After Gov. Ned Lamont officially signed HB 6451 into law, which allowed him to amend gaming compacts with the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegan Tribe to include retail and online sports betting, all eyes have been on the state to see how its sports betting program would shake out.
Lamont signed the bill in the end of May and in the last two months Connecticut has put several pieces of its sports betting program into place. The bill officially went into effect on Thursday, July 1.
Here’s what sports betting may look like in Connecticut.
Connecticut Online Sports Betting
When Lamont and the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegan Tribe agreed to amend their gaming compact, it included the bones of a sports betting program that is rounding itself into shape.
Connecticut is currently eyeing a launch date early in the upcoming NFL season. Here is what the deal includes:
- The tribes will offer in-person and online sports betting.
- Each tribe will receive an online sports betting skin.
- The state will operate an online sports betting skin through the Connecticut State Lottery.
- The state can operate up to 15 retail sports betting locations.
- New licensing regulations for Daily Fantasy Sports providers in the state.
Each tribe has arranged a partnership with a sportsbook operator to run its retail and online sports betting offerings.
The Mashantucket Pequots have partnered with DraftKings to operate their sports betting program at Foxwoods Casino. The Mohegan Tribe had an existing partnership with Kambi Inc. to run their program, but agreed to relinquish the partnership earlier this month.
The tribe recently reached an agreement with FanDuel to operate its sports betting program at the Mohegan Sun. The casino will feature a temporary retail sportsbook until a permanent sportsbook location opens in the winter.
Will Daily Fantasy Sports be Affected?
As written, 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 could have potentially caused a delay in service as the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection needed to develop regulations for DFS before licenses can be issued.
However, a service break was avoided as the Department of Consumer Protection recently granted both tribes, and the Connecticut Lottery, provisional licenses to allow the daily fantasy sports providers to continue services to their customers while permanent licenses are issued.
“This short-term step allows for the continuation of fantasy sports in Connecticut as we continue to move forward to modernize our gaming landscape in Connecticut,” Lamont said in a press release. “Thanks to our partnership with the Mohegan Tribe, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, our state will have a competitive, and nation-leading model for wagering both in-person and online.”
According to the state, the provisional licenses will expire on Sept. 30, 2021, or when the more comprehensive licenses provided for in the May legislation have been issued.
The Connecticut State Lottery has yet to enter into a partnership with a daily fantasy sports operator.