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Connecticut sports betting was signed into law on May 27, but awaits federal approval due to the need to amend the state’s compact with the Mohegan and the Mashantucket Pequot tribes. The tribes hold a duopoly on casino gaming and had claimed sports betting was under that classification. Ultimately, they agreed to share sports betting with the state lottery in March in return for the exclusive right to offer online casino products.
Now that the governor signed the online casino, poker, sports and lottery legislation into law, the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the US Department of Interior must allow that compact amendment to go forward.
Even before that agreement came to fruition, a House bill was progressing through the state legislative process. It was light on details to begin with, as those were to be determined by the governor’s negotiations with the tribes. With that obstacle out of the way, the bill passed the House easily. Now that the Connecticut General Assembly approved the legislation and Lamont signed it into law, Connecticut online casinos and sports betting could potentially be off the ground before the end of 2021; or if not, by early 2022.
Once the compact is amended and sports betting is legal in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont predicts sports wagering and iGaming revenue will generate tens of millions of dollars for the state. The terms of his agreement with the tribes are that each casino and the Lottery will get one online sportsbook skin apiece. The tribes will also get one skin apiece to offer online casinos and mobile poker in Connecticut. The lottery, for its part, will be able to conduct online draw ticket sales in CT, and offer online Keno, as well.
Conversely, the Lottery will have the right to open up to 15 retail sportsbooks, while each casino will have just the one. Hartford and Bridgeport will each host at least one. The state’s three off-track betting shops, operated by Sportech, should also end up hosting some of the Lottery’s sportsbooks.
Connecticut will likely have exactly three online sportsbooks, as the terms of the agreement specify one skin per tribe plus one for the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC). Plans could change during the legislative process, however, and the state could probably support four or five brands if the tribes were allowed multiple skins.
From the start, one thing has been certain, which is that DraftKings Sportsbook is coming to Connecticut. Foxwoods and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe already partnered with DraftKings, well before the agreement was even reached. The Mohegan Tribe partnered with FanDuel. So that leaves the CLC.
Mohegan Sun Sportsbook Connecticut would seem like the obvious brand for the Mohegan tribe, as it already offers a sportsbook product using its brand in Pennsylvania. Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) recently rebranded its tech arm as Mohegan Digital.
However, the terms of the agreement with Connecticut are that the tribes cannot use their online platforms to promote their own brand (or indeed, any tribal gaming brand) on non-tribal land. Thus, they needed to create a new brand or find an online partner. In PA, Mohegan partnered with Unibet for casino, but that is a small and unpopular brand in the US, so they will found a bigger name in CT.
The CLC is a bigger question. It could create its own brand and choose a white label supplier like Scientific Games to provide the technology. Or, it could partner with a major online brand.
With DraftKings spoken for, it seemed like FanDuel Sportsbook is sure to be another of the state’s brands. That’s why the announcement that it partnered with Mohegan made sense.
That leaves BetMGM Sportsbook as the last of the really big names. Although the market leader would surely like to launch anywhere it can, it may find Connecticut a hard market to get into, unless it lands a deal with the Lottery. Its relationship with both the state and the tribes is strained, since its parent company MGM Resorts International was poised to sue if the state allowed the construction of any new tribal casinos off of tribal land.
If not BetMGM, then the third sports brand is likely to be perhaps William Hill (rebranding to Caesars soon), Barstool, or even a surprise move by someone like Bally’s.
DraftKings already offers daily fantasy sports in partnership with Foxwoods. Though the company has its origins in that space, it has successfully branched out into the sports betting and online casino verticals as well and is known for its innovative products.
In the partnership agreement reached in December 2020, Foxwoods said DraftKings is its sports betting partner and will provide a sportsbook once the Connecticut bill becomes law.
DraftKings was a driving force behind Connecticut’s push for gambling expansion. It has urged residents to sign a petition to bring mobile sports betting to the state.
The DraftKings Sportsbook has a decent welcome bonus for new users, with a $50 free bet and up to $1,000 in matched funds on the first deposit.
FanDuel‘s already done a lot of groundwork as a daily fantasy sports provider. With a database of players in Connecticut, FanDuel should be able to ramp up quickly when sportsbooks become legal.
FanDuel is owned by Flutter, the world’s largest online gambling company. In most states with legal online gambling, it battles with BetMGM and DraftKings for the top spot. FanDuel Sportsbook is known for its slick and responsive software and a massive $1,000 risk-free first bet to get you started off on the right foot.
MGM is the US market leader for casino, and a big name in sports, as well. However, its relationship with the state – and especially the tribes – is fraught. It owns a casino just across the state’s northern border, in Springfield, Mass., and has been fighting to avoid competition from the tribes. That makes a partnership with the Mohegan unlikely, though it might still team up with the Lottery.
If it does launch, it could perform well in the northern part of the state, due to cross-border gamblers. Its M Life Rewards program connects its retail properties to its online operations, so Connecticut bettors could earn stays as the MGM Springfield while betting sports on their phones.
BetMGM Sportsbook will give you a $600 risk-free bet for signing up and has a really easy-to-use app. It is, however, fairly stingy in terms of promotions.
Connecticut will have both retail and online sports betting. Many states offer both, but almost without exception, online betting is the preferred way to play. Within the online channel, sports bettors prefer mobile betting to desktop, by a greater margin than either casino users or poker players. That’s because it’s the easiest way to bet when watching your TV, at the bar, or even attending a game in person.
Whatever set of brands launch in Connecticut, it’s a guarantee that all will offer a mobile app. Getting those apps is now easier than ever, regardless of whether you’re on Android or iOS – because both Google and Apple now allow gambling apps in their online stores.
Connecticut’s sports betting laws haven’t been finalized yet, but it doesn’t look like there will be any unusual restrictions on bet types. You’ll be able to make all the same types of wagers you can elsewhere, including:
These are straight wagers on the outcome of a game. The payouts depend on which team is favored and by how much. These are usually expressed in American odds, sometimes also known as moneyline odds, despite also being used for other bet types.
The way these odds work is as follows: The favorite gets a negative number. This represents the amount you’d have to risk to win $100. Meanwhile, the underdog gets a positive number, representing the amount you can win on a wager of $100. Thus, odds of -200 mean you’d risk $200 to win $100, while +200 is the other side of the same bet, offering a $200 payout on a $100 risk.
Here too, you’re picking the winner of the match, but with handicap points added to the underdog’s score. For instance, if the spread for a football game is DAL +5.5 / NE -5.5, that means a bet on Dallas will win if either the Cowboys win, or they lose by 5 points or less, because the handicap points would push them into winning territory. Conversely, a bet on New England would win only if the Patriots win by at least six points.
Also known as the over/under, a totals bet is a wager on the combined total score of both teams. The book will set a line, such as perhaps 45.5 for a football game. Your goal is to guess whether the total for the game will come in over or under that line.
Futures bets are wagers on outcomes that involve more than just the next game to be played. The most typical example is a wager on the ultimate winner of the playoffs. You might also bet on whether a team makes the playoffs at all, or which player wins a particular award.
Put simply, proposition bets or “props” are any bet not falling into the other categories. Common ones include variations on moneyline, spread or totals bets, but for only one part of the game; for instance, the first quarter. You might equally bet on total points for just one team, or even for a specific player. Depending on the sport and the sportsbooks, there are any number of more exotic props you might find, such as the number of times an NFL quarterback gets sacked or whether a given NBA player achieves a triple-double.
In-play betting is a relatively recent phenomenon, sparked by the rise of online sportsbooks. It exists only in very limited form for retail betting, if at all.
Also known as live betting, it means wagering on a game already in progress. With modern technology, sportsbooks are able to update their lines in real time, so you’ll see the odds change with almost every play.
It’s one of the most engaging ways to bet, and you can occasionally find substantial edges when the market over- or under-reacts to game events. However, sites also tend to charge more vigorish on in-play betting, so if you’re not following the action carefully, you’ll get a better deal by sticking to bets placed before the game.
In all likelihood, you’ll be able to bet on all professional sports. That includes various minor leagues, foreign sports, etc. as well as favorites like:
College sports are another question. The current bill doesn’t include any prohibitions on these, but both the governor and the state’s colleges would like to see a ban on betting on in-state teams. Several other states’ laws already include such a rule.
Esports and mind sports like chess and poker haven’t even come up for discussion yet. Many states have chosen to leave these questions open for future discussion, as there isn’t enough money in such markets for operators to have become very interested in offering them yet.
As more and more states legalize sports betting, the easier payment processing becomes. While it used to be more difficult to get funds on and off of sites, there are now several options.
Each state may have different methods, but one should end up being convenient. Here are a few of the most common choices:
Some of these methods are only available for deposit. However generally, withdrawals work the same way.
Bettors can’t withdraw to their credit cards, though. So if sports bettors are at a loss regarding how to cash out, they may want to opt for a check in the mail.
The land-based partners may also offer deposits and withdrawals. For DraftKings bettors, that may be the Foxwoods casino cage.
Most sites offer similar promotions in each state. Sportsbooks may provide temporary promotions in various locations throughout the US, but Connecticut will probably be treated similarly vs. previously legal sports betting states.
No deposit sign up bonuses and first deposit bonuses are the most common and most popular promotions.
Here are the sportsbook promotions Nutmeggers will most likely see once Connecticut legalizes sports betting:
New sportsbook users often see a no deposit bonus welcome offer, as well as one requiring a deposit.
No deposit bonuses reward sports bettors for simply signing up for the sportsbook. This “free money” tends to range from $20 to $50. Players can apply the funds to designated games or as bonus cash to apply to bets. It’s unusual for a site to allow a player to cash out immediately on a no deposit bonus.
Promotions that require a deposit include first deposit bonuses and risk-free play. A first deposit bonus promo often means the site will match a first-time sports bettor’s deposit dollar amount in the form of bonus credits. Sportsbook users tend to need to satisfy a playthrough requirement to be able to withdraw the cash. The risk-free play option allows sports bettors to have their losses covered up to a specified amount. Usually, sites will only do that for a short period of time, such as 24 hours. Bettors who lose after that time period may be reimbursed with bonus credits.
DraftKings Sportsbook’s “Rewards” sign-in page tells customers Free Bets and Boosts will enable them to bet and win larger amounts of money. DraftKings partners with Foxwoods.
The object of these programs is to get users to gamble more frequently, as well as deposit more money more often. In most loyalty and rewards programs, sports bettors earn points by betting. Program members can exchange those points for items including bonus credits and no strings cash.
Members may also be able to upgrade to higher statuses, which may allow them to earn more points more quickly.
Retail casino operators tend to have loyalty and rewards programs, too. So sports bettors may be able to combine points earned in sportsbooks with their retail casino program points. Gamblers who use other options, such as online casino, may also be able to include those points in their totals. Retail casino rewards tend to move beyond the realm of bonus credits and no-strings cash to hotel stays, restaurant meals and other land-based casino rewards.
For instance, Foxwoods Rewards features four tiers:
Depending on the tier, members can redeem points for exclusive lounge access, discounted spa visits, reserved preferred parking and waived cash advance fees, among other perks.
Mohegan Sun also has a rewards program named Momentum. Members can spend Momentum Dollars on items including dining, merchandise, hotel stays and spa treatments. If it decides to use its own brand for online operations in CT, this loyalty program will surely be included.
Less common promotions are usually temporary and tend to be refer-a-friend bonuses, reload offers, games of the day, weekly missions, among other options.
Still looking for more information? Here’s more about sports betting in Connecticut.
Assuming the tribal compact is amended, sports betting might launch in Connecticut by the end of 2021. On May 27, Lamont signed the bill into law.
By law there will probably only be three allowed, at least for online betting: one for each casino, plus one for the lottery. The lottery can operate up to 15 retail locations, but will probably use the same brand for all of these.
If the rules are changed to allow the tribes to operate more than one brand apiece, the state’s population could likely support at least four or five online sportsbook brands. This doesn’t look likely to happen at this point, however.
The Connecticut Lottery appears poised to accept this task.
In the governor’s announcement about the state’s agreement with the tribes operating Mohegan Sun and the Foxwoods Resort Casino, it noted that the Connecticut Lottery would operate 15 retail sports betting locations. It said the lottery would operate retail sports betting locations in Hartford and Bridgeport, as well as an online sports betting skin.
The agreement allowed the lottery to sublicense locations to the state-licensed parimutuel operator.
The two tribes, plus the state lottery, each either on its own or with an online partner, will offer sports betting in Connecticut.
It appears as though DraftKings will offer a sportsbook in a partnership with Foxwoods. and Mohegan Sun picked FanDuel. The CLC may likewise start its own brand with a white label supplier, or partner with a known brand like Caesars.
Almost anyone of legal age (21+) can wager on sports, so long as they’re within the state’s borders at the time of wagering. Residency is not a requirement, nor does being a CT resident mean you can bet from outside the state’s borders. Only your physical location matters.
There are various exceptions. For instance, you won’t be able to bet if you’re employed by the sportsbook, or directly involved with the game being wagered on. If you’re barred from entry to one or both Connecticut casinos, you might also be banned from their associated online sportsbooks. Finally, problem gamblers will be able to ask to be added to self-exclusion registry to prevent them from using online gambling products of any kind.
The sports betting tax rate is slated to be 13.75% for both retail and online channels.
Connecticut will offer online casino games and a limited iLottery. Daily fantasy sports are already available in the state, and it’s likely that online poker in Connecticut will be possible under the provisions for casino gaming.
Sports betting and online gambling will bring in $50 million in revenue each year for the state, according to Gov. Lamont. That includes all the profit from lottery-run sports betting, plus taxes on sports betting and iGaming conducted by the tribes. Gross gaming revenue for the tribes themselves will be even higher, though this will have to be shared with their online partners.