How do you feel about gambling everywhere in Connecticut? How about being able to do it with a credit or debit card account on your smartphone?
That’s part of the latest gambling expansion proposals before state lawmakers.
The Chairman of the legislative committee that must approve any expansion of gambling told News 8 he’ll call for a vote next week.
The head of the lottery told lawmakers on Tuesday that in order to continue to provide the state with a constant flow of revenue, the lottery must switch from an all cash business at local retailers to credit and debit card purchases and allow all the games to be purchased online on mobile devices as well as being able to place bets on sporting events the same way.
“If sports betting is not convenient to people, meaning geographically throughout the state, and online and in mobile, betters will continue with their local bookies or their current illegal off-shore websites that they currently use,” Connecticut Lottery President Greg Smith told lawmakers on the Public Safety & Security Committee.
If Governor Lamont can come to an agreement with the Native American casino operators, the bill currently before the committee would also license them for sports betting as well as the 16 Off Track Betting facilities around the state.
In other words, gambling everywhere in the state and on credit.
To prove you are 21, you would be required to open an account in person the first time you placed a bet.
The proposed tax on bets would be 10 percent subject to negotiation. You could bet on professional and intercollegiate sports. Pro sports teams would get a small cut of the wagers.
Diana Goode of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling said, “What they’re proposing now is; you can be on your couch, in your pajamas and betting online, so that’s definitely an issue.”
There seems to be no question that this massive expansion of gambling would increase the number of problem gamblers in the state, currently estimated at 35,000.
Also currently, less than one percent of gambling revenue goes to gambling addiction prevention and treatment.
Those organizations currently get less than one percent of gambling revenue to help those with addiction.
They’re hoping to increase that amount to as high as three percent.