Connecticut Legislature.

  • The Connecticut General Assembly will be hearing bills regarding the regulation of mobile and retail sportsbooks in the state.
  • Governor Ned Lamont wants to see regulated sportsbooks launch in Connecticut by the start of NFL season.

HARTFORD, Conn. – With a deadline fast approaching as to what bills will receive ample floor time in the Connecticut General Assembly, four proposals dealing with regulated sports betting in Connecticut have been approved by the joint Public Safety and Security Committee to move to the floor.

This further seals the deal on the real possibility that Connecticut will be getting regulated sportsbooks in 2021. And if Governor Ned Lamont has any say in this subject at all, he’s hoping to go live with the market in time for the NFL season to capitalize on the biggest time of year for operators in the sports wagering business.

What’s Happening In Connecticut?

While there are a total of four bills that touch on the subject, the main bill is House Bill 6451, spearheaded by the Governor. Earlier this month, Lamont had settled on an agreement with the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegan Tribes to expand their Tribal Gaming Compacts to include sports gaming.

The Foxwoods Resort Casino run by the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegan Sun Casino run by the Mohegans would be able to open up land-based sportsbooks at their locations as well as offer both mobile sportsbook platforms and iGaming.

Casino gaming through these platforms would have a tax rate of 18% for five years and 20% for the five years after that as these new compacts are good for ten years. Sportsbooks have a tax rate of 13.75% on all GGR for the duration of the ten-year agreement.

The bill was passed to move forward by an overwhelming majority vote of 20-2 in the committee.

Passage came quickly despite having some disagreements because proposals need to make their way to the docket and sports betting has become a priority due to the revenue stream that it could bring by becoming regulated in the state. The problems with the bill that will be discussed in chambers are the question of whether or not collegiate sports should be allowed for wagers with state schools and initiatives opening up for problem gambling.

Outside of the two tribes, the Connecticut Lottery would be eligible to offer iGaming and sports betting to customers but some people feel the industry would still be limited. Opposition was heard that the market would not be as competitive and the tribes should not have exclusivity to state-regulated sports wagering.

However, some argue that they do have the exclusivity of Class III gaming which is what sports betting is considered to be, ultimately giving them sole rights to the industry.

The biggest win for sports bettors was the addition of mobile sports betting platforms statewide. Gambling on sporting events would be accessible through any internet-connected device in Connecticut.

Should Connecticut divert from the House Bill 6451 in any way to include commercial businesses, the tribal gaming compacts that have provided 25% in casino gaming revenue for years would be null and void and the state could lose out on that income. Sadly, any sports gaming operator that wants to break into the Connecticut sports betting industry will all have to fight for the one spot left.

The Mashantucket Pequots are partnered with DraftKings and the lottery is partnered with Scientific Games, leaving the Mohegan Tribe as the only business left without an operator at the moment. It is rumored that FanDuel is looking to get that spot.

Upcoming In The Connecticut General Assembly

Lawmakers all believe that regulated Connecticut sports betting will be achieved in 2021.

“I’m optimistic we’ll have this passed in the next month or two and we’ll be betting on the NFL season this coming fall. Certainly, a weight has been lifted off our chest, we got a fair shake from this administration vs. other administrations,” said Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequots Tribal Nation on Wednesday.

The other three bills up for discussion have to do with where revenue would go from the market. But the one proposal all eyes are on is House Bill 6451 that would regulate the industries of iGaming and sports wagering in Connecticut. The Connecticut General Assembly will adjourn in June, giving lawmakers more than enough time to work out any kinks in the proposal for a launch of the market by NFL season.

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