Gov. Ned Lamont officially signed HB 6451 into law, which will allow him to amend gaming compacts with the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegan Tribe to include retail and online sports betting.
Lamont signed the bill into law just days after the Connecticut House of Representatives passed it by a vote of 122 to 21.
I just put my signature on legislation establishing a system to legalize sports wagering and online gaming in CT.
We’re on the cusp of providing a modernized gaming experience that positions us for success into the future. Thanks to our tribal partners for their collaboration. pic.twitter.com/wstvZD5YJW
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) May 27, 2021
“ I also appreciate the partnership of the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe for collaborating with my office so that we could make this happen for the residents of our state. I am confident that the federal government will see fit to approve these amendments to our compact, and in the coming months we can launch a modernized, 21st century gaming experience in Connecticut,” Lamont said in a released statement.
What Does This Mean for Connecticut Sports Betting?
The deal will allow the following:
- 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 amended gaming compacts will now be sent to the U.S. Department of the Interior for review. The department will have 45 days to review.
Unlike Florida’s recent gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe, Connecticut will treat its Indian tribes like commercial entities for the purpose of online sports betting. This enables the state to keep the online sports betting aspect out of its gaming compact and avoids any federal challenges with Indian tribes offering online sports betting.
Both tribes will be able to offer online sports betting but they will be regulated and licensed by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
Additionally, the bill will not allow wagers on in-state collegiate programs.
Daily Fantasy Sports Users Will See a Disruption in Service
The bill goes into effect on July 1, 2021, which is bad news for Daily Fantasy Sports users and providers. The bill did not alter language that requires DFS operators, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, to be licensed by either the Mashantucket Pequots, Mohegan Tribes or the Connecticut Lottery. This will likely cause a delay in service as the Department of Consumer Protection will need to develop regulations for DFS before licenses can be issued.
It is unclear how long the licensing procedure may take, but many worry that the entire NFL season may be missed.