The traffic across Connecticut’s western border since Oct. 12 indicates that many New Yorkers could be creating Connecticut online gambling hotspots.
A recent study looks at where online casino and online sports betting play in the state has been the heaviest so far. Most of the densest places for the activity happen to be along the NY border, which supports a theory that Connecticut is now part of an ongoing gambling phenomenon.
The heaviest Connecticut online gambling hotspots
According to a study of GeoComply data, a full 38% of CT online gambling has happened along the I-95 corridor since Oct. 12. That was the day that online casinos and online sportsbooks did their soft launches in CT.
The percentage represents the largest plurality of any part of the Nutmeg State.
That’s significant because it’s an easy point of access for people who live out of state. Naturally, there are other factors at play. For one thing, a good chunk of Connecticut’s own population also lives in the corridor.
Thus, the study isn’t explicitly saying that people are coming in from elsewhere in droves to gamble online.
All it’s saying is these are the areas in the state which have seen the most activity. The study does not delineate that activity by gamblers’ residences.
At the same time, if people who live out of state do have an impact on the map, it’s most likely that they are coming from New York, and they have good reason to do so.
New Yorkers have reason to head out of state
In both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, online casinos and online sportsbooks are not only legal but operational. In fact, in both of those markets, residents of age have even more choices than they do in CT.
Thus, it’s unlikely many gamblers are high-tailing it to Connecticut from NJ or PA. The likely “culprits” in this instance are New Yorkers.
In New York, online casinos remain illegal. While the state legalized online sports betting earlier this year, regulators are still working through the rigors.
Legal online sports betting will be an option for Empire State residents early next year, at best.
For that reason, if anyone is coming in from out of state to gamble online in CT, it’s most likely New Yorkers. Other research supports that theory. Industry analysts estimate that sportsbooks in NJ get 20%-25% of their handle from people who live in New York.
The best way to tell how much of an impact New Yorkers crossing the border to gamble in CT has on the industry will be to take another look at these hotspots after online sportsbooks launch in NY.
Even then, however, some bettors may have established their habits and prefer to stick with them.
Regardless of where it’s coming from, CT casinos and sportsbooks are happy to have the business. This breakdown suggests that Connecticuters might not be alone in terms of gambling on these channels.