Connecticut Lawmakers Inch Closer Toward Legalized Sports Betting

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Connecticut sports betting legislation passed a key legislative committee on Wednesday morning, bringing online gaming one step closer to a reality for the state.

The Public Safety & Security Committee overwhelmingly passed legislation supported by Governor Ned Lamont (D).

Could Lamont Sign Connecticut Sports Betting Bill?

Lamont, a former businessman, announced a deal last week with two key tribes, who previously had been unsupportive of efforts to bring online gaming to the Nutmeg State.

The deal, which has bipartisan support, now goes before the full House and Senate. If the measures pass and garner Lamont’s signature, Connecticut residents could find them betting online come Labor Day.

The legislative package is broken down into several different pieces. Senate Bill 146 allows for internet gaming and sports wagering and Senate Bill 570 allows for the construction of a casino in Bridgeport, Connecticut. A rule passed by the committee stipulates 21 as the legal age for sports betting and gaming.

A More Virtual World Means Online Gambling In Connecticut

During a call-in interview with a Connecticut radio station this morning Lamont said online gambling was just the latest indication that more of the world is going virtual.

More of the world is going virtual in the age of COVID, and gambling is no different, Lamont said.

Lamont noted the negotiations with members of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and Mohegan Tribal Council had been going on for 10 years.  The tribes run Foxwoods Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino.

“To work with tribal partners to give them that opportunity [to] compete and bring gaming into the 21st century. [It] brings a lot of money into the state,” he said.

Canceled Casino Plans

Not all lawmakers are on board with the deal.  State Rep. Carol Hall (R.) told The Hartford Courant she liked all aspects of the proposals, except the fact it officially scuttles a planned casino in East Windsor, Connecticut.

“I would indeed, I think, support that bill if it didn’t have that component in it,” she told the paper. “I agree with probably everything else in this bill except for that piece that eliminates the casino.”

About the Author

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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