Connecticut Submits Tribal Compacts In Hope Of Launching Sports Betting This Fall

Written By Martin Harris on August 23, 2021

Connecticut continues to dot the i’s and cross the t’s as it readies for sports betting this fall.

As expected, the state has submitted amended tribal-gaming compacts to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Once those compacts receive federal approval, Connecticut will move another step closer to launching live and legal sports betting.

CT regulators work on sports betting rules while awaiting federal approval

Gov. Ned Lamont officially submitted the compacts to the BIA on July 27. The Bureau has 45 days to review those compacts and make its decision regarding whether or not to approve them. If that 45-day period ends without a decision, the compacts automatically become approved.

That 45-day window means it could theoretically take until Sept. 10 for the compacts to be approved. Meanwhile regulators continue to draft sports betting regulations. Those regulations will also need to be finalized before sports betting can begin in the state.

As explained by the Gambling Legal Blog, the General Assembly‘s Legislative Regulation Review Committee will need to approve those regulations.

That committee will meet again on August 24, and “there is optimism that the regulations will be ready to be voted upon” by the time of that meeting.

CT sports betting launch on fast track

Gov. Lamont first reached an agreement regarding sports betting and online gambling with both the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribe in March. It took until late May for the state’s lawmakers to pass a bill empowering the governor to amend the compacts.

The tribes have each partnered with different sports betting operators in anticipation of sports betting going live in the state. The Mashantucket Pequots will work with DraftKings to offer sports betting at Foxwoods Resorts Casino. Meanwhile the Mohegans struck an agreement with FanDuel for Mohegan Sun. The tribes will additionally offer online sports betting and online casinos.

Meanwhile the new law and amended compacts additionally authorize the Connecticut Lottery to take part in sports betting. The CT Lottery can open up to 15 retail sportsbooks around the state as well as an online sportsbook. After a competitive application process, the CT Lottery announced this week it will partner with Rush Street Interactive to power its sportsbooks.

All parties hope to be able to launch sports betting in time for the 2021 National Football League season that begins Sept. 9. That’s one day before the BIA’s deadline for deciding whether or not to approve the amended compacts.

When commenting on the selection of Rush Street as a partner, CT Lottery Chair Rob Simmelkjaer expressed confidence that sports betting would go live shortly after the football season begins.

“We are confident we will be taking sports bets this NFL season in the early part of it,” Simmelkjaer told Legal Sports Report. “Just a matter of when exactly that date will be is still open for consideration.”

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