FanDuel, Draftkings setting up for a Connecticut sports betting showdown?

Will FanDuel Partner With Mohegan For More Than Fantasy Sports In Connecticut?

As word spread on Thursday that daily fantasy sports operators in Connecticut will be able to continue serving players, speculation continued that FanDuel will partner with Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) for more than just fantasy.

DFS licenses would have expired on Thursday for the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, as well as the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC), However, that’s the day Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection had issued provisional licenses to the tribes and the lottery, which will last until Sept. 30 or until Connecticut can allow online gambling to launch.

In the meantime, Mohegan is partnered with FanDuel for DFS and the Mashantucket Pequot has long declared its allegiance with DraftKings for fantasy sports. If the still-pending CT online sports betting legislation passes, then there will surely be a DraftKings Sportsbook in Connecticut as well. The lottery hasn’t yet picked a partner, but is slated to do so on July 6.

The only holdup to legal online casino, poker, sportsbooks, and iLottery play launching in the state is a necessary federal approval. The Bureau of Indian Affairs at the US Department of the Interior still needs to permit the tribes’ compact with the state to be amended as the parties agreed. Lamont already signed HB 6451 into law on May 27.

The speculation around FanDuel

While FanDuel partners with Mohegan for DFS, it’s not yet clear whether MGE will expand upon that contract once online gambling launches in Connecticut.

MGE is allowed one skin for its Mohegan Sun retail casino in Uncasville. It contracted with FanDuel for DFS and the operator was required to pay the state more than $325,000 for past operations. DraftKings had a much heftier bill of $832,000 for its contract with the tribe owning Foxwoods Resort Casino.

However, speculation remains about whether MGE will opt for FanDuel for its retail sportsbook, online sports betting, online casino, and online poker. What throws even more uncertainty on the matter is MGE just launched Mohegan Digital on Wednesday. It’s possible that this means the FanDuel brand itself is coming to Connecticut, but it could equally mean we see Mohegan Sun Casino CT and Mohegan Sun Sportsbook CT both powered by FanDuel technology.

Mohegan moves on from Kambi

For those who remember that Mohegan already had a sports betting partner, Kambi Group announced on Thursday that it agreed to let that go as long as it gets paid. Now, Mohegan can “collaborate with alternative parties to launch on-property and online sports betting.”

That means MGE can cavort with FanDuel or decide it wants to stay single, which would leave one last coupling option: the lottery.

All eyes will be on the CLC on July 6.

- Heather Fletcher is the lead writer with OnlinePokerReport. She's a career journalist, with bylines in The New York Times, Adweek and other publications. Reach her at [email protected]
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