As expected, the federal government has approved the proposed revisions to the gaming compacts between the state of Connecticut and the tribes, with legalized sports betting and expanded online gambling likely to begin next month.
Following the General Assembly’s approval of a bill earlier this year, which was signed by Gov. Ned Lamont in May, it was hoped that the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior could give its approval in time for the start of the NFL season last night. Although the announcement was made late last night, Lamont said, the state’s licensing process is still continuing.
Late last month, the General Assembly’s Regulation Review Committee approved the regulations for sports wagering and online gaming as proposed by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
“This critical step in the process of modernizing our gaming landscape here in Connecticut ensures that our state will have a competitive, nation-leading marketplace for wagering both in-person and online,” Lamont said.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ approval “puts Connecticut on the cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience that will be competitive with our neighboring states and positions us for success into the future,” he added.
Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which operates Foxwoods Resort Casino, said the approval “will allow us to enhance investments in support of our tribe, to contribute additional revenue to the state of Connecticut, and to provide a new level of entertainment for our guests.
“We will continue to work with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection to make sports betting and iGaming available as soon as we are legally allowed to do so in Connecticut,” Butler added. “This is a day to celebrate.”
The tribe’s wholly-owned affiliate MPTN CT Fantasy has contracted with DraftKings to operate its online betting.
“Modernizing our gaming industry will help protect and create Connecticut jobs, and it will generate tax revenues to the benefit of both state and local municipal budgets, as well as our tribe’s member,” said James Gessner Jr., chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, which operates Mohegan Sun. “This is not just a regional issue – it will have a statewide impact as Connecticut works to meet critical needs as it recovers from the pandemic. Today is a milestone achievement for Connecticut and its tribal nations.”
The Mohegan tribe’s wholly-owned affiliate MGA Technology DFS LLC has contracted with FanDuel to operate its online gaming.
The Connecticut Lottery Corp. is also playing a role in the state’s sports betting future. Announced on Aug. 13, it has an agreement with Sportech Venues to offer sports betting at its 10 OTB locations, including Bobby V’s in Stamford and Winners in Norwalk. The legislation grants the CLC the right to operate up to 15 retail sports-betting locations, including one in Bridgeport.
The legislation imposes an 18% tax on new online, or iGaming, gambling for the first five years, and a 20% tax rate for at least the following five years. There is also a 13.75% tax rate to be levied on sports wagering.