Connecticut Online Casino Is Part Of New Sports Betting Legislation

Online casino is back on the agenda in Connecticut, alongside sports betting, in new legislation recently filed.

It’s the latest — and perhaps best — opportunity to make Connecticut online casino gaming a reality. But the idea has been around for almost a decade without coming to fruition. Will 2021 be different?

Inside the Connecticut online gambling bill

SB 146 is short on details — it’s just over a page — but it does seek to legalize all sorts of gambling online. Here are the basics:

  • The state’s two tribes, the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot, would be authorized to conduct online sports betting in CT, as well as online casino, if and when the tribes and the state come to a new or amended agreement.
  • The state will get to create a Connecticut Online Lottery, with the restriction that it cannot offer instant games, only draw tickets and Keno.

The key part of this appears to be the tribes signing on to the effort, along with the legislature and governor. That would seemingly presage a law coming to fruition.

Gov. Ned Lamont and lawmakers have been optimistic on sports betting being legalized in recent months.

Who opposes online gambling in CT?

One potential opponent is Sportech, which runs Connecticut’s off-track betting facilities. It wants to be a part of the sports betting scene in the state, but this plan could shut it out if all rights are given to the tribes.

MGM Resorts, which had long sought a casino in the state, appears to be pulling back and might no longer offer a stumbling block for a deal being done.

What’s next for Connecticut online casino and sports betting?

The Connecticut online poker, casino and sports betting bill needs to move through the legislative process. The session has begun and is scheduled to wrap up in June.

In the coming months, we’ll find out if all this optimism turns to legislative action or if something gums up the works for online gambling in the state.

Another story to watch for is whether Mohegan Sun announces a casino and sports betting partner. Foxwoods has already has one lined up, and will provide market access for DraftKings Casino to launch in Connecticut. Naturally, Connecticut bettors will have access to DraftKings Sportsbook in the same app.

If things go smoothly, you may be gambling online in Connecticut by 2022.

- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about poker since 2008.
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