Gambling's next big expansion in Connecticut moved a step closer Wednesday.
Foxwoods Resort Casino has launched its simulated gaming online casino platform called FoxPlay, a partnership with GameAccount Network that allows users to sign in with their Foxwoods rewards account (or establish such an account) and play realistic slot and table games for the chance to win virtual dollars.
You can't win actual dollars yet because it's not legal in Connecticut, but both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casino have been operating under the assumption that full legalized online gambling will be here at some point in the near future.
Full online gaming is a controversial prospect.
According to an industry researcher called GamblingCompliance, 10 states are considering the legalization of online gaming, including Massachusetts but not Connecticut yet. The prospects this year are said to be slim, however, since it's an election year.
Nevada and New Jersey and Delaware already have online gaming.
The industry is split, meanwhile, on the wisdom of widespread online gaming and its effect on bricks-and-mortar properties. But no one wants to be left out in the cold either.
The Foxwoods deal is this: By signing up, you get a $5,000 credit as a welcome package and then $500 in virtual credits each day. But it's easy to gamble that away, of course, so you can buy credits with real money to play more online and then get 10 percent back in Rewards points added to your Rewards account.
Those points can be redeemed for dining, spa, tickets or hotel purchases, as usual.
“Launching the first simulated online casino in the U.S. with our
partner GameAccount Network is another way for our guests to enjoy all
that Foxwoods gaming has to offer,” said Scott Butera, president and
CEO, Foxwoods Resort Casino, in a release. “We think this cutting edge technology will
enhance the overall guest experience and allow them to bring the
excitement of Foxwoods with them wherever they go.”
The online casino will be accessible around the world, said Foxwoods, on
multiple platforms, including Android and iPhone devices, iPads and
PCs. The simulated casino features more than 50 colorful (and
occasionally noisy) skill games along with dozens of slot and table
games, and Foxwoods is promising promotional offers for players. Players can sign up at www.foxwoods.com. The price to buy credits is $4.90 in realmoney for $7,000 in virtual credits, $9 for $17,000 credits, $39 for $85,000 credits and $199 for $900,000 virtual credits.
The games are played via broadband Internet connection with no download of software required, and a test Wednesday showed a variety of games along with realistic and sophisticated graphics and sounds.