Soft Launch For Connecticut Online Sports Betting Proceeding Well

Written By Derek Helling on October 18, 2021

The best-case scenario for the online sports betting launch in Connecticut seems imminent. With less than a day left until the state’s three online sportsbooks go live for all eligible bettors, everything is moving along swimmingly.

Provided that continues for the balance of Monday, Connecticuters should be able to start placing legal online bets on sporting events on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 6 a.m. That remains tentative for now, however.

State agency says online sports betting launch on track

The Connecticut Dept. of Consumer Protection, which the state’s new gaming law tasks with regulating online gambling, says everything looks good so far.

“Everything is going well so far, and our team is looking forward to continuing to work with the operators through the rest of the soft launch,” Dept. spokesperson Kaitlyn Krasselt said last Friday. “As long as no major issues arise, the full launch will begin next week.”

The soft launch period began on Oct. 12.

At that time, the three sportsbooks operating in Connecticut each got clearance to invite up to 750 people to try out their platforms. The operators and regulators have been watching to see how the apps and websites comply with regulations.

Connecticut Lottery president Greg Smith said its online platform saw more than $60,000 in wagers from the people involved in its soft launch over the first two days. Smith also reported no issues that would delay the full launch.

Thus, at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19, eligible CT residents and visitors should be able to use:

To be eligible, interested bettors must be at least 21 years of age and not on the state’s gambling self-exclusion list. There are also some geolocation requirements unique to the Nutmeg State.

Sovereign lands are exactly that for sports betting

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribe maintain sovereignty over gambling affairs on their lands. That applies to online gambling just as much as it does offline.

Thus, where you are in the state matters as much as if you’re in the state.

If you’re on Mohegan lands, you can only place bets on the FanDuel app.

By the same token, you can only submit your betting slips on Mashantucket Pequot lands on DraftKings. You won’t have full use of SugarHouse on either reservation.

Off-reservation, you have your choice of all three operators. However, you must still be within the borders of Connecticut.

To be thorough, you will be able to register accounts, make deposits, browse the lines, and withdraw winnings on the apps from anywhere.

The only time the geolocation rules matter is when you’re actually placing your bets.

Those geolocation rules also apply to the state’s imminent online casino products. However, when those platforms will be available statewide isn’t as clear right now.

Waiting game for full online casino products continue

During the soft launch, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes could offer limited casino gaming in the DraftKings Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino apps.

However, it’s still unclear exactly when the full offerings will be available to players in the state.

Tuesday’s launch focuses on sports betting, with further announcements about online casino from the Dept. of Consumer Protection expected.

Another party waiting for further clearance is the Lottery in regards to its brick-and-mortar locations.

The law gives the Lottery the right to install kiosks for sports betting in up to 15 locations around the state. Smith says three of those are ready to go but are awaiting licensure. Those locations are:

  • Bobby V’s in Stamford
  • Bobby V’s in Windsor Locks
  • Winners in New Haven

Smith says seven more locations will be ready to go by the end of the month, assuming regulatory approval is granted in time. The Lottery has not disclosed all 15 locations yet. However, the other seven are all operated by Sportech.

As it looks right now, Connecticuters shouldn’t have to wait for those locations to fully ramp up to get bets in. Early tomorrow morning, residents should be good to go with three new online sportsbooks.

Photo by Associated Press
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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