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Connecticut Sports Betting

In October 2017, Connecticut lawmakers announced plans to legalize sports betting as early as 2019, pending the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992. The state's legislature adjourned on 9 May 2018, just five days before the SCOTUS ruling, and Governor Dannel Malloy expressed a desire to call a special session on the issue.

In August 2018, Gov. Malloy abandoned a potential special session to address sports betting legislation after failing to reach consensus with legislative leaders.

For a regulated sports betting market to become a reality, Connecticut first must negotiate amendments to revenue-sharing agreements with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, which have exclusive rights to all casino gambling in the state. Democratic leaders in the General Assembly said in April 2019 that they are committed to passing legislation that would legalize sports gambling once Gov. Ned Lamont finalizes an agreement with the tribes.

In April 2018, former Attorney General George Jepsen issued an opinion in which he said he didn’t believe legalized sports betting would violate the state’s compact with the tribes, but that the tribes could make that argument. Newly elected Attorney General William Tong said he has no plans to issue an opinion of his own.

In anticipation of the state’s legalization of sports betting, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment announced in March 2019 that it has signed an agreement with European gambling operator Kambi to provide Mohegan Sun with online and on-property sports betting products.

In July 2019, the Connecticut Jobs and Revenue Act — which calls for a comprehensive expansion of gambling, including sports betting, online gambling, an online lottery and a new land-based casino — was proposed, but Gov. Ned Lamont did not support the bill as written.

In March 2019, Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribes The Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans, which created the joint venture MMCT, received approval from the federal government to move forward with construction on the Tribal Winds Casino in East Windsor. MMCT suspended the project during the pandemic.

In March, 2021, Governor Ned Lamont officially announced a sports betting agreement between the state and tribal owners of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casinos. The agreement entailed up to 17 retail sportsbook operators and three online sportsbooks. The Public Safety & Security Committee passed legislation in support of the sports betting agreement and the bill moved to the Connecticut House and Senate.

In March 2021, the two tribes reached a new gaming agreement with the state, which states that plans for Tribal Winds Casino will be put on hold for at least 10 years.

Mobile sports betting launched in Connecticut in October 2021 via three operators (DraftKings, FanDuel and SugarHouse). Less than a month later, Foxwoods Resort and Casino opened the state’s first retail sportsbook. In February 2022, Mohegan Sun Casino replaced its temporary retail sportsbook with a permanent one. The Connecticut Lottery oversees retails sports betting at six locations throughout the state.
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