Connecticut tries again for sports betting

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This week, two more attempts at the legalization of sports betting will officially be coming to lawmakers’ desks in the Connecticut legislature.

State representative Joe Verrengia (D-West Hartford), who is currently House Chair of the Public Safety Committee and serves on the Transportation and Energy and Technology Committees in the state legislature, introduced a bill this week to legalize sports betting at Connecticut’s two tribal casinos (Foxwoods Resort in Ledyard and Mohegan Sun in Uncasville), at six off-track betting sites (including New Haven and Bridgeport) and through certain Connecticut Lottery locations.

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The bill would also allow for betting at brick-and-mortar locations and through mobile platforms.

Under his proposed bill, the tribes, off-track locations and Connecticut Lottery would be the only authorized operators of both brick-and-mortar and mobile betting. Each operator (excluding the lottery) would be required to pay a $100,000 application fee, then a $750,000 issuance or renewal fee every five years.

And no outside platforms like Draftkings, BetMGM, FanDuel, etc. would be allowed to operate as a third party.

Another bill, introduced by state senator Catherine Osten of the 19th District, would give sports betting rights and authorization to just and only the tribal lands of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut. Those two would have exclusive rights to any sportsbooks that come into the state, meaning all forms of sports betting would have to be on tribal properties. 

More than a dozen states, including neighbors Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania have implemented some form of legalized sports betting since a Supreme Court ruling uplifted a federal ban back in 2018.  

Economic indicators and reports suggest an estimated $20 million in annual revenue is to be had should sports being in Connecticut become legal.

A hearing took place on Tuesday for stakeholders and will be followed by a public hearing in two weeks on Tuesday, Feb. 25 to discuss more details. The state legislature has until June to decide whether or not to legalize sports gambling. 

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