Prospects Darken For Passage Of Connecticut Sports Betting Bill

Prospects Darken For Passage Of Connecticut Sports Betting Bill

April 18, 2018 3:12 PM


Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen issued an opinion on Tuesday that darkens an already graying picture for the prospect of getting bill signed this session to legalize sports wagering in Connecticut.

“It is our opinion that if sports betting were to become lawful in Connecticut, the Tribes would not have an exclusive right under the existing Compacts and [Memoranda of Understanding between the State and the Tribes, or ‘MOUs’] to offer it” Jepsen wrote to the Connecticut Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, in an opinion first reported by Daniel Wallach.

So, that’s a problem.

Connecticut Sports Betting Bills Looking Even Less Likely to Advance This Session After Attorney General Weighs In Again On Exclusivity Agreements

Previously when legal sports betting bill HB 5307 went up for discussion in the Public Safety & Security Committee, AG Jepsen offered pretty much the same advice, but he goes into greater detail here (edited for clarity): 

“The [Tribal-State Compact and Agreements] set out a list of authorized games. Sports betting is not listed as an authorized game. By contrast, for example, pari-mutuel betting on horse and dog racing and jai alai games are authorized games. The exclusion of sports betting from the specific list of authorized games is compelling evidence that the Compacts do not presently authorize it.”

HB 5307, “An Act Concerning Sports Wagering In The State,” is an open-ended bill tabled for now that invites sports betting regulations from the Commissioner of Consumer Protections. Senate Bill 540 by the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee is a league-friendly bill that’s been referred to Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis for hearing April 23.


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