In general, a type of gambling is illegal in Connecticut unless the law specifically allows it. The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Gaming Division regulates all legal gambling in the state. Federal, state and local law enforcement authorities are responsible for enforcing the laws pertaining to illegal gambling.It is illegal for a non-profit organization to conduct an event without an appropriate permit or a for-profit organization to operate without an appropriate license.
The Commission on Special Revenue introduced the lottery in Connecticut in 1972. The Division of Special Revenue (DOSR) operated the lottery until 1996 when the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC), a quasi public state agency, was formed to conduct the lottery. DOSR regulated the CLC and all legal gaming until they merged with DCP, and became DCP's Gaming Division which now has those responsibilities.
Qualified non-profit organizations can raise funds from a variety of activities. Bingo was legalized in Connecticut in 1939. Bazaars and raffles were authorized in 1955 and sealed tickets in 1987. Beginning in 1972, non-profits could operate casino games during Las Vegas Night fundraisers, but that law was repealed in 2003.
As of January 2017, municipalities issue permits to non-profit organizations conducting these activities.
Types of Legal Gambling
In 1976, off-track betting started in Connecticut.It initially was run by the Division of Special Revenue and was sold in 1993 to Autotote Enterprises, Inc., which operates Connecticut OTB to this day.
Live greyhound racing began in Connecticut in 1976 with the opening of Plainfield Greyhound Park. In 1995, the former Bridgeport Jai Alai was converted to Shoreline Star Greyhound Park.
Jai alai is authorized by statute. Frontons in Bridgeport and Hartford opened in 1976 and the Milford fronton opened the next year. In 1995 Bridgeport Jai Alai closed and became a greyhound racetrack and Hartford Jai Alai closed and became an OTB provider.In 2001, the last fronton in Connecticut, Milford Jai Alai, closed.
Horse racing is also authorized by statute, but no horse track has operated in Connecticut.
Foxwoods Resort Casino was opened by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe in 1992. The Mohegan Tribe opened Mohegan Sun four years later. Each casino is authorized to offer any game of chance that is legal under state law (the Las Vegas Night laws were in force when each casino first opened). Each tribe and the state of Connecticut have entered into memoranda of understanding to allow video facsimile machines to be operated at the casinos.