Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed House Bill 6451 into law on Friday May 28, manufacturing CT the sixth US state to legalize online casinos and the seventh to regulate online poker. The bill is expected to come into force on July 1, 2021.
The governor’s signature was the last step in the process after the bill was passed the Senate vote on May 26. The House of Representatives sent the bill to the state Senate after passing it by a 122-21 margin.
The final signature was only a simple formality since Governor Lamont had already declared his intention to sign the invoice immediately if it received the necessary support from the Senate.
After the bill was passed, the governor’s office issued a public statement announcing a new era of gambling in Connecticut.
“By signing this bill, Connecticut is now poised to provide a modern and technologically advanced gaming experience that will be competitive with our neighboring states and position us for success in the future,” Governor Lamont said.
“Today we celebrate the result of months of hard work and dedication towards a deal that is best for the residents of Connecticut and their respective tribal members.”
Regulated online gambling is finally coming to Connecticut
The state of Connecticut has long had the idea of regulated online gambling. It was in 2011 that Dannel P. Malloy, the state governor at the time, voiced his opinion that CT lawmakers should consider regulating online gambling.
The bill received overwhelming support in both the House and the Senate, where it was topped by a margin of 28-6. Three Republicans and three Democrats have rallied against the gambling bill, expressing concerns about the dangers of excessive gambling that could ensue.
On the flip side, the new bill is expected to generate $ 30 million in the next fiscal year, with the potential to pay off. $ 83 million per year by 2026. Online gambling will be taxed at 18% on gross income for the first five years, followed by the 20% tax rate for the remaining five.
When will poker and online gambling be available in CT?
Although the bill has been signed, there are still some issues that need to be addressed before Connecticut residents can play poker and casino games online.
The bill only authorizes Mashantucket pequot and Mohegan tribes to offer online casino and poker games. However, before this happens, the pact between the state and the two tribes must be changed, and these changes must be confirmed by the United States Department of the Interior (DO I).
Tribes will only be allowed to have an online operator offering games outside of tribal lands which means that as it stands there is only room for two CT poker sites to get things going.
The Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CCT) will also benefit from the new iGaming bill, as it will be allowed to offer a selection of games online. However, this language certainly does not cover online poker.
With a population of 3.6 million, Connecticut does not represent a huge market, so large American operators like PokerStars USA, WSOP USA, and BetMGM USA probably won’t be too worried if they can’t get their foot in the door early on.
At the same time, the CT online gambling bill does not contain language that would prohibit multi-state agreements. This means that the state will likely seek to enter the existing or create new ones. interstate agreements in the near future, which would considerably improve its position on the US regulated market.