Connecticut One Step Closer to Legalizing Sports Betting and iGaming

The 89th governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont, has reached an agreement with Mohegan Indians to step up the legalization procedure of sports betting and iGaming.

Edward Miner “Ned” Lamont was elected in November 2018 but took office on January 2019 after succeeding Dannel Malloy, who served two terms from 2011.

The Constitution State is now finally seeing some progress in regard to regulating the sports betting market as well as the iGaming front, since the newly elected governor has pushed the legalization efforts with the tribe Mohegan Indians.

Financial Terms Still a Matter of Debate

As reported, the projected sports betting revenue will be subject to a tax of 13.75% while iGaming income will be levied a towering 20 percent. Connecticut Lottery, on the other hand, is permitted to operate 15 retail sports betting shops and one online skin.

There will be two new Lottery-run sports betting locations – Bridgeport and Hartford and the organization is also allowed to sub-license limited operations to Sportech.

The international betting business and a world leader in the highly-regulated global gaming technology sector, Sportech, will not be permitted to acquire their own operations or online skins.

As the report says, Mashantucket Pequot, the other tribal casino was missing from the agreement. The reason for this delay is due to negotiating further financial terms between Lamont’s office and chairman of Mashantucket Pequot, Rodney Butler.

Finally, the agreement will officially give the Connecticut Lottery and OTB operator Sportech a unique opportunity to get involved in the state’s emerging sports betting market, famous for favoring sports leagues since March 2019.

A Three-Party Deal

According to the Mashantucket Pequot chairman, Rodney Butler, the announcement by Lamont’s office and Mohegan Indians was a real surprise, since he insisted on a three-party deal.

Nevertheless, Butler is collaborating with both parties and is hopeful for a three-party agreement. The chairman believes that the legalization of sports betting and iGaming will be beneficial for the state in many ways, primarily in financial terms.

Since Connecticut is dominated by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal casinos, there is still a long way to go before sports betting and iGaming are fully legalized within the territory.

There are many potential obstacles along the way, including the fact that only Indian tribes have exclusive rights to legalize betting in the state, and there is still an ongoing debate whether sports betting is even a casino game at all.

“This is an important factor in the whole procedure as if it is deemed a casino game then many operators, including the Connecticut Lottery, will be locked out of the market,” said a spokesperson from Lamont’s cabinet.

Before any positive steps can be made towards legalization, this burning issue has to be resolved.

Source:

“Connecticut: Tribal Agreement in place to legalise sports betting and iGaming”, sigma.com.mt, March 4, 2021.

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