Mohegan Sun Suspends WNBA Betting To Avoid Potential Integrity Concerns

Written By Derek Helling on October 4, 2021

For the foreseeable future, if you want to get in on legal Connecticut WNBA betting, the retail sportsbook at Mohegan Sun Casino isn’t among your options. Until further notice, Mohegan Sun has suspended WNBA betting at FanDuel Sportsbook on the casino’s grounds.

The Mohegan Tribe owns the Connecticut Sun and the arena the team plays its home games in. The suspension might lead to long-term changes in policy in this regard in the state.

No Connecticut WNBA betting at Mohegan Sun, for now

To be clear, this is a proactive measure to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. The casino did not make this move in response to any suspicious wagering activity.

The Sun are down 2-1 in the best-of-five semifinals of the 2021 WNBA playoffs right now. If they can stave off elimination in Chicago on Wednesday night, they would get a deciding contest back in Uncasville on Friday.

Regardless of whether the Sun progress to the WNBA Finals this season, bettors won’t be able to place bets on any WNBA events for the time being at Mohegan Sun.

Pat Eaton-Robb of the Associated Press has details on the suspension.

“We are in the process of working with the WNBA to update our SOPs (standard operating procedures) and have decided to take WNBA wagering off until this is finalized,” Jeff Hamilton, the Mohegan Sun’s president and general manager, said in a statement.

The concern is that the common ownership of the casino and team could provide an incentive for match-fixing. It’s uncertain when WNBA betting might be back on the board. On-site, this could be the new normal.

CT legislators to look into the issue soon

As the rules currently stand,  Mohegan Sun employees and those involved with the team are not allowed to place bets at the sportsbook. They also cannot bet on games from any university within the state.

However, lawmakers did not prohibit the tribe from accepting bets on the Connecticut Sun.

According to CT Rep. Maria Horn, more regulations on this front could be forthcoming.

“We had been more concerned that nobody with a substantial interest in that team could bet on the team,” Horn said Friday. “This is a major expansion (of gambling) and I would be very surprised if we got everything right in the first bite. I expect that we will go back and take a look at whether a tweak needs to be made.”

Although there are no special restrictions on betting on the WNBA in other jurisdictions where teams reside and sports betting is legal, Connecticut is unique in that regard. No other WNBA teams share ownership with a retail sportsbook.

A possible situation might be to ban WNBA betting under Mohegan auspices permanently. Connecticut residents would still have other legal options in the state for placing such wagers.

Right now, that includes the retail DraftKings Sportsbook at Foxwoods Casino. At some point in the near future, Connecticut Lottery-backed platforms will also be an option.

It’s unclear right now if such a ban would affect FanDuel’s online sportsbook. That’s just another facet legislators will have to consider soon.

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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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