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Online casino and online sports wagering are nearing the end zone in Connecticut.
On Thursday night, Gov. Ned Lamont tweeted a thanks to the House for bipartisan approval earlier in the day of “the agreement our administration reached that will bring Connecticut’s gaming, lottery and sports betting market into the future, positioning our state as a leader.”
The proposed legislation next moves on to the Senate for approval, then to the governor for his almost certain signature.
The only catch is the Senate must approve the measure before the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns on June 9 in order for approval to happen during 2021. And while the House vote was bipartisan, it wasn’t unanimous – so it’s possible the proposed legislation may face some Senate opposition, too.
Nonetheless, Lamont’s tone in an official press release was positive:
“I look forward to this measure’s swift passage in the Senate so we can start the federal process of ensuring this legislation and agreement is authorized.”
Two months ago, Lamont reached an agreement with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes. The owners of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino, respectively, both held a duopoly on the state’s casino gaming, and they believed that sports betting fell under that purview. As a result, finding a hole in that defense proved challenging for awhile.
Eventually, Lamont and the tribes agreed to share sports betting with the CT Lottery. In exchange, the tribes retained the exclusive right to offer online casino in Connecticut. Foxwoods already has a partnership lined up with DraftKings Casino Connecticut. We are still waiting to hear what brand Mohegan Sun is thinking of using.
As a result of that agreement, the lottery announced on May 10 a request for proposals from organizations interested in offering Connecticut a “sports betting solution – system and services.” The RFPs are due on May 27 and the lottery will select an awardee on June 10 – the day after the general assembly adjourns for the year.
Despite the bill not yet being law, the RFP mentions a “go-live date” of fall 2021 for Connecticut online sports betting.
Once the bill touches down in the Senate, that body will be considering Lamont‘s claim that online casino and online sports wagering revenue will generate tens of millions of dollars for Connecticut.