In 2021, Connecticut became the seventh state to legalize online poker. The addition adds to the growing momentum online poker experienced in the US during 2020-21.
Adding real money online poker sites in Connecticut won’t come instantly, but players can expect to possibly see online poker live in 2021. but real money, legal, and regulated online poker is absolutely headed to Connecticut.
The player pool isn’t particularly large, with only 3.6 million potential players, so the poker possibilities may be limited until interstate compacts to share player pools with Michigan online poker sites and Pennsylvania online poker sites go forward. But Connecticut is yet another domino to fall as more US states move forward with regulated online poker.
Best Online Poker Sites in Connecticut
Play Legal Online Poker in Connecticut
Can you play poker online in Connecticut? After flirting with legalization for several years, legal, real money online poker in Connecticut became a real possibility in 2021, when Gov. Ned Lamont (D) proposed the idea of getting online gaming sooner rather than later. He went so far as to include online casino & gaming revenue in his budget projections.
Several hurdles had to be overcome. The administration had to reach deals with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes before a plan could go forward. The two tribes own and operate the state’s two casinos. A deal was reached and the legislation moved quickly by governmental standards.
The state legislature passed the bill in late May 2021 with bipartisan support. Lamont signed the bill on May 27. The legislation authorizes the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot, as well as the state lottery, to offer real money online poker, real money online casino games, and sports betting.
The new law outlines monthly payments from the tribes and state lottery once online gaming launches. That ranges from 13.75% to 20% of gross revenues from sports wagering, online casino gaming, and fantasy contests.
The state also receives annual payments of $500,000 from each tribe and $1 million from the lottery to fund problem gambling programs.
“By signing this bill into law, Connecticut is now on the cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience that will be competitive with our neighboring states and positions us for success into the future,” Lamont said after signing the bill.
There is still a bit of work to do before operators and regulators can begin because of the deals with the two tribes.
“The administration and the tribes will seek approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the US Department of Interior to amend the state’s compact with the tribes,,” NBC Connecticut noted, “which needs to happen before online gaming and sports wagering can be offered in the state.”
The date of expected approval remains to be seen, but USPoker will update the story when more information becomes available.
Which online poker sites are coming to Connecticut?
Because of its low population, there remains some mystery as to what to expect in Connecticut. The state’s population ranks it fourth among online poker states, above Delaware (974,000), West Virginia (1.8 million), and Nevada (3.1 million).
It falls well behind online poker in New Jersey (8.9 million), online poker in Michigan (10 million), and online poker in Pennsylvania (12.8 million) however. Of those smaller states, only Delaware and Nevada have online poker. WSOP.com is the only operator in Nevada and 888poker is the only operator in Delaware.
WSOP.com uses 888’s poker software and operates the only interstate compact in Nevada, New Jersey, and with 888 in Delaware.
As of June 2021, all other online poker platforms operate in each state operate as part of a “ringed-in” environment with players only competing against others within that state. So the question remains if Connecticut has a large enough population to launch a ringed-in platform.
That may be a moot point in the coming months however. In January 2021, a federal appeals court ruled that the Wire Act applies to sports betting and not other forms of online gaming.
The Trump-era Justice Department had argued that the law applied to gaming beyond sports wagering. That jeopardized the fate of other gaming options such as interstate lotteries. The appeals ruling is expected to clear the way for expanded interstate compacts barring an appeal of the issue, which many in the industry believe is unlikely.
Connecticut could greatly benefit from expanded interstate compacts. The state’s inclusion would mean players could play on the country’s three online platforms. Here’s a further look at the legalized online poker sites that currently operate in the US and may be interested in adding Connecticut players to the mix.
Can I play on PokerStars in Connecticut?
PokerStars is a household name among poker players and runs the largest online poker operation in the world. PokerStars is known for its excellent, user-friendly software and promotions.
Stars is available in numerous countries around the world and the company sees a growing US market as an opportunity to add more American players since leaving the country following Black Friday.
In the US, PokerStars online poker first launched in New Jersey in 2016. It added PokerStars Pennsylvania in 2019. PokerStars went live in Michigan in 2021. The site runs numerous cash games and daily tournaments. The site’s Bounty Builder, Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), and other series have been popular with American players.
