With the way things are going, Connecticut may see the arrival of sports betting and iGaming services sooner than later.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said earlier this week that he supports and is working on bringing sports betting and iGaming to Connecticut.
Lamont said that he’s talking to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians, the state’s tribal casinos, about adding sportsbooks and internet gaming to their services.
If passed, Connecticut would see the addition of both digital and brick-and-mortar gambling services.
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The fact that Connecticut residents are heading to nearby states to make wagers is behind Lamont’s motivation to legalize these services.
“Connecticut should not leave these opportunities for other states to benefit from our inaction,” Lamont said about the proposed bill (SB146). He would later add that he thinks it’s time for Connecticut to enter the “digital age.”
Lamont also said that if the tribal casinos are approved for expanded gambling services, they would have an advantage over the Massachusetts competition.
Connecticut Sports Betting Legalization won’t Happen Overnight
While the bill’s proposal has been filed, it’s far from a foregone conclusion that legalization will happen.
The Connecticut General Assembly still has to vote on the bill during the 2021 legislative session, which is set to conclude on June 9.
That gives them less than four months to decide whether or not sports betting is in Connecticut’s near future.
However, Lamont may not have to work too hard to convince some of his peers to take his side.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Connecticut’s revenue, and some Democratic lawmakers last week said that sports betting and iGaming could help with that.
So far, 15 states and the District of Columbia allow online wagering.
If passed, the bill wouldn’t come into effect until 2022 — just in time for the 2023 fiscal year.
According to Democratic lawmakers in Connecticut, if everything goes planned and the bill is passed, the state could see an increase in annual profits by $47.3 million in 2023.
Lamont is Going “All In” on Gambling
Even though sports betting and iGaming is still a ways away from legalization in Connecticut, potential sports bettors should have confidence in Lamont.
He’s been supporting and pushing for legalization for quite some time now, always remaining confident when the subject is brought up.
“The tribes have been great partners for the state of Connecticut going back 25-plus years. I have no doubt we’re going to get this deal done,” Lamont told lawmakers in a Zoom call back in January.
Other states looking to legalize sports betting aren’t as lucky to have a governor like Lamont, who is positive about the issue.
The push for sports betting has been happening in Texas lately, but the state’s Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) has been pushing back against it.
Patrick has publicly stated that he doesn’t like the idea, nor does he think there’s enough support for it in general.