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Connecticut Group Wants Online Gambling Legalization

Connecticut

A Connecticut Group is seeking to legalize online Gambling in the state.

Online gambling is flourishing in certain parts of the United States. Nevada, known as the gambling ‘mecca’ thanks to the bright lights of Las Vegas offers online poker. New Jersey and Pennsylvania have seen huge revenue increases thanks to their online sportsbook and casino offerings. Many states have mooted the possibility of introducing online gaming, with some further along the line than others. Of course, the current Coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to that. In Connecticut, a new organization called the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) has requested that Governor Ned Lamont approve online gambling for the constitution state.

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SCCOG Get Moving

Due to the mass shutdown of land-based casinos, a total of 22 municipalities are seeking that online games be an option for the two tribes that provide land-based services in the state. Approval of online gambling, even temporarily, would bring in vital revenues as money is lost during the shutdown.

However, Governor Ned Lamont dismissed the idea out of hand. He said that online gambling is a significant policy decision and that it would not be appropriate to pass it via executive order, even if it was for a temporary time frame.

The two casinos which are closed down are the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. Both venues are vital to the local community as an employer of local workers and a contributor to the state via slot gaming revenues. The casinos are operated by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot, who pay hundreds of millions of dollars in tax each year to have exclusivity regarding casinos in the state.

The tribes are a top ten employer within the state and have a huge workforce. Indeed, the total workforce of the state is around 1.9 million. To give some perspective on large the workforce of both tribes is, 11,500 are employed via Foxwoods and around 8,000 for the Mohegan Sun. The casinos have been shut since 17th March due to the spread of the Coronavirus.

Initial estimates suggested that the closure would only last for a couple of weeks. However, as the crisis has worsened, there is no date for when they can open insight. Optimistic suggestions state that the venues may be able to reopen on a limited basis at the beginning of May.

At the time of writing, approximately 12,000 people who are employed by the casinos are out of work. While the casinos are closed, millions will continue to be in revenues, and the local community suffers as a result.

Current No-Go for Real Money Online Gambling

Both casinos in Connecticut offer online gaming options. Crucially though, players can only wager with play money. The casinos claim that everything is in place to convince the Governor to legalize online gambling in the state, suggesting that it will be a simple process to convert from play money to real money.

However, Governor Lamont is remaining firm in his stance that it is currently not an option. In fact, the Governor has said he doesn’t even want to entertain the idea. Even if he were to consider it, it would be a more complicated process than just converting play money to real money. Geolocation technology would need to be introduced to ensure that players who take part are located within state borders.

The SCCOG has shown no indication that they are going to give up. We don’t know if the Governor will soften his current stance. It could be the case that as time goes on with the casinos remaining shut, he could be more open to the idea so revenues can be brought into the state. For now, it is simply a case of wait and see.

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