Sports fans in Connecticut eyeing the launch of sports betting in the state have been marking certain milestones this spring and summer.
Tribal-state compacts were amended and approved in March. Lawmakers then passed sports betting legislation and Gov. Ned Lamont signed it into law in May. Upcoming events will include federal approval of the compacts and the drafting of sports betting regulations.
Many are also anticipating the Connecticut Lottery finally selecting a partner to operate its sportsbooks. The CT Lottery had recently targeted June 28 for that announcement. However this week the CT Lottery shared a new timeline indicating its notice of the winning bidder will come on July 6.
Many operators vying for CT Lottery partner prize
The amended compacts and new legislation authorize three licensees to offer sports betting in Connecticut. Two of the three are the state’s federally recognized tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Indian Tribe. Both will operate mobile sports betting platforms in addition to opening retail sportsbooks in their casinos.
The third is the Connecticut Lottery. In addition to an online sportsbook, the CT Lottery will be able to operate up to 15 retail sportsbooks around the state, including locations in Bridgeport and Hartford.
Back in April, the CT Lottery issued its Request for Proposals (RFP) to prospective sports betting operators and received 15 responses. From that group the CT Lottery chose five operators to give presentations, with four of the five specifically asked to respond to the sports betting RFP.
Those presentations took place earlier this month. The CT Lottery now prepares to reveal the winning bidder next week.
It is not the first time the CT Lottery has pushed its timeline forward. At one point during the spring, a tentative timeline had indicated the CT Lottery would make its selection by May 17.
CT Lottery considering multiple criteria, eyeing launch in fall
The CT Lottery has not publicized the identities of the finalists.
DraftKings has already partnered with the Mashantucket Pequot tribe and Foxwoods. Meanwhile Kambi has partnered with the Mohegans and its casino, Mohegan Sun. Those partnerships would suggest a different operator will work with the CT Lottery, although no one knows as yet.
As the CT Lottery evaluates its options, it will consider multiple criteria. As Rob Simmelkjaer, CT Lottery Chairman, explained to Legal Sports Report, factors include:
- Quality of product
- Competitiveness of pricing
- Strategies for customer acquisition and retention
- Readiness to provide retail sports betting
- Commitment to responsible gaming
According to the new legislation, sports betting revenue will be taxed at a rate of 13.75%. The sports betting licenses will be for 10 years with a five-year extension option.
In the latest update to its timeline, the CT Lottery has dropped a specific “SB System Go-Live Date,” instead now simply listing “Fall 2021.”
Earlier timelines had more specifically listed Sept. 6 for the launch of sports betting, which would mean going live just prior to the start of the NFL regular season on Sept. 9.