Legal Poker Sites in Connecticut

Conneticut Poker Laws

Is Online Poker / Gambling Legal in Conneticut?

Citizens of Connecticut that enjoy playing poker have it fairly easy, in terms of state law. A reading of the state code regarding poker and gambling makes it clear that as long as you aren’t involved in poker games run by organized crime, you are most likely operating within the boundaries of state law. If you follow a small number of specific restrictions written into state law, your poker game is legal.

Legality of Home Poker Games in Connecticut

In Section 53-278b of the Connecticut penal code, it says clearly that “Any person who engages in professional gambling shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.” The state law goes on to say that it is also illegal to even be near a person who is engaged in any sort of professional gambling. That might at first sound like all forms of poker are illegal within state lines, but that’s not true. The state defines professional gambling as the sort of game where the host or the casino is making a profit off the players. This is a fairly common restriction in the USA, where home poker games tend to be legal as long as entry fees and other extra costs aren’t added to the game and the pots aren’t raked.

If you live in Connecticut and want your home poker game to be legal, the simplest way is to not charge the other players to participate and not rake the game’s pots. The state code also specifically mentions that it is not legal to accept any gifts or tips from the other players, a restriction not often found in American poker law. Unfortunately, it appears that even a gift of a bottle of wine or case of beer to be consumed during the game would make that game illegal, so you should plan on providing food and drink to the other players, free of charge of course.

Connecticut Casino Poker Law

The only exception to the professional gambling restriction in Connecticut poker law is for members of certain tribes, specifically the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe. These tribes take full advantage of this relaxed law and operate real live and raked poker games in their tribal casinos.

Head into one of these tribal casinos in The Nutmeg State and you’ll find everything from slot machines, table games, and sports betting to live poker. Usually, legal casino poker in Connecticut is played in rooms separated from the rest of the casino—legitimate poker rooms like you’d find in Vegas or Atlantic City.

Learn About Other State Laws

Online Poker Law in Connecticut

As is the case for most American states, Connecticut has not yet taken on the issue of the legality of online poker play, but naturally there are some old bits of legislative language that could be used to prosecute online poker players, should the state choose to do so. In section 53-278d of the state penal code, it says plainly that “Any person who knowingly transmits or receives gambling information by telephone, telegraph, radio, semaphore or other means… shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.” That means Internet poker is technically illegal in Connecticut, though the Internet isn’t specifically mentioned.

No one has been prosecuted in Connecticut for playing online poker, so it seems unlikely that the stat would pursue charges against an individual for wagering at Internet poker tables. Until the Connecticut courts make a specific anti-online poker law, you probably don’t have to worry about being arrested for playing online.
If you are concerned about the legality of your home or Internet poker game, consult a legal professional familiar with state law. There are indications that it would be unconstitutional for the state to track your online poker play or any other Internet activity, so you are probably safe in that respect.

You can find more information about poker and gambling laws in Connecticut on this page: