PlaySugarHouse, Mohegan Sun and DraftKings can each take 750 signups for Connecticut's soft launch period

Connecticut Online Gambling Soft Launches, Full Launch Expected Next Week

This is a developing story and will be updated.

A tiny sliver of casino players and sports fans can start gambling online legally in Connecticut today. Exactly 2,250 users – 750 for each of the three sites – can partake as Connecticut soft launches, beginning at 3 p.m. today. The full launch, open to the general public, is coming in exactly one week’s time, on Oct. 19.

DraftKings, Mohegan Sun and PlaySugarHouse can each take 750 signups – under strict guidelines prescribed by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Gaming Division (DCP). DraftKings and Mohegan Sun users will have access to those sites’ online casino as well as their sportsbooks, but it’s 750 signups total, not per vertical.

In the department’s Oct. 8 announcement about today’s soft launch, DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said:

“As long as no issues arise, we have told the licensees they may move forward with the 7-day soft launch required in the regulations. Once the soft launch is complete, online gaming will open statewide.”

Update (10/12, 4 p.m.): One hour after the official soft launch, almost everything appears to be going fine. Only a single Twitter user has been complaining about difficulties accessing the new FanDuel/Mohegan Sun site, and to OPR’s knowledge, there haven’t been issues with other sites. However, when launch day difficulties do arise, it’s usually because of a high amount of traffic all at once. Limiting the number of signups for the soft launch period may turn out to have only postponed such difficulties until the full launch.

Soft launch will ensure smooth sailing for the full launch

Connecticut online casino and sports betting can go live statewide on Oct. 19, if everything goes smoothly during this next week, according to the DCP. Some other legal iGaming states also mandate a soft launch period, though usually not for a full week. The idea is to test the software under real use conditions, but in a limited way to avoid unpleasant surprises. It’s not uncommon for operators to experience temporary difficulties with registration, payment processing or geolocation when launching in a new state.

So, the good news for players left out of this week’s soft launch is that they should be guaranteed a hassle-free experience when the full launch rolls around.

Here’s some more info on what the soft launch period looks like for each operator

PlaySugarHouse

Rush Street Interactive (RSI), which is powering the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) sportsbook, put out its own press release this morning about PlaySugarHouse’s soft launch.

On a first-come, first-served basis, 750 sports bettors can place wagers, reads the announcement. After that, all registrants will be placed on a wait list for the full Oct. 19 launch.

This matches the DCP requirements, which add:

  • Online sports wagering within the State of Connecticut only.
  • Online sports wagering will be limited to operation during certain times of the day during the soft launch period. Those hours are 3 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, [noon] to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, then running on a 24-hour cycle through the rest of the soft launch period.

Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes

DCP said the tribes have both online casino and sportsbook rights. However, it has only authorized a limited number of casino games for the soft launch period. For sports betting, they’ll be launching on the same terms as PlaySugarHouse.

First, here are the players:

  • The Mohegan Tribe partnered with FanDuel Casino and FanDuel Sportsbook. The Mohegan Sun Online Casino is brought to Nutmeggers by the Mohegan Sun casino.
  • The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation‘s skin hosted by its Foxwoods Resort Casino is assumed to be DraftKings, as that’s its named sportsbook and daily fantasy sports partner.

Once online casino games soft launch this afternoon, they will follow these DCP restrictions:

  • Soft launch is restricted to 750 patrons per operator for both online casino and sports betting capabilities.
  • Connecticut’s online casino gaming soft launch “shall be limited to the games approved by DCP [at] of the start of the soft launch period, which is over 100 games.”
  • The soft launch will not include live dealer or peer-to-peer online casino games.
- 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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