No Online Gaming in Connecticut During Pandemic
With almost 100% of the casino industry shut down throughout the United States, some casino industry leaders in Connecticut were hoping to be granted a waiver to take their action online. The Eastern part of Connecticut is where this request was generated, and there was hope that a pair of tribal nations would be able to offer online gambling. It didn’t take long for Governor Ned Lamont to take a look at the request and quickly shoot it down.
Online casino gambling is currently not legal in the state of Connecticut, even though there have been recent bills introduced to launch the industry. A major part of the problem is that the tribal nations that operate the casinos have a compact with the state, and those compacts do not call for online gambling.
The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Government recently wrote a letter to Governor Lamont in hopes that he would disregard the compacts in hopes of letting the casinos operate an online site.
The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes currently have a monopoly on the casino industry in the state, but all of the betting must be done on-site. Both tribes have worked closely with the state government in the past, and they are complying during this crisis.
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Governor Lamont cited the need for a new compact to be created if they were going to allow online gambling. The state is focused on combating the coronavirus pandemic, leaving no time to discuss a new compact.
It is interesting to note that even though Lamont has issued executive orders for the state to essentially “shelter in place,” he does not have the authority to shut down the casinos. Both tribes went ahead and closed their casinos to keep their employees and the general public safe from the coronavirus pandemic.
The closure of the casinos will not only affect the economy of the tribal nations, but it will mess up the economic structure of the Eastern part of the state of Connecticut as well. Even though the casinos do not have to follow all of the rules and regulations put forth by the state, they provide a ton of revenue in Connecticut.
The tribes shut down their casinos on March 16, and they will remain closed through April, or until the Governor opens the entire state backup for business.
Concerns Coronavirus Will Lead to Gambling Problems
A large majority of the states in the US have placed strict travel restrictions on their residents. Other states have banned gathering in groups of 10 or more, and a large majority of the United States population is stuck working from home.
All of this time at home could benefit online gambling companies, but some companies are worried that it might also lead to dangerous behavior from bettors.
The United States has yet to place any new regulations on the online gambling industry, but the United Kingdom has recently passed new laws to prevent this from happening. There were more than 20 lawmakers in the UK that recently signed a letter to the government requesting that new regulations be put in place.
Lawmakers are hoping for there to be gambling caps put in place, and also to limit the amount of money that a person can deposit in a single day.
In the United States, casinos are just looking to survive through the pandemic, although online gambling sites are still up and running. Online casinos and sportsbooks do try to provide help for those bettors that have a gambling problem, but there is a concern that they might need to do more over the next few weeks.
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