Is Sports Betting Legal in Connecticut?
One of the overriding sentiments when it comes to state-to-state legalization of sports betting is the fact that it is already happening and we need to do something about that. The state of Connecticut is no different, as Governor Dannel Malloy has already acknowledged multiple times over when the topic of sports betting pops up. As you’ll read in some of the links posted below, it certainly seems like the governor will sign anything that comes across his desk.
However, as is the case in most states, the application of sports betting – and the decision on what is allowed and what isn’t – is going to be the most challenging part. Coming to an agreement that is palatable to both sides of the aisle and then agreeing to a plan with the operators is the major stumbling block that most states face. A lot of states seem very open to the idea, but the execution is where the rubber meets the political road.
Connecticut has two Native American casinos, with Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, so negotiations also have to go through the representatives from the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes. But, like we’ve seen in Arizona, the Indian tribes are very excited about an additional revenue stream. Plans for a casino in Bridgeport are ongoing and that could be another location for betting, as well as several off-track betting locations for simulcast horse wagering. Springfield is already building an MGM Resorts International property, so MGM via CG Technology has an inside track in the state.
Connecticut, like so many other states, will get sports betting, but the timeline is different depending on who you talk to. As timelines accelerated with neighboring states, Connecticut started to study the numbers, so they do have a head start over the average state.
Recent News Stories About Betting
With Delaware ready to go the week of June 4 and other neighboring states in negotiations, including New Jersey, who got the whole thing started, Governor Malloy and others weighed in for the Hartford Courant.
Give the Connecticut lawmakers credit. In a piece for the Connecticut Mirror, Mark Pazniokas and Clarice Silber reported that the Connecticut General Assembly called a special session to tackle legalized sports betting. Many states are simply waiting until they are back in session. In this same article, it is mentioned that betting “online” via apps could be a long shot.
One intriguing storyline, covered very well by Steve Ruddock at Online Poker Report, could be the relationship between the Native American tribes and the state. Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are losing a chunk of the market with new casinos in Springfield and Bridgeport and sports wagering would likely appear at the race tracks and simulcast locations.
Christopher Keating of the Hartford Courant talked about a potential framework between the state and the tribes, which would be a significant piece of revenue. If the state is giving up a cut, will they command more from the operators?
Expect Connecticut to be part of the next wave of states to adopt sports betting. Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania should be the first to hit the market, but CT could very well be in that group by the end of the year or early 2019 with the current pace.