- Sports betting legalization in Connecticut may have to wait until the 2021 legislative hearings to get more time on the floor.
- The Connecticut General Assembly is closed until at least April 23 because of the Coronavirus before adjourning for the year on May 6.
HARTFORD, Conn. – Two Connecticut sports betting bills that had the floor this session may end up dying out because the Coronavirus pandemic is causing delays in its legislative process.
The legislative session adjourns on May 6 but all hearings have been canceled until April 23 to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Other businesses have been ordered by Governor Ned Lamont to be closed until May 20 which has lawmakers scratching their heads at opening the Capitol again before then.
“With businesses effectively closed down until May 20, there’s no way that we can go in before May 6,” said Len Fasano, Senate Republican leader of North Haven.
“You cannot tell people it’s too dangerous to go to work, and then open up the Capitol and have hundreds of people there. It’s hypocritical. While we’re telling businesses and schools that they cannot operate, we shouldn’t be in session.’’
The Two Bills That Could Die Out
When the legislative session reconvenes, bills and legislation will be heard on a basis of urgency. The topic of legalizing sports betting in Connecticut is not one that would take top billing as a pressing issue that needs immediate attention.
It’s because of this that the two sports betting bills from 2020 may die out in session leaving sports bettors to hope for legalization for 2021.
Senate Bill 21 was the bill that had the most traction this year before the Coronavirus stopped hearings in the House. CT SB 21 would legalize sports betting for both retail and mobile platforms.
The sole issue with this bill was the fact that it was exclusive to the Tribes. Governor Lamont had previously spoken on having a bill that would legalize Tribal and commercial businesses, not just one or the other.
House Bill 5168 would make all sports betting legal in Connecticut. Tribal and commercial gaming establishments could apply for licenses. Both land-based and mobile sportsbooks would be allowed under this bill. The Connecticut Lottery could also apply to offer gambling on sporting events to their customers.
In The End
Special sessions could be scheduled during the summer months but sports betting may not make it onto the docket. Should the two bills die during the regular session, sports bettors in Connecticut will need to see what the 2021 session will bring in terms of legalization on sports matchups.
Both bills required amendments before they could get the approval needed to land on Governor Lamont’s desk.
There is still time to get amendments and approvals or a spot on the calendar during a special session if the Connecticut General Assembly believes that the state could use the new revenue stream that sports betting would bring in.
As it is, COVID-19 will have caused a $500 million loss to finish the year in June and an estimated $1.4 billion loss in revenue for the new fiscal year for the state of Connecticut.
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.