The online sports betting soft launch in Connecticut creates an exclusive, albeit temporary club in the state. The small number of people with early access to CT online sportsbooks should grow to include all eligible bettors in the Nutmeg State soon.
Provided everything goes according to plan, this is the final precursor to the full launch next week.
For those not a part of the soft launch, it’s time to get your bankrolls ready.
Details of the online gambling soft launch
Why a soft launch? Think of it as a trial run for the state’s online sportsbooks.
Before the state’s Deptartment of Consumer Protection will give the apps the all-clear, it wants to make sure everything is working as planned.
That includes location restrictions. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribe have exclusivity on their lands. The department also needs to ensure only those physically located in the state can place wagers on the apps.
Age requirements are another thing that must be tested since you can’t gamble unless you’re at least 21 years of age.
The soft launch allows each licensee to have 750 people try the products out.
While some operators will soft launch via invitation-only, others, like Rush Street Interactive via PlaySugarHouse, will allow customers to sign up on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The soft launch begins Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 3 p.m.
Those who get in will be able to access the platforms during limited hours on the first four days, then anytime on the final days of the test frame.
The plan is to then shut everything down on Tuesday, Oct. 19 for a couple of hours for a final review. If everything checks out, the online sportsbooks will at that time go live for the public.
So, for a handful of Connecticutters, the landscape of legal gambling in the state changes forever later today.
For those that have to wait, some operators are adding in an extra incentive for those that sign up for the soft launch but don’t make the cut.
Those that miss the first 750 spots on PlaySugarHouse will be added to a waitlist and notified when the app is officially live. Waitlisted customers will receive an extra bonus bet once PlaySugarHouse fully launches, in addition to the new user deposit match.
Everyone else can still enjoy retail betting for the time being.
Sports betting live now at tribal casinos
While renovations continue on the permanent locations for each brick-and-mortar setting, this gives all eligible bettors in the state a way to wager on sporting events legally. It’s understandable if some are awaiting the launch of sports betting apps, though.
When the full launch commences, bettors in Connecticut will have their choice of:
At some point, the Connecticut Lottery will also run up to 15 retail locations of its own across the state.
Those 15 locations will include:
- Bobby V’s – Stamford and Windsor Locks
- Sports Haven – New Haven
- Winners – Hartford, Manchester, Waterbury, Torrington, New Britain, Milford, and Norwalk