2023's guide to gambling in connecticut - casinos, ct online gambling, and more

  • Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes founded the first Indian gaming operation in 1992.
  • There are currently two tribal casinos in Connecticut (Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun).
  • Connecticut online gambling went live in October 2021 with the help of these two powerful tribes.

Connecticut gambling laws have evolved since Governor John Rowland signed an agreement that authorized Class II Native American gaming back in 1992.

Today, you can visit one of two , enjoy all of the slots, table games, poker, entertainment, and dining options that they offer.

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes showed the rest of the United States that tribal gaming could be successful and paved the way for other Native American casinos across the country.

Their influence over Connecticut gambling regulations stretches far, but they hit another grand slam in 2021 by helping launch CT online gambling through their partnership with FanDuel.

This guide will cover the different forms of legal gambling in Connecticut, including the top casinos, poker rooms, lottery, daily fantasy sports (DFS), and the regulated online sites that have launched thus far.­­­

Best Legal CT Casinos to Visit

Two of the most prominent Indian casinos in the USA call Connecticut home. , which occurred on June 19, 2023:

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  • Foxwoods Resort Casino – (6 miles from the border) – This AAA-4 Diamond resort was the first Native American casino in the US to open its doors back in 1992. It covers 9,000,000 square feet and includes over 2,500 slot machines, 39 table games, 20 poker tables, and 4 restaurants. Foxwoods Resort Casino is the world’s largest hotel complex by number of rooms, so you can imagine how massive this operation really is. They also offer high stakes bingo, a luxurious spa, golfing, music venues, comedy clubs, and other various forms of entertainment. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation owns this casino.
  • Mohegan Sun – (8 miles from the border) – This casino opened in 1996 as a joint venture between the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes. It started construction in February 1996 and cost approximately $675 million to build. Mohegan Sun covers 18 square miles and includes more than 3500 slot machines, 350 hotel rooms, 82 table games, 20 poker tables, 40 bars/lounges, and dozens of restaurants. They also offer top name entertainment, a luxurious spa, golf courses, shopping, and other amenities that attract millions of visitors each year.

Connecticut casinos are spread out enough to where you need to deliberately go there, which means that you won’t stumble upon them by mistake.

Foxwoods Resort Casino is much closer to the Massachusetts border (6 miles) than the Rhode Island state line (23 miles). The same applies to Mohegan Sun, which creates some interesting dynamics when it comes to revenue reporting.

Both establishments offer the best table games and slots that Connecticut has to offer.

They are both equipped with full-sized poker rooms too.

In fact, Foxwoods MGM Casino Battle is one of the biggest annual events in the Nutmeg State because it pits local gamblers against industry professionals.


If you prefer the chill vibes, then head over to Mohegan Wellness Sessions for a nice massage after an exhausting day of blowing through your paycheck.

One thing to keep in mind is that Connecticut does not currently authorize any other land-based casinos besides these two.

That might change in the future, but the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes have strong connections within the government.

You can also expect existing casinos to put up a serious fight against new competition because the market has yet to fully recover after setting a new record low in 2020.

Hotel Rooms at CT Casinos

Yes, you will find hotel rooms at both casinos.

In fact, these two establishments are the largest hotel complexes in the western hemisphere when measuring by the sheer number of rooms. However, there are many other quality hotels located near the casinos if you are looking for something different.

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Here are three solid alternatives for your next trip to Connecticut’s Indian casinos:

  • Marriott Fairfield: (2.8mi from Foxwoods) – This hotel received a complete facelift in 2019 and is now considered one of the nicer places to stay outside the resort. The Marriott Fairfield is only six miles away from Mohegan Sun, making it a great middle ground for people who want to explore both casinos. Guests are provided with free breakfast, wi-fi, parking, gym access, and pet-friendly rooms. You can also earn or redeem points through the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • Hilton Garden Inn: (1.1mi from Mohegan Sun) – Book a room at the Hilton Garden Inn if you want to walk to the casino instead of relying on a shuttle bus or taxi. Several restaurants and other attractions are within walking distance too. This Hilton property offers all the standard amenities like free wi-fi, breakfast, and parking. Pet friendly rooms are available for an additional fee.
  • Courtyard by Marriott: (3.7mi from Mohegan Sun) – Another great option for guests who want to stay close to the action without breaking the bank. This Courtyard by Marriott property is just under four miles from the casino and offers easy access to I-395. All guests are greeted with free hot breakfast, wi-fi, and parking. Other features include an indoor pool, fitness center, and business center.

