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Connecticut Legally Warns Online Gambling Companies
- June 9, 2014 By Oliver Young -
George Jepsen, Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection and Attorney General, sent legal warnings to online gambling outlets this past week to stop taking wagers in Connecticut or from Connecticut residents.
“State officials say some out-of-state online outlets were marketing their online gambling services and products to customers in Connecticut and some were accepting bets from Connecticut residents.”
Legal Warnings Sent to 28 Unlicensed Online Gambling Entities
As a result, Jepsen together with Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein had signed cease-and-desist letters that were sent to 28 unlicensed online gambling companies demanding they stop marketing online gambling services in the US state and stop accepting bets from residents in Connecticut.
The letter was sent at once to a number of unlicensed gambling entities from North Dakota, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio and other states.
“More than a year ago we started accepting online horse racing wagers via one exclusive website,” said Rubenstein in a statement. “Then we started thinking and asking ourselves what is going on with the Internet? It took us a while till we made sure that our analysis were correct and who all the players were.”
According to Rubenstein, some companies said that they would not accept any wagers. Others were questioning the online gambling laws in Connecticut, while some said that they would respond soon.
“Everything we do is monitored by the Department of Consumer Protection, therefore, the highest standards of players protection are in place for Connecticut residents,” said the president of Sportech Venues Ted Taylor in a statement. “Besides us no other site is regulated in Connecticut or pays the tax Connecticut should be receiving.”
Is Online Gambling Legal in Connecticut?
Connecticut and the Department of Consumer Protection do not license, permit or regulate any Internet gambling in any form in the state. Under the General Statutes of Connecticut (Sec. 53-278a) online gambling is illegal in Connecticut “unless specifically authorized by law.” Neither state agency nor state legislature has approved any form of online gambling, including the purchase of raffle tickets. Even if at online gambling site is legally licensed in another jurisdiction, it is illegal to use the site to gamble within the borders of Connecticut.
In 2012, Governor Dan Mallory said in an interview that the legalization of online gambling is inevitable. He added that once a US state legalizes iGaming, the rest would follow suit. He also made very clear that he is not supporting the legalization of online gambling in the state, but he sees it as inevitable.
On the other hand, politician John McKinney argued that the governor is misinterpreting the US Justice Department and that iGaming would not come to Connecticut.
As of this writing, only the owner of 15 state licensed horse racetracks is allowed to offer horse wagering over the Internet. In other words, all residents in Connecticut of legal age are allowed to wager online and by phone to horse racing events only.