney General George Jepsen, who sent cease-and-desist letters to several out of state websites casually welcoming Connecticut customers. Naturally, these letters went out just days before the 2014 Belmont Stakes, in time for California Chrome’s Triple Crown attempt.

What about Foxwoods GameAccount online gambling?

Foxwoods only offers simulated gambling. Upon registration, customers get 5,000 virtual credits. Bonus credits are offered with some promotions. It is strictly a play-for-fun site only. Foxwoods’ collaboration with GameAccount.com came about in 2013 with high hopes for real money gambling. Unfortunately, the State of Connecticut isn’t biting.

In reality, Connecticut online gambling is in legal limbo. A December 2012 Connecticut Law Review article described a letter from the US Department of Justice essentially reversing its long-held position on the Wire Act. Henceforth, states may process financial transactions to regulated online gambling websites, and these transactions wouldn’t be considered a violation of the antiquated Wire Act. From the review article:

The OLC removed the last major federal barrier to state Internet gambling: its broad interpretation of organized crime statutes, in particular the late Robert F. Kennedy’s Wire Act. With the DOJ’s change in position, states are now free to legalize Internet gambling, from poker to lotteries, for their citizens. In view of these changes, we expect states to quickly legalize new forms of gambling on an unprecedented scale: intrastate, interstate, and international. This online gambling explosion may come at the expense of tribal operators who are reliant on slow federal laws that may be unable to keep pace with cash-strapped states’ appetites for legalized gambling.

Source: Federal Wire Act reinterpreted for state online gambling December 2012
Entire legal brief is here

That means there is a catch for Foxwoods: although they are a sovereign nation within the USA, they can only move as fast as the Federal government. Meanwhile, the DOJ’s new position ostensibly gives the green light to any state interested in legalizing online gambling.

This put MyWinners.com on the map, but sidelined the Pequots and Mohegans.

Is Foxwoods virtual casino worth my time?

It’s good practice and carries no risk of financial loss; only yet another place to play mindless games to kill time. Here’s a preview of popular games:

Foxwoods.com Simulated Gaming
Foxwoods.com Simulated Gaming, GameAccount Network

Here’s Foxwoods long game: recruit as many fun money players as possible; bide time until online gambling is fully legal; market intensively to this customer base. This is the model for many offshore gambling websites, the difference being fun players are aggressively encouraged to deposit real money.

If you live in “The Land of Steady Habits”, expect the continued habit of reluctance to discuss internet gambling. That is, until the state is short on money, and legalizing it will fill in the gaps. 🙂

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