These hotels are all less than a ten minute drive from their respective casinos. If you don’t mind walking, then the Hilton Garden Inn is literally connected to Mohegan Sun.

Of course, you can always stay at the casino itself to be as close as possible to the action.

I should note that Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes do not own the Marriott, Hilton, or Courtyard hotels. Therefore, the big box brands are a safer bet if you prefer a more traditional hotel experience outside the casino resorts.

Additionally, these hotels give you the chance to earn rewards points through their loyalty programs.

Top Dining Options at Connecticut Casinos

What makes the top Indian casinos in the country so special?

Besides the gambling, of course.

Top chefs are hired to prepare delectable dishes that tickle your taste buds and send your taste sensors into orbit.

Connecticut casinos have dozens of restaurants covering every type of cuisine imaginable.

Here are some of my personal favorites that you need to try during your next visit:

  • Fenix Steak and Seafood Grill – (Located at Mohegan Sun) – This upscale steakhouse serves 28-day aged beef and fresh seafood while providing breathtaking views of the Thames River. The Fenix menu also includes pasta, chicken, chops, salads, sandwiches, desserts, a raw bar, and cocktail pairings. They accept reservations for parties up to five people.
  • Lucky Libations – (Located at Foxwoods) – This casual eatery focuses on handheld foods, shareable plates, craft beer, spirits, wine, hard cider, and specialty cocktails. Lucky Libations opens at 11 am every day and stops serving at 10 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 2 am on Friday and Saturday. Try one of their 24 draft beers or ask your server for a recommendation.
  • Jasper White’s Summer Shack – (Located at Mohegan Sun) – New England seafood is the main attraction at Jasper White’s Summer Shack. Fresh oysters, clams, lobster, fish, and chips are the most popular dishes on the menu. They also serve burgers, salads, sandwiches, fried chicken, and weekend brunch from 8 am until 2 pm. Family friendly restaurant that accepts reservations.
  • Kings Rewards Buffet – (Located at Foxwoods) – Enjoy all-you-can-eat Chinese, Italian, Mexican, seafood, carving stations, and desserts for a very reasonable price. The Kings Rewards Buffet also offers a military discount, happy hour prices from 3 to 5 pm every day, and weekend brunch from 9 am until 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Ask about group rates for 20 or more people.
  • Horizon – (Located at Mohegan Sun) – This casual café gives you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area while enjoying paninis, flatbreads, soups, salads, smoothies, and desserts. Horizon opens at 11 am every day except Sunday, when they open at 9 am. Last seating is at 9 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Dress code is casual and reservations are not accepted.

Other notable mentions include Alta Strada Italian Kitchen, Michael Jordan’s 23.sportcafe, Roger Sherman’s Ale House, Stella Marina Seafood Restaurant, and Timbers Mario’s.

Vegan and vegetarian options are available at many of these restaurants, and some even offer gluten-free menus.

You could eat at a new restaurant every day for an entire year and never run out of choices at the Connecticut casinos.

Entertainment & Nightlife at CT Casinos

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Okay, Norway’s Fantastic Caverns isn’t located inside either casino, but it’s worth the short drive if you’ve never been in a cave before.

As expected, the two Indian casinos in Connecticut offer the best entertainment and nightlife activities within a 10-mile radius.

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Here are some of the top shows and venues to check out on your next trip:

  • Comix – (Located at Foxwoods) – Comix is a 400-seat venue that brings in top comedians several nights a week. Upcoming acts include Kapil, Russell Peters, Jim Breuer, Ron White, Rich Little, Jeff Foxworthy, and Jay Leno. Arrive early if you want a good seat and avoid the lines at the bar and food stands.
  • Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre – (10mi from Mohegan Sun) – One of the premier concert venues in southern New England. Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre hosts rock, pop, country, R&B, and comedian shows throughout the year. Some of the upcoming artists include Bob Seger, Luke Bryan, Anita Baker, Chris Botti, Styx, LeAnn Rimes, and Gabriel Iglesias. The theatre is located in Wallingford, Connecticut.
  • Up Close & Personal – (Located at Mohegan Sun) – This cabaret style venue seats 300 people and provides an intimate atmosphere to see famous singers, actors, impressionists, and more. Some of the big names coming to UCP in 2023 are Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman), Louie Anderson (Comedian), The Man in Space (David Lee Garzy), Joanne Borge SSgt. USAF (Ret), Jay Leno, and Rich Little.
  • Muse – (Located at Mohegan Sun) – This ultra-lounge and bar covers 5,000 sq.ft. Of dancing space and an outdoor patio. Muse plays top 40 hits, hip hop, house, mashups, throwbacks, and party anthems seven nights a week until the sun comes up. Dress to impress and bring your ID.
  • Foxwoods Casino Floor – Maybe the best nightlife spot at the casino is right out in the open. Walk the casino floor on a weekend night and you’ll see hundreds of beautiful women and deep stacked poker players letting loose after a long week of work. If you want to meet girls at Foxwoods, I suggest playing blackjack or roulette late at night. 

