Who Will Be The Connecticut Lottery’s Online Sportsbook Partner? 

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Connecticut’s tribal casinos have partnered with FanDuel and DraftKings for a retail and online Connecticut sports betting launch this year. A lottery-run online sportsbook is also on the way. 

But will the tribal partnerships affect the Connecticut Lottery’s choice of partners? Maybe. 

The issue is specific wording in Connecticut’s 2021 sports betting law that allows the Connecticut Lottery to operate retail and online sports betting off-reservation once sports betting licenses have been granted for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut — each of which runs one of the state’s two casinos. 

Parsing Connecticut’s New Law 

The new law allows both tribes to be licensed to offer retail and online sports betting on their tribal lands — including their casinos — once an amended tribal-state gaming compact with both tribes receives federal approval. Each license will come with one skin for online sports betting, run by the tribes and their sports betting partners. 

The Connecticut Lottery, which will be allowed to accept sports wagers outside tribal lands at 15 retail sites and online, will also get one skin for online sports betting under the law. 

The catch? State law says the lottery’s online sportsbook cannot be branded with a company or brand “that operates a physical casino in any jurisdiction” which, in Connecticut, would be on tribal lands. But could that affect the Connecticut Lottery’s ability to partner with online sportsbooks giants FanDuel or DraftKings in particular? 

FanDuel is a partner with MGE (Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment), which recently formed Mohegan Digital to handle new gaming options at the Mohegan Sun casino. DraftKings has a partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, which is planning to open a DraftKings at Foxwoods sportsbooks at the tribe’s Foxwoods Resort Casino. 

What Is The Future Of Online Sportsbooks In Connecticut? 

Questions about whether there could still be an online sportsbook partnership between the Connecticut Lottery and the two sportsbooks giants will hopefully be answered once the regulatory process gets underway later this year.

If a partnership with FanDuel or DraftKings is out of the question, the lottery still has plenty of prospects — including other sportsbooks operating in Connecticut’s tribal casinos. Per the law: “The corporation may contract with an entity that operates in a physical casino in any jurisdiction.”

That could just put other possible partners — including BetMGM, BetRivers, or Unibet — at the top of the lottery’s list. 

About the Author

Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, she has been known to watch UK basketball from time to time.

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