Connecticut, Mohegan Tribe Reach Sports Betting & iGaming Deal

Connecticut, Mohegan Tribe Reach Sports Betting & iGaming Deal
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In a sweeping turn of events, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and the Mohegan Tribe on Tuesday announced an agreement to modernize gaming options in the state, including sports betting and online casino gaming.

Connecticut is still negotiating with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns Foxwoods Resort.

The deal with the Mohegan Tribe — which owns Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville — also includes new gaming options for the Connecticut Lottery Corp.

“This agreement represents months of hard work and dedication to getting a deal that’s best for the residents of Connecticut and moves our state forward when it comes to the future of gaming,” Lamont said in a news release. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a devoted partner in these efforts like the Mohegan Tribe, as they have been open to negotiation, honest discussion, and a positive path forward that is beneficial for both their tribe and the State of Connecticut.”

Less than a month ago, Lamont expressed optimism when he released his two-year budget and indicated that he expects $50 million in revenue from online sports wagering, iGaming and iLottery.

Rhode Island and New Hampshire are the two New England states that have legalized sports betting.

Key Details of the Deal

The license agreement is set at 10 years with a five-year extension option. Here are other key components of the Connecticut agreement announced Tuesday, according to the release:

  • A 20% tax rate on new online gaming, or “iGaming,” offerings.
  • A 13.75% tax rate on sports wagering.
  • The Connecticut Lottery can operate 15 retail sports betting locations, as well as operate an online sports betting skin.

  • The lottery shall have the right to sub-license some of those locations to the state-licensed pari-mutuel operator.
  • The lottery will undertake new retail sports betting venues in Hartford and Bridgeport.

“The Mohegan Tribe is proud to have reached this agreement with Gov. Lamont and the State of Connecticut,” Mohegan Tribe Chairman James Gessner Jr. said in the release. “This path will allow Connecticut to generate tax revenues from sports and online gaming that are competitive with other states, and help keep Connecticut with those states when it comes to growing our economy and benefiting the state budget. We’re thankful to Gov. Lamont and his team, and we look forward to continued work with the General Assembly as this process continues.”

The first indication of the Mohegan deal came during Tuesday’s Public Safety and Security Committee meeting, when Lamont’s chief of staff, Paul Mounds, told lawmakers that the Mohegan Tribe and the state were in agreement on legalized sports betting and online gaming, including casino, Keno and lottery.

Negotiations Ongoing with Mashantucket Pequot Tribe

There is still a revenue sticking point with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, which is why a deal with the tribe has not been announced. In December 2020, DraftKings and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation entered into an agreement for online sports betting access.

“It literally comes down to a question of fairness and equity. In the context of the deal, the point is insignificant,” Mashantucket chairman Rodney Butler said during the public hearing, which was held virtually. “It's a revenue question. It’s a revenue question, which is less than a rounding error for the state, but to my nation it means sustainability.”

Since November 2020, both tribal nations have been engaged in negotiations with the state to bring the gaming economy into the digital age. In his January State of the State Address, Lamont said he was looking forward to working with “tribal partners to modernize gaming in our state.”

They are closer than ever after Tuesday’s agreement.

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