Music lovers will appreciate the diverse range of talent that visits Connecticut on a regular basis.

Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre gets the nod for the best overall concert venue because of its size and location.

You get to see nationally touring bands and solo artist without dealing with the insanity of Boston or New York City traffic.

Mohegan Sun also has a few nightclubs and lounges spread out across the property.

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One of the best kept secrets is the rooftop patio above the 360 Degree Wine Bar & Lounge, which gives you a stunning view of southeastern Connecticut.

Connecticut Sports Betting

Connecticut sports betting finally became a reality on September 30, 2021, when Gov. Ned Lamont placed the first official wager at MGM Springfield (MA).

The Nutmeg State became just the ninth state to offer mobile wagering alongside retail locations.

The Connecticut Lottery oversees sports betting within the state and awarded contracts to two entities:

  • Online/Mobile: Open Sports Entertainment Chenendo (OSEC) – a subsidiary of Kicking Off Partners (KOP);
  • Retail Locations: NEBC 2 LLC (NEBC 2) – a joint venture between Mohegan Sun and Rush Street Interactive (RSI).

The Connecticut Law Tribune obtained a copy of the contract, which revealed the following terms:

  • Initial Investment: Each entity was required to pay a $75,000 application fee and $2.5 million upfront investment to get the ball rolling.
  • Tax Rate: 18% on adjusted gross revenue;
  • License Length: 10 years from effective date of the act;
  • Integrity Fee: “No,” to the delight of DraftKings.
  • Minimum Age: 21+;
  • Eligible Markets: Any professional sport, major collegiate sports, and international sports;
  • Excluded Markets: Esports not linked to a professional sport, high school sports, college prop bets, in-state college poker/blackjack, and fantasy sports.

The CT online sports betting sites officially went live on October 8, 2021, via the mobile apps listed below:

  • BetRIP: betRIP.com – Mobile App
  • DraftKings: DraftKings.com – Mobile App
  • FanDuel: FanDuel.com – Mobile App
  • WynnBET: WynnBET.com – Mobile App

All four brands are well known in the DFS space and have already established successful sportsbooks in other states.

Anybody 21+ located within the Nutmeg State can create an account and place wagers on their favorite teams and players.

You do not have to be a resident of Connecticut to use the online apps, but you must be physically located within the state to gain access.

The Connecticut Lottery verifies all geolocation services used by mobile sportsbooks operating under their license.

As of 2023, the CT online sports betting handle ranks 8th out of 30 states.

As you can see, the annual handle has increased dramatically each month since launching. March Madness likely had something to do with that spike, but let’s hope the trends continues throughout 2023 and beyond.

The combined revenue from online and retail sportsbooks generated $39.6 million in taxes for the state last year.

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That tax revenue is split between the State of Connecticut (60%) and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes (40%).

Connecticut residents can rest assured knowing that their hard earned money is going towards the right things, such as education, debt payment, and other important expenses.

Responsible gambling resources are also a top priority, which leads me to my next topic.

Connecitcut’s Responsible Gambling Programs

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have provided funding for problem gambling treatment counseling since the early 90s.

According to the , $16.3 million was spent on various projects during fiscal year 2022.

That breaks down to $10.6 million from Foxwoods, $4.7 million from Mohegan Sun, $897,000 from Ocean Beach Casino Resort, and $91,000 from Maryland Live!

The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG) is the main beneficiary of these contributions, which receives almost $7 million per year to provide counseling, education, research, prevention, and referral services.

