Online Gambling in Connecticut Still Easy To Access

Published Friday, February 03, 2012 -

At a Finance Committee meeting, as a demonstration of how easy it is to participate on online gambling sites no matter where you are, Rep. Roland Lemar, D- New Haven, pulled up one of the leading online gambling websites with his iPad. This recent demo in front of other committee members occurred in the hearing room of the Legislative Office Building.

After Lemar pulled up the leading online gambling websites, he said, “I was able to go through the entire application process, provide my credit card number: do everything except click start.” Other Finance Committee members looked on surprised.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy was prompted to say, “The playing field with respect to gaming is about to change.” and he added, “We have to consider those changes and be aware of them.”

The Finance Committee heard expert testimony on the pitfalls of online gambling. Marvin Steinberg, executive director of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, said that when a state passes a law legalizing it, it promotes a form of gambling. “It increases the number of people who gamble and a certain percentage of them will have a problem,” he said.

Mary Drexler, Steinberg’s assistant director said that online gambling can be especially dangerous for minors who have grown up playing video games where they are comfortable taking risks. If a younger a person develops a gambling habit then they may be more likely to have issues later on in life.

Concerned about problem gambling in young people, Senator, Gary LeBeau, D- East Hartford, asked how parents in Connecticut can prevent their kids from going online to gamble. He said, “You’ve already acknowledged that children are already online gambling, I know my kids have. I’ve got three kids in their twenties, I know one of them has. I know that they play poker online, they can go offshore, they know how to do that.”

He went on to ask, “If that’s already happening, wouldn’t it be better for Connecticut to offer its own version of gaming with controls and protections to prevent children from playing?”



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