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Connecticut sports betting is now live and legal. You can bet in person, on your computer or on your phone. The first retail sportsbooks opened on Sep. 30, 2021 and online betting followed less than three weeks later, on Oct. 19.
The Nutmeg State wanted to legalize sports betting for many years but was stuck in political gridlock. The state’s two tribes enjoy exclusivity over casino gambling and felt this should include sports betting. However, Gov. Ned Lamont was only willing to legalize it if the Lottery could participate.
Ultimately, the compromise was to legalize Connecticut online casinos at the same time, and grant the tribes exclusivity over that.
The result is a state with exactly three licensed sports betting operators:
All three have online sports betting. Additionally, the tribes each have one retail sportsbook at their respective casinos – Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods – while the Lottery plans to open up to 15.
Connecticut limits its licensed operators to one skin apiece. That means there are only three online sportsbook brands in the state, and no more can launch unless the law changes. In a nutshell, your options are:
Foxwoods and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe had a pre-existing relationship with DraftKings, so teaming up for sports betting and online casino was a given.
Mohegan Gaming, on the other hand, partnered with FanDuel for its online gaming plans. But it wanted to incorporate its own brand. So its a FanDuel Sportsbook app with a Mohegan Sun online casino tied to it. To stay competitive with the Foxwoods-DraftKings tag team, it partnered with DraftKings’ rival in Connecticut.
The Connecticut Lottery has a different sort of branding problem. It partnered with Rush Street Interactive for sports betting, but can’t use that company’s flagship BetRivers brand. That’s because the deal with the tribes specifies that the lottery’s online platform can’t be used to promote any rival casino or casino chain.
Instead, the lottery and Rush Street are using the latter’s older PlaySugarHouse brand. Although it too was named for a Rush Street-owned casino, that property was renamed Rivers Philadelphia a few years ago, so the name is no longer a problem as far as the tribes are concerned.
Prior to the launch of legal online gambling in Connecticut, DraftKings was already offering 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 is known for innovation and an aggressive approach to marketing. Its sportsbook offers lots of promotions, plenty of tools to provide bettors with tips and data, same game parlays, and more. It even has an NFT marketplace.
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.
FanDuel is already active in many states. The Mohegan Tribe partnered with FanDuel to be able to use that company’s technology and the FanDuel Sportsbook brand. They are, however, using their own Mohegan Sun brand for the online casino vertical.
Like DraftKings, FanDuel got its start in the daily fantasy sports space and has since expanded into other areas of gambling.
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.
Flutter also owns PokerStars, so it’s possible that Mohegan Sun could become a one-stop shop for online casino, sports betting and poker at some point in the future.
Rush Street Interactive (RSI) is mainly known outside of Connecticut for its BetRivers brand. However, state rules prohibit the lottery from using the brand of a retail casino chain like Rivers, so it has had to use the company’s older PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook brand instead.
That branding quirk won’t matter to bettors, who will be getting the same BetRivers product under a different name.
If the CLC app operates like the BetRivers Sportsbook does in other states, bettors can get $250 on top of their first deposit. Simply enter bonus code PLAY250 when making the transfer, and the online sportsbook will match 100% of the deposit amount up to $250.
Connecticut offers three ways to place your bets:
Where all these options exist, sports bettors vastly prefer mobile betting over the others, 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.
All three Connecticut sports betting brands have an 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 don’t have any unusual restrictions on bet types. You can place 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.
Want to get long odds on a bet without picking an underdog? The easiest way to do that is to combine several bets into one. The parlay, and its cousin the round-robin, allow you to do just that.
In a parlay, the odds of all your bets get multiplied together, giving you the chance at a really massive payday. The downside is that every bet (or “leg”) has to win for the parlay to pay out. Round-robins let you bet on, say, two out of three predictions coming true, at reduced odds.
Traditionally, you could only parlay unrelated bets, for instance the outcomes of two different games. These days, however, many sportsbooks – including those in Connecticut – allow same game parlays. For these, the sportsbook calculates how correlated the bets are and adjusts the odds accordingly.
For instance, betting on the New England Patriots to win and Nelson Agholor to score a touchdown won’t give you the full odds for both, because Agholor’s touchdown makes the Patriots’ win more likely.
