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The Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) has made its selection of a sports betting partner. However, it’s holding off on officially announcing which of many companies interested in being the lottery’s “sports betting solution and services” partner it has chosen. It will reveal its choice tomorrow during a Zoom press conference.
Today’s lottery invite read:
“The Connecticut Lottery Corporation has reached an agreement with a sports betting vendor and will announce its partner during this press conference, which will take place at the conclusion of the CLC’s scheduled Board of Directors meeting. The CLC’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Rob Simmelkjaer, and the President & CEO of the CLC, Greg Smith, will be available to take questions from the media. In addition, an executive from the CLC’s sports betting partner will join the press conference and can speak to that partner’s qualifications, history and successes.”
CLC’s preliminary award selection appears timed with the start of the NFL season in mind. On Sept. 12, the New England Patriots will have their first game of the season, taking on the Miami Dolphins at home. The sports betting “system go-live date” is planned for Fall 2021.
The lottery holds the right to operate one of the three Connecticut online sports betting skins. The other two belong to the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes. The latter chose DraftKings as its sports betting partner, for both the Foxwoods retail and online sports betting channels.
Mohegan chose to work with FanDuel, through its own iGaming arm, Mohegan Digital.
Meanwhile, there’s one last hurdle for Connecticut iGaming and sports betting to clear. HB 6451 is law as far as the state legislative process is concerned, but Nutmeggers can’t legally gamble until the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the US Department of the Interior approves the new compacts between the tribes and state.
While parts of the law approved in May that covers online casino, poker, sportsbooks and iLottery options can go into effect without that approval, the portions related to the tribes cannot. So that federal approval of amending the state’s gambling compact with the tribes is still necessary.
At 3 pm. on July 6, the CLC’s board of directors’ Sports Betting Development Committee met to pick the lottery’s sports betting partner.
CLC told Online Poker Report then that the parties entered “exclusive negotiations.” Neither party made any “announcements or statements” until they’d reached an agreement.
Once the lottery launches its sports betting solution, it will be another revenue producer for Connecticut. So will the pending Connecticut iLottery.
In the meantime, Connecticut’s coffers are benefiting from Nutmeggers’ resumed interest in the lottery. Lottery revenue fell in most states during the pandemic lockdowns.
On July 6, the CLC announced “a best-ever $418 Million” returned to the state’s general fund from Fiscal Year 2021’s $1.5 billion in total sales. That’s up from Fiscal Year 2020’s $1.3 billion.
The CLC announcement read:
“The CT Lottery’s results were led by steady instant ticket sales, continued growth in Keno sales, and the new Fast Play games, which reached $37 million in total sales in their first year. The Play3 and Play4 games – following the addition of the new Wild Ball feature — also recorded solid sales.”