Connecticut Governor Signs Gambling Expansion Agreement with Mohegan Tribe


Elana K. - March 22, 2021

Connecticut may be on the way to legalizing online gambling and sports betting thanks to an agreement the state has reached with the Mohegan tribe.

Connecticut may be on the way to legalizing online gambling and sports betting thanks to an agreement the state has reached with the Mohegan tribe. The agreement will not give the tribe a full monopoly on sports betting as previously expected. Instead, the state Lottery will be allowed to operate 15 retail sports betting locations and an online sportsbook.

The Lottery will also be allowed to “sub-license” some of the locations to a "state-licensed pari-mutuel operator," which refers to Sportech Venues, a company that owns off-track betting locations in Connecticut and online, mobile, and phone wagering. Sportech said that it was excluded from the plan and will likely pursue legal action against the state.

Tribal Issues

The gambling expansion agreement was signed by Connecticut governor Ned Lamont and Mohegan Tribal Chair James Gessner Jr after years of negotiations. One noticeable omission from the press release about the agreement was the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe.

"After months of closed-door negotiations, it's offensive that Governor Lamont would announce an agreement with only one of the two Tribal Nations that have been a party to the negotiations, despite full knowledge that both sovereign Nations are needed to implement any agreement," Mashantucket Pequot tribal chair Rodney Butler said. "We have participated in these discussions in good faith and consider today's events extremely disrespectful in terms of process and substance. "

What Can Online Gambling and Sports Betting Do for Connecticut?

Assuming that Connecticut legislators can stop angering their potential partners, online gambling and sports betting have enormous potential. It’s estimated that the state can earn tens of millions from taxes on both industries. The proposed tax rate for online gambling is 20% and 13.5% for sports betting.

Mohegan Tribe chairman James Gessner Jr. stated, "This path will allow Connecticut to generate tax revenue from sports and online gaming that are competitive with other states and help keep Connecticut with those states when it comes to growing our economy and benefiting the state budget."


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