Connecticut Seeks to Move Forward With Sports Betting and Online Gambling

Elana K. - June 4, 2018

Connecticut lawmakers want to create legislation and move forward with sports betting and also online gambling.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court struck down the 1992 ruling that made it illegal for states to offer sports betting, and as a result, many states are now rushing to draw up some sort of legislation to start offering sports betting as soon as possible.

As anticipated, the option of allowing sports betting has caused some states to consider legalizing online gambling as well. The two, though different in many ways, have similarities as well, and in some states, legislators view sports betting and online gambling as a package deal.

Connecticut is one such state. Governor Dannel Malloy has initiated discussions with two tribal nations that operate casinos in the state in the hopes of moving forward on both fronts. Currently, the tribes have a monopoly on legal gambling in Connecticut; the state grants them the monopoly in exchange for 25% of the total slots revenue. This year, 25% is estimated at $270 million.

The tribes are currently claiming that they have exclusive rights to the newly legalized sports betting, should it be offered, so Governor Malloy has his work cut out for him in negotiations. However, the tribes have also expressed willingness to negotiate.

Lori Potter, spokeswoman for the Mashantucket Pequots, commented, “We look forward to productive discussions with the governor and legislative leadership.”

Charles Bunnell, spokesman for the Mohegans, said, “We appreciate the governor’s respect for the agreements in place and his willingness to work together with all parties to find the best path forward. The Mohegan Tribal Council shares that commitment.”

Some senators say that they need to wait for the governor to work out an agreement with the tribes before drafting any legislation, but one thing is certain: Connecticut lawmakers want to create legislation and move forward, not only with sports betting but with online gambling.

With regards to online gambling, Governor Malloy has a very realistic approach. “There are sites that people place bets with on an out-nation basis. That’s reality,” he said. “And they also place bets, using telephones and the like, illegally, with people on the corner. I think this is about the regulation of an industry which is growing rapidly.’’

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