Connecticut not okay with Internet pony betting

New York is okay with it, as the New York State Racing and Wagering Board recently showed, approving betting on horse races over the Internet just last week. Its neighbor, Connecticut, however - not so okay with it.

The New York Racing Association (NYRA), operator of the three largest racetracks in New York (Belmont Park, Saratoga and Aqueduct), thought things were good to go.

Its online wagering platform, allowing racing fans - including fans in Connecticut - to access real-time racetrack information and securely place bets over the Web, had passed its final hurdle and was set to launch.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Division of Special Revenue (DRS) Executive Director Paul A. Young, however, weren't so keen on it.

Internet gambling is still illegal in Connecticut - so the two have responded by sending letters to the NYRA and New York gambling regulators demanding they shut the Web site off to Connecticut residents.

"I am hopeful that New York officials cooperate," Blumenthal said in a release, "and respect federal and state law.

"We are considering legal action in court, if necessary, to stop this flagrant defiance of our law."

Added Young: "Internet wagering in Connecticut is illegal in any fashion, and all residents of the state should be aware of that fact.

"Connecticut residents can place a legal wager on horse racing, greyhound racing or jai alai games either in person at the various OTB locations around the state or via a telephone betting account."

Launch of the betting platform was to coincide with the beginning of the racing season at Belmont last Wednesday, but has since been delayed.

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