Connecticut Governor Makes First Legal Sports Bet In His State

Connecticut Governor Makes First Legal Sports Bet In His State
© USA Today

Gov. Ned Lamont ushered in a brave new era when he placed the first legal sports wager in Connecticut on Thursday.

He visited the FanDuel Sportsbook at Mohegan Sun Casino and placed a $50 bet on the Connecticut Sun to cover the spread against the Chicago Sky. Lamont then headed to the Rainmaker Casino at Foxwoods, where DraftKings has opened the other land-based sportsbook in the state, for another ceremony.

The state’s three online sportsbooks – DraftKings, FanDuel and PlaySugarHouse – are expected to go live on Oct. 7, which is very exciting for sports fans in Connecticut.

Breaking Down the Online Agreement

On May 27, Lamont signed HB6451 into law, paving the way for online sports betting and casino gaming in Connecticut. The bill passed through both chambers earlier that month.

The law created three master licenses for sports betting in the state.

One went to the Mohegan Tribe, which controls the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville. Another went to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which runs the Rainmaker Casino at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, and the third went to the state-controlled Connecticut Lottery.

Each master licensee is allowed to host one online sports betting operator on its master license. The Mohegan teamed up with FanDuel, while the Mashantucket Pequot inked a deal with DraftKings.

The Connecticut Lottery initiated a bid process for its online skin, and it ultimately awarded it to Rush Street Interactive (RSI), which operates PlaySugarHouse along with BetRivers.

Lottery chairman Rob Simmelkjaer said that RSI offered to hand over at least 50% of its net gaming revenue to the state in return for the contract. It will run for 10 years, and RSI has guaranteed the Lottery a minimum of $170 million in revenue during that time.

Additional Details in Connecticut

FanDuel and DraftKings will operate retail and online sportsbooks in Connecticut. They also have 10-year licenses.

The Connecticut Lottery will run the largest retail sports betting footprint in the state, with 15 retail sportsbooks. Ten of them will be at existing Sportech locations.

The Lottery promised to soft-launch retail and online sports betting in the first week of October, so it should all go live imminently.

No other operators will be able to launch in Connecticut, so FanDuel, DraftKings and PlaySugarHouse will not face competition from the likes of Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM and PointsBet.

The state will impose a 13.75% tax on all sports betting revenue and DFS revenue generated in the state. It will also take an 18% cut on online casino gaming revenue, rising to 20% after five years.