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.
Nutmeggers can bet on all professional sports the books care to offer. That will definitely include all the favorites like:
It can also include various minor leagues, foreign sports, etc. However, it’s up to the operators themselves whether they think there will be enough interest to be worth listing those events.
College sports are another question. Both the governor and the state’s colleges wanted to see a ban on betting on in-state teams. In the end, they reached a compromise on that issue.
Betting on Connecticut college teams is allowed only during tournaments, and only on the outcome of the tournament, not any individual game. So, for instance, you can bet on the Blue Devils to win March Madness, but can’t bet on any single game they play, whether during the tournament or at any other time. Games involving two out-of-state teams, you can bet on at any time.
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.
Connecticut’s online sportsbooks offer you the following options:
Withdrawing works the same way, but not all of the options are available. Bettors can’t withdraw to their credit cards, for instance. Fortunately, there’s always the option to receive a check in the mail if no other cash-out option works for you.
Sportsbooks also allow you to make deposit and withdrawals to your online account using the cashier at their retail locations. For instance, if you’re registered for Mohegan Sun’s online sportsbook, you can fund your account, withdraw from it, or even place bets using it by visiting the FanDuel Sportsbook at Mohegan Sun Casino.
When sportsbooks attempt to entice new customers, they typically offer one of two signup bonuses. Some operators will give you a risk-free bet, and others will give you a first deposit match. Although there are only three brands allowed to operate in Connecticut, you have at least one option for each of those types of offer.
FanDuel Sportsbook, which is paired with Mohegan Sun Online Casino, is the only one offering a risk-free bet. This is for up to $1,000. There are a few things you need to understand about this offer, however.
Only your first bet counts, so think about how you want to use your risk-free bet before signing up. If that bet loses, you’ll be reimbursed, but the refund will come in the form of site credit, not cash. That means you have to bet with it again, but any winnings from those bets will be withdrawable. Finally, this offer is mutually exclusive with Mohegan Sun’s risk-free first day offer. You can enjoy a $1,000 risk-free bet at the sportsbook, or $1,000 in risk-free play at the casino, but not both.
DraftKings Sportsbook will give you a $50 free bet and a 20% first deposit match up to $1,000. That match comes with a 25x playthrough requirement. Thus, to maximize DraftKings’ bonus, you’ll have to deposit $5,000 and bet $25,000 within 30 days. The good news is that you can do this through any combination you like of sports betting, daily fantasy, or casino play. Like FanDuel’s, this bonus is incompatible with the DraftKings Casino signup offer. The latter has better terms and a higher maximum, but can only be cleared in the casino.
PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook has just a $250 first deposit match. Despite that smaller maximum, however, it’s likely to be a better deal for you than DraftKings’, unless you plan on doing a lot of betting. That’s because it’s a 100% match and has only a 1x playthrough requirement. In other words, you need only deposit $250 and bet $250 in order to collect $250. DraftKings may give you up to four times as much, but you’ll have to deposit twenty times as much, and bet one hundred times as much in order to collect it.
Online sports betting was signed into law on May 27, 2021, but awaited federal approval due to the need to amend the state’s compacts with the Mohegan and the Mashantucket Pequot tribes. The tribes held a duopoly on casino gaming and had claimed sports betting was under that classification. Ultimately, they agreed to share sports betting with the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) in March in return for the exclusive right to offer online casino products.
After the governor signed the online casino, poker, sports and lottery legislation into law, the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the US Department of Interior needed to allow those gambling compact amendments 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 soon.
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 CLC 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.
Still looking for more information? Here’s more about sports betting in Connecticut.
The bill authorizing sports betting in CT was signed on May 27, 2021. The first retail sportsbooks opened on Sep. 30 the same year. Three weeks after that, on Oct. 19, online betting went live.
Three: DraftKings, Mohegan Sun and PlaySugarHouse.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Gaming Division is the regulator for all gambling in CT.
You can bet on games involving out-of-state teams at any time. You can’t bet on individual games involving in-state teams. However, during tournaments like March Madness or the NCAA College Football Playoff, you can place futures bets on Connecticut teqams.
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 13.75% for both retail and online channels.
Connecticut also offers online casino games and a limited iLottery. Daily fantasy sports were 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.