Legal sports betting in Connecticut is just a matter of weeks away from going live.
With the federal government approving the amended tribal compacts in early September 2021, and with General Assembly’s Regulation Review Committee approving emergency regulations for regulated wagering just a few weeks earlier, the Nutmeg State expects for online sports betting to go live by October 2021.
Once the industry launches, bettors will have their choice of three online betting apps, two casino retail sportsbooks and up to 15 additional retail locations scattered throughout the state.
Here is the rundown on what brands to expect and when online betting app and brick and mortar sportsbooks are coming to Connecticut.
Last updated: Sept. 9, 2021
The last major hurdle is cleared, as Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the amended tribal gambling compacts in Connecticut.
As a result, and as a press release noted, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Mohegan Tribe and Connecticut Lottery are “one step closer to implementing sports wagering and online gaming” in the state. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection will now continue the licensing and review processes of incoming gambling providers.
With DraftKings (partnered with Mashantucket), FanDuel (Mohegan) and Rush Street Interactive (CT Lottery) waiting, state officials expect for mobile betting and online gambling to become available in October.
Connecticut has inched closer to the sports betting goal line, thanks to an amended compact between the state and the Mohegan Tribe.
The new Foxwoods sports betting bar will be the first of its kind in the state, if and when lawmakers can get sports betting legalized.
Gambling in Connecticut is split between two entities: tribal casinos and the Connecticut Lottery. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation operates Foxwoods Casino, while The Mohegan Tribe operates Mohegan Sun Casino.
The two tribes have exclusivity over casino gambling in the state. Meanwhile, the Connecticut Lottery handles draw games, scratch-offs, and Keno.
All three groups will be involved in Connecticut sports betting when it launches. Each entity gets a license to operate an online betting app. The casinos can also build a retail sportsbook on property.
The Lottery also gets licenses to run 15 retail sportsbook locations around the state. While it hasn’t been explicitly stated, it seems like those retail locations will be at the 14 Sportech-owned off-track betting parlors.
The tax rate for sports betting will be 13.75% on revenue.
There is no official start date for sports betting in Connecticut. But after the federal government approved the amended tribal gaming compacts, the state has loosely targeted for an October 2021 launch.
That could be a reasonable expectation. Connecticut only needed to tick a couple of boxes before going live with online sports betting. Those tasks included regulations for the industry (an emergency set of rules was approved in late August) and federal approval (which came just over a week later).
Now, the state just needs to review operator information and perform internal controls, followed shortly thereafter by the issuance of sports betting licenses.
Then, online sports betting can launch in Connecticut — with plenty of the NFL and college football season left to be played.
There are only going to be three sportsbook brands in Connecticut, at least to start. Those will be DraftKings, FanDuel, and the yet-to-be-named app from Rush Street Gaming and the Connecticut Lottery
The December deal between the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Foxwoods described the partnership as “multi-channel” since it includes both sports betting and daily fantasy sports (DFS). What it does not mention is whether online casino or poker is included in the deal.
Given DraftKings Sportsbook is based out of Boston, it is no surprise the company prioritized getting into neighboring Connecticut. Foxwoods has long been a destination for Boston gamblers, so the partnership is a natural fit.
In July 2021, Mohegan Sun surprised the industry by moving on from its strategic partnership with Kambi and instead partnered with FanDuel for Connecticut sports betting.
It is not surprising FanDuel found a way into the space given they are one of the two biggest brands in US sports betting. Expect the company to bring its industry-standard sportsbook app to the state.
The Lottery announced it will work to develop the state’s third betting app with Rush Street Gaming. The brand is best known for its BetRivers sportsbook and online casino apps, but that brand will be out of play for this market. The law stipulates the Lottery brand cannot bear the name of a land-based casino. There are several Rivers Casinos in the Eastern US. Rush Street also has the SugarHouse brand or the Lottery could brand it with its own name.
BetRivers is more of a regional brand vs a national brand, but given its properties and presence in New York and Pennsylvania, it would make sense that the company would want into Connecticut as well.