The State of Connecticut is yet to legalize online sports betting, but the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, owners have Foxwoods Resort Casino, has signed a new multi-channel agreement with DraftKings. Foxwood will, however, launch its new daily fantasy sports on December 13, where DraftKings will offer online contests and promotions.
According to the Tribal Nation, the arrangement was “setting the stage to deliver access to online sports betting” as it awaits state legislation. The chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, Rodney Butler said, “Partnering with DraftKings, the most prominent name in sports betting, reinforces the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe’s position as a leader in the gaming and entertainment industry. We have proven our ability to shape the future of gaming time and time again, and now we are ready to drive sports wagering and online gaming for the state of Connecticut. Working through the tribal gaming compacts, we will help bolster our economy with much-needed revenue and virtual entertainment.”
Only two casinos are present in the state, and they both have the exclusive right to operate in the state in exchange for 25% of their slot revenue. To this effect, Foxwoods alone has generated $8 billion in revenue for the state since they went into this agreement. It is predicted that online gaming and online sports betting will generate a revenue of over $175 million for Connecticut in the next five years.
The co-founder and President of DraftKings North America, Matt Kalish, has come out to express his satisfaction with the deal. In his statement, he said, “This is a landmark dal in collaboration with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation as well as a critical next step to bringing America’s top-rated sportsbook app to sports fans in Connecticut. The national expansion of regulated sports betting is among our top strategic priorities. DraftKings today is live with mobile sports betting in ten states, more than any other operator in the US, and teaming up with the tribe will allow us to extend our reach even further.”
The Importance of this Partnership for the Sports Betting Legalization Fight
Both tribes in the state have pushed for online sports betting for a while. The results have not been positive as the state is yet to legalize sports betting. The deal with DraftKings could change all that as the tribe now have a strong ally in the fight. No one is sure how much lobbying DraftKings is willing to do on the behalf of the casino. However, their presence will surely be felt.
A similar deal like this for the other tribe with one of the sports betting operators like FanDuel could bring about increased pressure for the state legislatures.
Attempts to pass the sports betting bill in the past have bought up conversations about including online casinos or online lottery into the mix. Both casinos suffered earlier in the year as a result of the shutdown. So, this is an area that might pique their interest.
No one is sure the direction the iGaming bill will go in, but it surely will lead to an interesting turn of events now that DraftKings has stepped into the ring.