The state of Connecticut is now allowing online wagering for horse racing for its 15 off-track betting locations. This is just the beginning of state-approved and -taxed Internet gambling in this state. Betting will be permitted starting in April exclusively by adult Connecticut residents, for parimutuel betting on horse racing only through Sportech Venues Inc., based in London, England.
Currently, Sportech which is headquartered in New Haven holds the exclusive right to run parimutuel betting in Connecticut on horse racing, jai alai and dog racing at tracks around the world for wagers taken over the phone and in person. The approval of online betting is an extension of the phone operations.
The Department of Consumer Protection now regulates legal gambling. Right now the state renders only about 3.5 percent of all in-state wagers from Sportech in person at the 15 Winners locations, by telephone and starting soon, online. In 2009 the state took in $7.6 million.
Lawmakers Favor Law
Connecticut lawmakers are in favor of expanding Internet gambling for a few reasons. The federal government is beginning to clarify the rules that will spike online gambling in surrounding states, many illegal websites already lure Connecticut residents to gamble on desktop and mobile devices; and the state needs the money.