Connecticut Considers Legal Online Poker
By Bob Garcia
The tribal operators of Connecticut’s Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos submitted proposals for online gambling to the state. Though lawmakers have yet to craft a bill that would regulate the industry, the state’s two gaming interests have a plan in hand that includes projected tax revenue for the state.
According to the proposal, Connecticut stands to gain as much as $87 million in taxes from online gambling within the first five years after launch. Estimates in the plan are based on the tribes being able to generate $14.25 million for the state in the first year and $20 million each year after that.
Tribal leaders cited several figures from New Jersey’s online market in their proposal, but it is not clear if they borrowed stats from New Jersey to come up with their figures for Connecticut. If they did, they were very conservative. New Jersey online gambling hit a record high in 2017, bringing in $245.6 million in gross gaming revenue.
Fourth-year tax revenue from online gambling in New Jersey topped 40 million, and the state has collected over $130 million from the industry since its launch in 2013.
Mohegan Sun currently owns and operates an online casino in New Jersey’s market as a skin under the Resorts Casino license. Mohegan Sun’s vice president of interactive gaming Avi Alroy said he believes legalization will curb the illegal market. Alroy spoke on behalf of Mohegan Sun in front of the state Public Safety and Security Committee during a hearing to discuss online gambling and its possibilities.