Connecticut Bill Would Give Tribes Sports Betting Rights
Connecticut has taken another step to passing sports betting legislation.
The state’s Public Safety & Security Committee voted 24-1 on Thursday to have SB 146 drafted in full as a committee bill, giving Connecticut’s tribal nations exclusive rights to sports betting.
Last week, SB 146 was proposed by 17 lawmakers (13 representatives, 4 senators). The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribal Nations would operate sports betting under the bill, and it would also allow the Connecticut Lottery to conduct online sales, which would include lottery draw game tickets and keno games, pending an agreement with both tribes.
The sports betting legislation comes at a time when states are looking to make up budget deficits caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Neighboring New York is also considering online sports betting legislation with bills calling for multiple operators. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a plan to run sports betting like the lottery. Massachusetts could also move on sports betting legislation this year.
Governor Wants to Work with Tribes
Two weeks ago, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said during his State of the State address that he “looks forward to working with our tribal partners on a path forward to modernize gaming in our state, as well as the legislature on legalization of marijuana. Sports betting, internet gaming and legalized marijuana are happening all around us. Let’s not surrender these opportunities to out-of-state markets or even worse, underground markets.”
With Lamont supporting sports betting, and the tribes open to it, Connecticut could become the third New England state to legalize sports betting. It’s already legal in Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
The Connecticut tribes have maintained they have exclusive gaming rights in exchange for giving the state 25% of the revenue generated from slots. That has helped keep legislative action to a minimum.
Last month, DraftKings and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation entered into an agreement for online sports betting access ahead of sports betting becoming legal.
Before the new legislation was introduced in Connecticut, each tribe has partnered with operators in anticipation of gambling expansion. Mohegan Sun has previously partnered with Unibet operator Kindred Group in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Be first to get our exclusive sports offers!
Join today to stay up to date on your states gambling news and offers.