Residents and visitors to Connecticut may soon have access to online casino gaming and sports betting services. Late last week, it was announced via Governor Ned Lamont that the House approved legislation to start the new industries in the state. The Senate will now consider the measure this week and if approved, the governor is expected to provide his signature.
While the legislation has gained momentum, the Senate must work quickly to be able to see the measure move forward. The measure must be approved by the Senate before the General Assembly adjourns. The last day of the session is June 9.
The bill was approved in the House with bipartisan support, but it was not without issues. So, we could see the Senate run into various issues while discussing the measure which could lead to a delay in moving the bill forward.
Despite the possibilities, Governor Lamont is optimistic that the measure will pass. He stated in a press release that he looks forward to the ‘swift passage’ of the bill in the senate, so the federal process regarding legislation and agreement is authorized.
Reaching an Agreement
For the online gambling options to be legalized in the state, the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes had to come to an agreement with the state. Governor Lamont worked tirelessly to try to come to an agreement that worked for the tribes and the state.
In Connecticut, the two tribes operate a monopoly when it comes to casino gambling. The monopoly aspect was a point of contention during negotiations as the state wanted to be able to offer sports betting via the lottery.
The tribe argued that retail sportsbooks are traditionally offered at casinos. Because of this, the sports betting services would qualify as casino gaming. To get the tribe to settle on allowing outside entities to offer sports betting, there were concessions made.
The negotiations included allowing online casino gaming, something that the governor had been opposed to in the past. The tribes will be allowed to offer iCasino games, which provides another element of services that players can access, and the tribes can benefit from.
With the CT Lottery allowed to offer sports betting, the operator wasted no time in getting started in the preparation stages. In early May, the lottery announced it was taking proposals from organizations that wanted to take part. The request for proposals is due by May 27 and the lottery will select an organization to work with by June 10.
The plan is to get started quickly once the legislation is passed into law. In the request for proposals by the Lottery, it states that there is a go-live date set for the fall of this year. Most states that are new to the sports betting industry work it out so they can start when the NFL and NCAA football seasons begin. This is a popular time for sports bettors and a great option for getting started with services.
We will continue to stay on top of the Connecticut legislative developments and report on any changes that occur in the next few days.