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Connecticut report says 1.8% of state residents suffer from problem gambling

| By Kyle Goldsmith
A study has found 67.8% of Connecticut residents consider the current availability of gambling in the state to be “fine”.

The study, carried out by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, revealed a general ambivalence towards gambling in the state, with 93.5% rating the recreational activity as “not at all” or “not very” important.

Over two-thirds (67.2%) of the over 5,000 residents surveyed believe the risk of gambling harm outweighs the benefits. Meanwhile, 69.2% pointed to addiction as the biggest risk of legalised gambling in Connecticut.

However, 70.8% believe the responsibility for minimising gambling harms falls between gamblers and providers, while 68.7% have no opinion over the integrity and fairness of how gambling is offered in Connecticut. Just 17.3% are dissatisfied with the Connecticut government’s ability to minimise gambling harms.

Of the positives of legalised gambling, employment and increased government revenue led the way with 21.6% and 20.1% respectively. Also mentioned was financial and employment benefits for tribes (12.7%) and the increased ability for Connecticut to retain money that would otherwise have left the state (13.5%).

Just 1.8% of those surveyed was categorised as a problem gambler, equivalent to approximately 50,000 adults across the state’s population of over 3.6 million residents. 4.9% were considered at-risk, while 62.6% were classified as recreational gamblers.

Connecticut’s igaming success

Connecticut is particularly notable as one of just seven US states to have legalised igaming. The state launched its sports betting and igaming market in October 2021.

Connecticut was consistently breaking gambling revenue figures in 2023. A fresh report, commissioned by iDEA (iDevelopment and Economic Association), has identified that online casino has a positive impact on land-based casinos.

In fact, the report stated that Connecticut’s land-based market was experiencing a year-on-year decline until online casino launched. Its gross gaming revenue (GGR) then improved 0.34% following online casino going live in the state.

Connecticut was one of six states chosen for the study. The smallest jump in land-based GGR after igaming’s launch was Pennsylvania’s 0.14%. Michigan, meanwhile, saw its land-based casino GGR jump by a significant 4.89%. The study largely discounted the view that igaming cannibalises land-based casinos.

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