Players will find numerous big Sunday events with major guarantees. In 2021, the site began marketing events and series much more in all three states.
Beyond traditional online poker, players can get started using PokerStars’ .NET platform, which allows players to play for virtual currency. This site also allows you to play poker online with friends via the popular “Home Games” feature. Adding real money online poker via PokerStars in Connecticut would be a welcome addition to many players in the state.
This is the online poker option of the World Series of Poker, using the operating platform from global online poker brand 888poker. As noted earlier, WSOP.com operates the only interstate compact in the country.
That means players in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware can play with a larger group of players, allowing for larger prize pools. The 888poker skin is available in both Delaware (where it is the only operator) and New Jersey as well. This means a player on 888 is pooled with WSOP.com players.
Beyond the interstate compact, there are some advantages to playing on WSOP.com. The platform harnesses the WSOP’s history to offer exclusive events. For example, the site runs WSOP Circuit events, allowing players a chance to win championship rings as if playing in live WSOPC events.
As most players know, the WSOP gold bracelets are the biggest trophies in poker. The site also allows players the chance to play online for bracelets each summer during the WSOP.
During 2021, the live WSOP in Las Vegas was moved to the fall. Because of that, WSOP.com greatly ramped up the WSOP Online in the summer to award 33 more bracelets. Connecticut poker players could be a part of the bracelet and ring hunting if WSOP.com moved into the state.
PartyPoker US Network
The is another globally recognized brand and is known as the partypoker US Network in the US. The international brand is owned by Entain (formerly GVC Holdings) and is one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming companies. The US version is operated by ROAR Digital, a partnership between Entain and MGM Resorts.
MGM adds some major marketing muscle to the group including some partnerships with resorts like Borgata.
In New Jersey, players will find three skins from this operator: partypoker, BetMGM, and Borgata Poker. All three share player pools and operate as one network in the Garden State. The platform features nice software and has worked at making improvements in recent years.
Internationally, partypoker partners with the World Poker Tour in producing major live events. That has continued to some degree in the US with the WPT lending its name to some major events in 2020. Satellites to WPT events have also been part of the partypoker US mix as well.
In January 2021, the network expanded to Michigan by offering the BetMGM Poker skins. That expanded to Pennsylvania as well in April 2021 with the launch of the BetMGM and Borgata Poker skins.
Party is bullish on US expansion and a linked network seems highly likely when further interstate compacts are approved. The platform has some ground to make up in PA and MI, but offers a nice option should the company also move into Connecticut.
Real money poker apps in Connecticut
Poker apps are the future (and present) of online poker with more and more players getting in the action on an iPhone, Android phone or tablet. All three major US online poker operators (PokerStars, WSOP.com/888poker, and partypoker US Network) offer real money poker apps.
WSOP.com app – This platform makes use of 888poker’s full online platform but also its much-improved poker app. The company has worked to improve the app substantially and further expansion into states like Pennsylvania could see the launch of the site’s “Made to Play” platform, which has received nice reviews.
PokerStars app – Mobile gaming is a big part of the Stars experience over the last few years. The app offers not only poker, but seamless integration among online casino gaming and sports betting. The app is extremely user friendly and playing poker is easy tapping the icon and jumping in a tournament, cash game, or sit & go.
Partypoker app – This operator has made huge strides in its online poker software over the last few years. The site has looked to reshape its poker app to appeal more to mobile gamers. That has included transitioning into more social-style gaming. The new additions also make it easier to tile through more than one table and play using only one hand. It’s a user-friendly approach that makes playing online poker a simple process when on the go.
How to open and fund your online poker account
Getting an online poker account started is a simple process. It’s also important to remember that you can create and fund an online poker account from anywhere. Then once you’re in any legalized online poker state that poker app is licensed in, it will be easier to play online poker.
You can also already take advantage of numerous bonus offers on this page to earn some excellent free money opportunities. The process then only takes a few minutes to get started.
Just like traditional brick and mortar casinos, online poker sites follow strict laws and rules set out by gaming regulators. That should also be the case in Connecticut when online poker launches, allowing players a sense of security when providing personal details.
Players will need to create a username for their account and then provide several details including:
- Phone number
When that step is complete, players can then get started. Make sure to use the links on this page for your no deposit poker bonus or deposit match bonus. That’s a nice chunk of change just for making that initial deposit.