Gambler’s Anonymous, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, UConn Center for Mental Health Services, and other organizations receive smaller amounts based on the needs of the state.

The legislature created the in 2001 to monitor and report on problem gambling issues in Connecticut.

The commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection appoints the members to serve three-year terms. Their primary responsibilities include developing a comprehensive plan to address problem gambling, collecting data, identifying areas of concern, evaluating the effectiveness of existing programs, recommending changes to the General Assembly, and submitting an annual report.

Members include professionals in the fields of psychiatry, social work, psychology, marriage and family therapy, addiction medicine, and more. Ex-officio members represent various state agencies, such as the judicial branch, banking department, licensing and regulation commissioner, state police, and gambling operators.

The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling operates a 24-hour toll-free helpline at 1-888-KNO-BETS (566-2387). Trained counselors are ready to take your call and help you find the support you need.

Calls are confidential and anonymous. Additionally, the CCPG has a list of gambler’s anonymous meetings, treatment providers, and educational materials to further assist those in need.

Historical Racing in CT

Historical racing machines, sometimes referred to as designate gaming machines (DGM), are similar to the .

You view video footage of previous horse races and try to pick the winners based on the outcome of the race.

Connecticut passed a law in 2005 that allowed historical racing to begin on January 1, 2010, at two facilities:

  • Ocean Beach Casino Resort – Located in Groton, this establishment has 500 historical racing machines, high stakes bingo, table games, 25 lane bowling alley, four restaurants, a nightclub, gift shop, and 200 deluxe hotel rooms. Ocean Beach Casino began offering DGMs in 2010 and is ownedliet by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Net.
  • Rivers Casino – Operated by the Mohegan Tribe, Rivers Casino has 525 historical racing machines, high stakes bingo, 12 lane bowling alley, live music, five restaurants, and assorted shops. Additional amenities include a 200 room hotel and 1,200 vehicle parking garage that opened in 2018.
  • Norfolk Renegade Casino – This facility has 250 historical racing machines, electronic table games, simulcast wagering, high stakes bingo, a restaurant, lounge, and gift shop. Norfolk Renegade Casino is located in North Stonington and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Net.
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Each machine allows you to watch up to eight different horse races simultaneously on a 55” LCD screen.

You can bet on as many races as you’d like while trying to hit the big score.

CT DGM machines are similar to the in Nevada because you’re basically just betting on old races.

The main difference is that you can place advanced wagers in Nevada, whereas historical machines are limited to win, place, show, and exactas.

All told, these historical racing parlors generate around $160 million in annual revenue, of which $13 million goes to the state in taxes. 

Proceeds are allocated to the state’s General Fund and Horse Racing Trust Account.

Poker Options at Connecticut Casinos

Poker is the greatest mind game on the planet.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned vet or first-time player; losing your stack to someone reading them better is a humbling experience.

That’s what makes poker so attractive.

You can study strategies, read books, watch videos, and play millions of hands online, but nothing can fully prepare you for the unpredictability of live poker.

Connecticut poker rooms were some of the most lucrative games in the US before online poker sites cannibalized their customer base.

Most weeks you can count the number of high profile poker tours visiting the Nutmeg State on one hand.

World Series of Poker, World Poker Tour, and the European Poker Tour have all hosted events at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in recent memory.

But consistency is what the CT poker scene lacks right now.

One bright spot is the Meskwaki Bicycle Casinos in central Iowa, which host plenty of mid-field poker tournaments throughout the year.

Maybe the Meskwawki can partner up with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes to give Connecticut a needed boost.

In the meantime, here’s what you can expect from the state’s two biggest card rooms:

Poker tournament series are rare in Connecticut, but both rooms host daily tourneys with buy-ins ranging from $60 to $250.

Guaranteed prize pools can reach $5,000 on the weekends, but the field sizes aren’t very large as is evident by the final payouts.

High stakes cash games are fewer and farther between these days.

$1/$2 no limit is the highest game you’ll consistently find, but $2/$5 and even $5/$10 could surface during prime hours (4pm to 12am).

Short stacks with $200+ tend to do well in the CT cash games because standard deviation plays a big role due to the small bet sizing.

One strategy you can employ is moving all-in preflop with certain pocket pairs and pockets AK. Obviously you’ll want to adjust based on your reads and previous action.

There’s a good chance you’ll deal with beginners who don’t three-bet preflop or attempt complicated bluffs on the river.

