For years, talks about advanced gambling and sports betting have brought arguments and legal threats to the state Connecticut.
The situation is very different now.
Multiple Connecticut local media reports suggest sports betting in Connecticut may be the closest thing to a slam dunk the industry has seen.
CT sports betting was in the news recently after Mashantucket Pequot Indianswho operate Foxwoods Casino, announced they would be working with DraftKings Sports Betting for online sports betting and daily fantasy sports.
Governor Lamont supports iGaming, Sports Betting in Connecticut
Governor Ned Lamont Sounds like he’s done fighting for an open market and is ready to bring exclusivity to the state’s two game tribes, according to CT Mirror.
The Mashantucket and Pequot Mohegan Indians have exclusive game rights in Connecticut in exchange for 25% of slot revenue. They claim that these exclusive rights also include sports betting.
Lamont originally wanted the tribes to have competition in the state but changed his mind:
“[Online gambling] is something that is happening all around us and I think Connecticut should attend. If we find out anything in the course of this terrible COVID cycle, more of the world will go virtual, more and more of the world will go online. That’s tele-health and tele-learning, but it’s also iGaming and sports betting. And I don’t think you want to leave Connecticut behind. “
Connecticut isn’t entirely surrounded by legal online sports betting, but it may be soon. Rhode Island on its eastern border recently opened its market to allow remote registration.
Legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts the north seems like a strong possibility for the next year new York always seems to be close to legalizing mobile sports betting.
Rep. Scanlon “guarantees” legal CT sports betting
Lamont makes it clear that he would like to see an expansion of the Games but doesn’t entirely guarantee it will come. But MP Sean Scanlon did just that in a conversation with Native Business magazine.
Scanlon is the co-chair of the new house of lawmakers Finance, Income and Bonds CommitteeSo it makes sense that he is informed about issues that should bring the state revenue:
“Sports betting will be legalized in 2021. You can bet on it.”
Positive comments also from tribal leaders
Representatives of both the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Indians spoke positively to Spiegel about the expansion of the Games in the state.
“We have had ongoing discussions with the governor,” said Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler. “He was engaged and we look forward to much more detailed discussions.”
“Certainly the pandemic has been a challenge for all of us globally, but I think it has given this industry some clarity and what the future could mean for our partnership,” he added Chuck Bunnell, Chief of Staff of the Mohegan Tribal Nation.
Tribes withdrew from the joint Connecticut Casino
Another sign of positive communication between the two sides could be the immediate end of plans for a joint casino.
On Wednesday, the tribes announced that they would temporarily suspend plans for the Tribal winds Casino. The official reason is the coronavirus pandemic.
The suggested location is a 15 mile go on I-91 away from MGM Springfield in Massachusetts. The idea was to bring a casino closer so that those dollars wouldn’t leave the tribes and the state.
Lamont regularly urged the tribes to drop the idea and focus on expanding in other parts of the state. MGM resorts fought the project for years and is currently filing a federal lawsuit against the Home Office.
According to the Hartford Courant, there was no need to drop the project as part of an extended gaming deal. But he certainly wasn’t mad about it:
“No, it wasn’t a requirement, but I think you know it was a source of deterioration for some of the outside casino venues that objected,” Lamont said. “We’re trying to get a place where we can bring sports betting and even iGaming into the state – in a way that doesn’t cause litigation, and we’re trying to work that through.”