Update: New details about Connecticut’s sports betting strategy have been revealed by Governor Ned Lamont. The strategy includes 15 sports betting licenses overseen by the Connecticut lottery plus retail sportsbooks in Hartford and Bridgeport.
#BREAKING @GovNedLamont releases details of new sports betting deal w/@MoheganSun. @FoxwoodsCT says they are 99% on board too@ctlottery can operate 15 locations, some of which can be outsourced to @SportechPLC
ALSO includes sports betting facilities in Bridgeport & Hartford pic.twitter.com/hKTuqD5IES
— John Craven (@johncraven1) March 2, 2021
Many analysts and industry observers have had pegged Connecticut as a state likely to legalize sports betting in 2021. While it is not a done deal, due to recent developments, the state is closer than ever.
According to Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s Chief of Staff, Paul Mounds, the state has come to an agreement with the Mohegan Tribe on sports betting and online casino gambling. Mound shared the news while testifying in front of the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee Tuesday morning.
An official announcement should come later in the day.
Mound also said that he hopes the announcement will include the state’s other federally recognized tribe, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. That could all depend on whether the tribe’s concerns over revenue can be satisfied.
Rodney Butler, the Mashantucket chairman, had this to say while speaking with lawmakers during a virtual public hearing Tuesday morning (via Brian Hallenbeck of The Day):
“It literally comes down to a question of fairness and equity. In the context of the deal, the point is insignificant. It’s a revenue question. To my nation, it means sustainability.”
Butler has made it sound like his tribe and the state could make a deal soon after saying negotiators are “literally on the one-inch line.”
Connecticut And Its Path To Sports Betting
Connecticut passed the requisite legislation to bring sports betting to the state in 2017. But the state’s two federally recognized Indian tribes claimed exclusive rights to sports betting and online gaming. That meant PAPSA was not the only roadblock to legal sports betting in Connecticut.
Following the repeal of PAPSA in 2018, negotiations between the state and the two tribes were unproductive. With talks progressing slowly, it did not look like people in Connecticut could start betting online any time soon.
But when Lamont included revenue from “such expansion of gaming” in his latest budget, observers were hopeful. It looked as if the state believed an agreement could be imminent. At the least, it showed how committed Lamont was to make a deal happen.
However, just because one deal has been struck does not mean the work is done. The state still has to create a regulatory framework before sportsbooks can launch.