That being said, you shouldn’t take your eyes off this cash game for too long because the rake can add up quickly.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun rake 10% of each pot, which is slightly higher than the national average. And they also have a dead recreation rule, meaning the rake doesn’t stop even if everyone pushes all-in and the pot is dead.

Read more:

Bingo & Slot Machines at Connecticut Casinos

It might come as a surprise to some, but bingo is one of the most profitable games offered at Connecticut casinos.

High stakes bingo games are so popular that some players have even taken their winnings to Vegas to parlay them into even bigger scores.

Of course, slot machines are king when it comes to gambling revenue.

Connecticut was actually the first state in the US to approve slot machines at tribal casinos back in 1993.

Here’s a quick rundown of high stakes bingo and slot machines at the two Indian casinos in CT.

  • High Stakes Bingo – Both casinos have massive bingo halls that regularly fill up for big money games. Advance cards are available for sessions that offer $1,000 guaranteed prizes. Foxwoods has two separate bingo halls with 4,000 seats and high capacity systems for reading cards. Mohegan Sun’s Sun King Ballroom seats 3,000 and also uses high capacity systems. Both casinos offer paperface and paperless bingo sessions throughout the day.
  • Slot Machines – Connecticut allows up to 2,000 reel spun, video rubbles, or other mechanical devices that the regulatory commission may authorize. That equates to 800 video lottery terminacles or slot machines per facility. Foxwoods Resort Casino has 3,500 slot and electronic table games, while Mohegan Sun Casino has 4,000 slot machines and electronic games. That’s a total of 7,500 Class II and Class III machines in the Nutmeg State.
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High rollers typically stick to the denomination when playing slot machines.

$5 and up qualifies as high limits, but you may need to talk to a supervisor to have the maximum payout changed from $500 to $1,000 or more.

Some of the biggest progressives in the country are located at these CT casinos, especially Foxwoods.

In 2002, a Mystic River Bingo & Casino patron won a $1.7 million progressive jackpot on a $100 spin. That still holds the record for the largest CT slot machine win ever.

The best ways to win big on slots is to play with max coins and hope the progressive hits. But that gets expensive over time. So, your other option is to find slots with non-progressive jackpots that are higher than the usual 1,000 to 2,000 coin amounts.

Another tactic is to play with free spins and bonus rounds, which gives you more opportunities to win without risking your own money.

Finally, consider using your casino’s players club points to extend your playing duration. For every $1 you spend on slots, you’ll earn points that can be traded in for free play, discounted meals/rooms, and other comps.

Is the Travel Worth it?

Connecticut’s two big casinos are a bit further apart compared to neighboring states.

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For instance, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort are 30 miles apart. In Pennsylvania, Hollywood Casino and Mohegan Sun Commons is only 10 miles. Same deal in New York, where Monticello Casino & Raceway and Resorts World Catskills are only 15 miles apart.

So why does Connecticut have wider spaced casinos? Are they trying to avoid direct competition?

Whatever the case may be, the travel distance is certainly noticeable if you’ve been to other Indian casinos in the region.

That said, Connecticut still has a lot going for it.

The history and culture behind Indian gambling is unique to America and definitely worth experiencing at least once in your life.

Not to mention, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes have played integral roles in their respective communities for centuries. Learning more about their traditions, language, and lifestyles is a great way to expand your horizons.

Furthermore, the establishment of CT online sports betting has brought many newer tech savvy players into the mix. Combined with the loyal in-person gamblers, Connecticut should remain a respectable gambling state for years to come.

One potential idea to increase revenue would be to build a bridge or tunnel between Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. Okay, that’s probably not realistic. But maybe more restaurants, clubs, and shopping stores could entice people to stay longer.

Another option would be to legalize table games online so people don’t have to choose between risking their streak at the live casino or abstaining from play altogether. Surely there’s common ground to be found between the tribes and state politicians on this issue.

Overall, Connecticut’s gambling industry still has plenty of room to grow.

And the best part is, we get to witness it all unfold in real time.

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J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at GamblingSites.com. He's written for television and the printed media, and he knows the casino industry inside and out.

Paine helps GamblingSites.com's readers get the most out of each gaming experience by writing detailed reviews of fantastic destinations.

A Minnesota native, Paine enjoys outdoors as well as contemporary art museums and a good cigar.