PHOTO CREDIT: NIKOS FRAZIER-USA TODAY SPORTS

Robert Linnehan

Connecticut took another step towards the legalization of sports betting, but may have made life more difficult for Daily Fantasy Sports companies and users.

The House of Representatives passed HB 6451 by a vote of 122 to 21, which allows Gov. Ned Lamont to enact a compact deal with the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegan Tribes brokered earlier this year.

If approved, the deal will allow the follow:

  • The tribes to offer in-person and online sports betting.
  • Each tribe will receive an online sports betting skin.
  • The state to operate an online sports betting skin through the Connecticut State Lottery.
  • The state to operate up to 15 retail sports betting locations.
  • New licensing regulations for Daily Fantasy Sports providers in the state.

The bill now must be approved by the senate before Lamont can sign it into law.

 

Daily Fantasy Sports Users May Suffer

Updated language in the bill requires Daily Fantasy Sports operators, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, to be licensed by either the Mashantucket Pequots, Mohegan Tribes or the Connecticut Lottery to provide their services. The Department of Consumer Protection will also need to develop regulations before the licenses can be provided.

The bill goes into effect on July 1, 2021, if approved, and the Daily Fantasy Sports providers will not be able to operate until they are licensed. It is unclear how long the licensing procedure may take.

A 13.75% tax rate on sports wagering and an 18% tax rate for the first five years on new online commercial casino gaming would go into effect, followed by a 20% tax rate for at least the next five years. In comparison to the NY sports betting bill, sportsbooks will view this as a welcome change.

Lamont praised the actions of the House this week in a statement, thanking them for the approval of the bill.

“I want to thank the Connecticut House of Representatives for the careful consideration and bipartisan passage of legislation that will bring Connecticut’s gaming, lottery, and sports betting market into the future, positioning our state as a leader,” Governor Lamont said

 

Interest in Connecticut Online Sports Betting is High

Interest in sports betting in the state has been high. The Connecticut Lottery Corporation announced last month it received 15 responses to its request for qualifications to operate the lottery’s online skin or one of up to 15 retail sportsbooks.

The 15 responses for the request for qualification was not a legally binding agreement or a contract of any kind. The state is hoping to jumpstart its online and in-person sports betting program with the hopes of a program launch by Sept. 6, 2021, according to the original request for qualifications.

Week one of the NFL is scheduled to begin on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.

The lottery corporation sent invitations for presentations of qualified responses earlier this week and finalists will be chosen for submission of formal business plans.

The Mashantucket Pequot have already partnered with DraftKings Sportsbook while the Mohegan Tribes have partnered with Kambi, leaving only the state’s online license still available.

 

 

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