- Connecticut could see legal sports betting in 2021 now that Governor Ned Lamont is actively trying to draft a structure for the industry.
- Gambling on sports in Connecticut would be a Tribal business under the current discussions taking place.
- It is estimated that a sports wagering market in the Nutmeg State could generate between $10-$15 million annually in revenue.
HARTFORD, Conn. – Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut is now speaking out in favor of legalizing sports betting in his state sometime during the 2021 session.
In the past, Lamont has been at odds with the Tribes in Connecticut when it came to making sportsbooks legal. However, since the outbreak of COVID-19, his views on the subject have changed considerably.
They are now aligned to a more favorable position that would allow a sports betting bill in the Nutmeg State passage into law in 2021 should the Connecticut General Assembly place one on Lamont’s desk in the new year.
Lamont & The Connecticut Sports Betting Atmosphere
In the past, Lamont wanted to have a sports wagering industry that was both Tribal and commercial, much to the opposition of the Tribes.
He was also not on board with any mobile or online sportsbooks due to how convenient and accessible betting on the games would be for his residents that could lead to possible problem gambling issues. But the Coronavirus Pandemic has changed his stance on both issues.
“If we found out anything in the course of this horrible COVID cycle, more and more of the world is going virtual, more and more of the world is going online. That’s telehealth and e-learning, but it’s also iGaming and sports betting. And I don’t think you want Connecticut left behind,” said Lamont. “This is something that’s going on all around us, and I think Connecticut should participate.”
Lamont’s administration is already drawing up proposals for Tribal sports betting legislation in the Nutmeg State.
While it’s clear why the Governor has softened to the mobile platform aspect of sports gaming, the public might be wondering why he’s dropped the need to include commercial businesses within the industry.
One reason was the problem the Tribes had with this; they would no longer need to pay Connecticut annual casino gambling money as their compacts would be void if Connecticut allowed commercial sportsbooks but that’s not the only reason.
Big companies like MGM who wanted to be a part of the sports wagering market of the state, should they ever make one legal, have been hurting and laying people off nationwide because of the Pandemic. Connecticut wants to benefit from the industry in all ways, including adding more jobs for residents that will offer them job security and these commercial businesses can no longer sufficiently provide that in the way they could before at this current time.
Making sports betting a strictly Tribal offering in the state gives Connecticut the continued casino gaming money as well as expanded sportsbook revenue, making it a win-win in a post-COVID-19 economy hurting financially and in need of new revenue streams.
A sports wagering industry could see upwards of $15 million in yearly revenue for the state.
“This feels like the stars are aligning,” said Rodney Butler, the tribal chairman of the Mashantucket Pequots, the owners of Foxwoods Resort Casino. “We’ve had ongoing conversations with the governor. He has been engaged, and we’re looking forward to getting into much more detailed conversations.”
What’s Next For Connecticut?
Foxwoods Resort Casino just partnered with DraftKings who was going to push for legislation in the state with this partnership.
Now with Governor Lamont in the sports betting legalization corner for the Nutmeg State going into 2021, it looks as though Connecticut will be seeing legal sportsbooks in their future.
As Butler put it, the stars are aligning for sports bettors in the state and an eventual launch of legal Connecticut sportsbooks seems imminent.
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Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.