The deposit process is also quick and easy. Players can fund an account by using major credit or debit cards or instant e-checks. Other options include popular e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller, and even PayPal, which now works for US online poker, and is available for PokerStars, partypoker and more.
PayNearMe is also a cash option, allowing you to fund an account at thousands of retail outlets throughout the country including numerous 7-11s. Most states also allow for cash deposits at the cage of partner casinos, possibly depositing using the cages at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
How to play sweepstakes poker in Connecticut
Traditional real money online poker may not have launched yet in Connecticut, but social and sweepstakes (sweeps cash/coin) poker still remains an option. For example Global Poker is a very popular sweeps coin poker site owned by VGW Holdings, an Australian company.
Like alternative sweepstakes casinos, Global Poker has a two-tier currency system. Gold Coins (GC) are a free-to-play currency, allowing players to compete in:
- Free ring games
- Free Tournaments
- Free Sit & Go’s
Gold Coins are not available redeemable for cash prizes. However, players purchasing additional Gold Coins receive Sweeps Coins (SC) as a bonus. Sweeps Coins allow players to compete in completely separate events.
Sweeps Coins can be accumulated and eventually redeemed for cash prizes or gift cards. The site not only offers daily tournaments and ring games, but also numerous major tournament series throughout the year such as the Rattlesnake Open, Summer Series, and numerous others.
Global Poker has experienced major gains in player numbers in the past few years. That has included smashing major tournament event guarantees and offering more and more high-value, extended online poker tournament series.
Global Poker doesn’t currently have a downloadable software client or app but its quick-play, browser-based system works well on any laptop or desktop computers and any iPhone or Android phone or tablet. Players will find popular games like:
In 2021, Global Poker also added Omaha Hi/Lo. Players will also find bounty events as well as Progressive Knockout (PKO) events. The site continues to attract millions of players and is legal in the United States and Canada (excluding Washington and Quebec).
Global Poker remains a great option for players looking to play where no traditional online poker option exists. Connecticut players will find plenty of action and fun.
Connecticut Online Poker FAQ
How old do you need to be to play online poker in Connecticut?
The legal age to play poker in Connecticut is 18, but it remains to be seen if that also applies to online poker. 18-year-olds can also play the lottery in the state, but most other casino gambling is reserved for those 21 and over.
How does a casino know I’m located in Connecticut?
Online poker and casino sites make use of geolocation services, which make use of a play IP address to determine his or her location. A player must be within the borders of Connecticut to play legalized online poker.
However, players can create and fund an account from any location and the process only takes a few minutes. Those using the links on this page can also get some exclusive bonuses. The next time you’re in Connecticut, you can then play online instantly with the account you’ve already set up.
Will Connecticut join other online poker compacts?
The expansion of online poker compacts remains a bit in limbo at the moment after a federal appeals court ruled in January 2021 that the Wire Act applied only to sports betting. A previous opinion argued that the law applied to other forms of online gaming as well.
The new ruling clears the way for expanded interstate compacts, but as of June 2021 no states had announced any other agreements. That wait may be because states were awaiting to determine if the Biden administration might appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Many in the industry believe that’s unlikely.
Connecticut has a small population and players would benefit greatly from joining an interstate compact. This would offer shared player pools with other states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey, adding significantly to player and prize pools.
Can I play WSOP.com, PokerStars, or partypoker in Connecticut?
These are the three regulator, online poker options currently operating in the US and allowing Americans to play for real money. It seems likely that at least one of these sees Connecticut as a possible market to add.
Interstate compacts would make this prospect almost a given. Until that time, it will be interesting to see if any of these operators see the state as large enough for a “ringed-in” market.
Nevada has a smaller population with only 3.1 million and WSOP.com operates in the state. However, it remains the only platform in the state. Also, the annual live WSOP brings thousands and thousands of players to Las Vegas each summer.
The site offers bracelet events, WSOP Circuit, rings, and numerous online qualifiers each summer. Connecticut does benefit by having some populous neighbors in New York and Massachusetts, which could help draw some players for major tournament series.
Does Connecticut have online casino games?
The state has not only legalized online poker, but also online casino gaming and sports betting. Players should have a host of options when online gaming eventually launches in Connecticut.