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The Connecticut Lottery is retail-only at the moment. Soon, however, state residents and visitors should have at least some limited options for playing the lottery online. Both bodies of the Connecticut General Assembly approved the bill allowing its creation and Gov. Ned Lamont signed it into law on May 27, 2021. The Bureau of Indian Affairs also needs to give the nod to amend the state’s agreement with the casino-owning Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes before the online options can launch.
The change is coming thanks to an agreement between the Governor’s Office and the state’s two tribes. The tribes have exclusivity over casino gaming in the state, which leads them to oppose most forms of gambling expansion. However, they have been wanting to offer online casino games for some time, and are willing to make some concessions to get that right.
Under the deal negotiated between Lamont and the tribes, they will get to introduce both online casinos and sportsbooks in CT. In return, the lottery will get to join in the former. It will also get to sell draw tickets online, and offer online keno. It will not, however, be able to offer any other sort of instant online lottery games such as can be found in nearby Pennsylvania and a few other states. Those, the tribes feel, would come too close to competing directly against their new CT online casinos.
Of the states that do offer online lottery games, many offer signup and deposit bonuses to attract new customers. This is more common among those that include instant games, but Connecticut may try to promote its online keno this way.
Check back once the Connecticut online lottery launches. If there are bonus offers to be had, you’ll find them here!
Connecticut is completed the legislative process to make an online lottery possible. The same law that covers online casinos and sports betting provides the CT Lottery with the ability to sell draw tickets and offer keno online.
Now that the bill is a law, it shouldn’t take too long for the online lottery component to arrive, unless the tribes insist that it must wait until their online casinos are live.
Other places that have launched online lotteries – even more complex ones, with instant games – have managed to do it quite quickly, by way of emergency rules. For instance, the Washington D.C. Lottery passed such rules in December 2020 and launched its online site just a month later. In April 2021, the jurisdiction made the online lottery permanent.
Compared to that, draw ticket sales and a single keno product should be an easy lift. Assuming the Connecticut Lottery has its ducks in a line, the CT online lottery could be live by fall or even sooner.
As of May 26, the bill was well on its way, having passed both the House and Senate. It needed only the governor’s signature, which happened on May 27 and was assumed to be automatic – given that he negotiated the deal himself.
Unfortunately, the Connecticut Lottery won’t be able to offer the digital equivalent of scratch-off tickets. Often called e-Instants, these have been performing well in other states, but aren’t part of the governor’s agreement with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes.
What the lottery will offer is draw tickets and Keno.
States that offer draw tickets online almost always include the big interstate draws: Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky For Life. Because it can’t offer instant games, the Connecticut Lottery will likely want to offer the widest range of draws possible, which would mean including its own intrastate Lotto!, Cash5, Play3 and Play4.
Keno will be the closest thing to an instant game that’s available. Nutmeggers can already play the game at retail locations, and draws take place every four minutes, except between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m. Keno works very much like a draw lottery, but with 80 numbers to pick from, and the ability to chose up to 10 of them.
Online lottery sites are much like other sorts of online gambling sites. There’s a bit of work involved in signing up, because they need to be sure of your identity. Be prepared to submit a scan or photo of your driver’s license or other photo ID, as well as a proof of address.
Funding your account should be easy, with a number of options to choose from. The following will almost certainly be on the list:
Credit cards probably won’t be available as an option because Connecticut law forbids the purchase of lottery tickets on credit. Smaller prizes will be deposited directly to your account, and withdrawals will work similarly to deposits. Jackpots and other large prizes will probably have to be claimed in person.
As far as purchasing tickets goes, the experience will likely be very similar to the electronic terminals you’ll find at retail outlets. You’ll select the number and type of tickets you want, click or tap your numbers (or choose the Quick Pick option), and off you go. The only difference is that you’ll receive email confirmation and a digital record of your purchase rather than a paper ticket.
Keno should also be similar to the retail product, but you’ll be able to watch the draw play out in real time.
Under the terms of the agreement between Gov. Lamont and the tribes, the CT Lottery can also offer online sports betting. It will be limited to a single skin, but it’s unclear at this time whether it will partner with a name brand like Caesars, or choose a white label supplier to offer betting under its own brand.
If it opts for the latter route, it’s possible that it will use a single account for both ticket sales and sports bets. It may also have anywhere between four and 15 retail sports betting locations. Depending on how things play out, it’s possible that these will also allow you to deposit and withdraw money from your online account in the form of cash.