Sports betting seems to be coming to Connecticut, but not everybody is happy about it and it looks like there could be some legal challenges.
Governor Ned Lamont and his office seemed to take it upon themselves to negotiate an expansion of gaming that would include betting on sports. Legislators continue to talk about all of the plans and about the framework that is coming together.
The Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe are the tribes that operate casinos in Connecticut. One is Mohegan Sun and the other is Foxwoods. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe was basically left out of the negotiations and the announced agreement, which is likely to lead to a legal battle in the state.
There was another interesting wrinkle to the agreement. The Mohegan Tribe already has a deal in place with Kambi, which means that we will mostly likely see a DraftKings Sportsbook at Mohegan Sun. The other skin in this deal goes to the Connecticut Lottery.
That is sure to alienate the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, as all things casino gaming currently run through the two tribes. The Connecticut Lottery is said to be cleared to run up to 15 retail sports betting locations with its skin and is expected to open new betting venues in Bridgeport and Hartford as part of the agreement.
To add more confusion to the mix, Sportech, who runs off-track betting in the state of Connecticut, could be included in a partnership with the CT Lottery or could be shut out altogether. That will be the Lottery’s decision as to whether or not they would want to grant any of their licenses to Sportech, which would put betting capabilities in the OTB locations.
In some states, the legalization and implementation of sports betting has been a pretty streamlined process. It seems like anything but in Connecticut, but the important takeaway here is that sports betting will be coming to the state. It will just be a matter of how accessible it is and whether or not there will be an open market.
What is also interesting is that Sportech does currently allow for online and mobile betting with racing. The announced agreement does specifically mention a tax rate for iGaming, which would imply that mobile sports betting will be part of this expansion of gaming.
We’ll see how this all moves forward and how quickly it does, but it sure looks as though the state of Connecticut will start taking bets in 2021.