CT AG Reiterates 'Only Three Legal Sportsbooks in the State', Sports Bettors Call These Books 'Crap'

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Aug/18/2023

The American Gaming Association (AGA) President Bill Miller celebrated Connecticut Attorney General William Tong coming out this week to declare there are only three regulated mobile sportsbooks serving the state: Draft Kings, FanDuel and Play Sugarhouse.  Connecticut does not regulate BetMGM, which is currently embroiled in an epic controversy out of Virginia for what many in the sports betting community believe to be egregious behavior by a regulated sportsbook

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What Miller failed to note is that AG Tong had made a similar proclamation last year around this time. 

"The Department has received reports of illegal offshore gambling businesses soliciting Connecticut consumers to place wagers via their online platforms.," AG Tong's office said back in March of 2022.

“These illegal offshore gambling websites are highly professional organizations with large budgets, and often they market directly to Connecticut consumers using endorsements from retired famous professional athletes,” said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “But these platforms are illegal and not subject to regulation and inspection by the state. That means the games haven’t been reviewed to ensure they are run fairly, and consumers are putting their personal information and money at risk by using these platforms. If consumers choose to engage in gaming activities, they should do so responsibly and legally.”

Since this statement was issued, DraftKings admitted to a massive breach of their customer database last fall.  BetMGM, again not regulated in Connecticut, admitted to the same but neglected to tell anyone at the time.

It is important to recognize that Connecticut regulators can only assist with complaints involving the aforementioned companies: DraftKings, FanDuel and Sugarhouse.  The Virginia Lottery, as an example, is working to assist a gambler after one of its licensed sportsbooks, BetMGM, decided to cancel a $215,000 bet after Gambling911.com notified them and advised the player that he needed to file a formal complaint, which he ultimately did. 

Also Attorney General Tong does have a point.  When Gambling911.com reported that Isle of Man licensed 5Dimes was about to shut down immediately after Super Bowl, that offshore sportsbook posted a scrolling message on its site calling us "liars" and "womanizers", whatever the f*** that means. We warned the Isle of Man regulators and they just emailed back saying they were unaware.  Two months later, 5Dimes shut down.  The site previously screwed US players out of futures bet winnings and did the same this time around to its European and Western Canadian customers.

“There are three sports betting operators authorized to operate in Connecticut — DraftKings, FanDuel, and Play Sugarhouse,” said Attorney General William Tong. “Any other gaming platform marketing to Connecticut consumers is doing so in violation of state law and should be reported to the Department of Consumer Protection.”

AG Tong's most recent warning interestingly removes the word "retired" in describing sites "endorsed by celebrity athletes".

“Like anything, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. These illegal platforms will make promises of better odds, higher payouts and out-of-this-world sign up bonuses allegedly endorsed by celebrity athletes just to entice consumers,” said DCP Commissioner Bryan Cafferelli. “And while their platforms might look legitimate, they are illegal and not subject to regulation and inspection by the state. Consumers are putting their personal information and money at risk by using these platforms. If you choose to engage in gaming activities, do so responsibly and legally.”

Miller, who has stayed quiet in light of the BetMGM controversy, did manage to open a hornet's nest of sorts with his tweet this week.

Connecticut gamblers came out and bashed the state's regulated sites.

Popular industry X'er iGambling Alliance tweeted this, an obvious knock at these sites promoting a type of bet many view as the "crack cocaine" of sports betting:

BAanalytics tweeted out to the AGA President: "If you lose you can bet more. If you win you get limited. Are you thanking him for actively acquiring and creating gambling addicts?"

Prophet Props, who we noticed has been vocal in social media posts pertaining to the BetMGM controversy, offered this: "Offshore sports books which you call “illegal” have way more integrity than there regulated joints you either don’t know any better or are paid to say otherwise."

Ashe writes: "Honestly my best experiences gambling has all been with the off shore books. These are the only ones who I have seen make a mistake & honor it even if cost them $20k."

TaxMan said: "DK and FD legally rob players with shitty lines, bad payouts and irresponsible parlays."

Tyler Wyatt offered: "Pretty sad when the “illegal” operators of an industry use better business practices, are more ethical, and take larger limits than 90% of the “legal” operators, but you do you Bill."

Eddie Zamites tweeted: "The legal markets are a scam. How about sticking up for consumers? MGM and Draftkings limit me to $5 bets because I’m a professional bettor. Make it fair and let everyone bet."

Of course we'd be remiss in pointing out that AG Tong's most recent statement comes only days after ESPN announced it had partnered with Penn State to offer a new online sportsbook.

Connecticut is home to ESPN so expect a 4th sportsbook in that state soon we're guessing.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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