Connecticut Legislation Rejects Online GamblingLegal
Ned Lamont, the Governor of Connecticut, has turned down a request by regional officials to allow the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to operate online gaming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last Wednesday, the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Government (SCCOG) reached out to Lamont, requesting the two operators to “begin utilization of online gaming during this time that they have voluntarily closed their doors.”
Reasoning Behind the Decision
The Constitution State cannot legally force the casinos to close due to sovereign land issues. However, the tribes made their decision to closing their casinos, abiding with the state’s efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. They stated their reasoning was due to the “health and safety of the community and of the public.”
The SCCOG stated: “This public health emergency has altered their livelihood in an unprecedented way. We need to do anything we can to assure that they are able to survive now and thrive again in the future.”
Comments from Governor Ned Lamont
The question of legal online gambling in Connecticut is currently being negotiated between the governor and the tribes. Lamont wrote:
“That process is simply not feasible or realistic during this crisis and while the legislature remains in recess. Authorizing online gambling and enabling consumers to more easily access is a significant policy that has not yet been embraced or acted up by our legislature.
“Doing so at a time when so many Connecticut residents are in financial distress would be a particularly significant policy decision to make without legislative approval.”
The major concern is that the isolation due to the current pandemic will lead to an increase in gambling behavior issues throughout the community. But will this idealism help people from their gambling itch, or will it just lead to the increased usage of illegal gambling platforms? This is mere speculation, but it is safe to assume if gamers want to game, they're going to game, through state regulations or through their own means.
The official documents can be found here.