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Connecticut sports betting industry could launch by summer 2021

  • Connecticut announces a new sports betting deal that includes the tribal nation of Mashantuket Pekot.
  • Governor Lamont agreed to a similar deal with another large tribe in the state (Mohegan) earlier this month.
  • Online sports betting is likely to hit the state at some point this summer.

Earlier this month, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the state had struck a sports betting deal with the Mohegan tribe. However, the deal was immediately criticized after another prominent tribe in the state, the Mashantucket Pequot Nation, complained that he was excluded from the negotiations.

However, a new deal was announced on Thursday. Governor Lamont and both of the aforementioned tribes have announced that a new gaming agreement has been signed. Governor and Tribe Mashantucket Pequot announced that their deal will enable Foxwoods Casino to launch their own mobile and internet sports betting platforms. The Mohegan Tribe announced similar efforts in early March.

In a statement, Gov. Lamont said, “Connecticut is on the cusp of providing our residents with a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience that rivals our neighboring states. Our state's tribal partners have worked with my administration thoughtfully, consciously, and constructively over the past few months, and we have reached an agreement that works best for Connecticut residents and their respective tribesmen. We will work to ratify it and hope to do so together, including working with elected leaders in the General Assembly. ”

Terms of transactions

Both the tribes and the state lottery will be allowed to run online bookmakers after state legislators come to terms with legislation. DraftKings has reportedly already entered into an operating agreement with the Mashantuket tribe, while Kambi has entered into an agreement with the Mohegans. The Connecticut Lottery has yet to announce a deal with any operator, but the news may come out soon enough.

Connecticut will tax 13,75% on gross online gambling proceeds from online bookmakers. This is higher than the average tax rate of 10 percent in other US states. Online casinos will be taxed at an 18 percent rate for the next five years, and in five years the rate will rise to 20 percent.

The lottery will also be granted permission to open 15 retail bookmakers across the state. Some of these bookmakers may be sublicensed to the off-piste operator of Connecticut. The lottery has already announced the creation of bookmakers in Hartford and Bridgeport.

Gov. Lamont is optimistic that sports betting will "bring the state tens of millions of dollars in new revenue," while keeping the state close to similar industries in neighboring states. New Jersey was one of the first states outside of Nevada to offer legalized sports betting, while New York tends to full-scale legalization of its own at some point later this year. Rhode Island and New Hampshire have also opened their own factories.

Connecticut looks forward to the summer opening of the sports betting industry

It's been a long time for Connecticut. Lamont's predecessor, Dannell Malloy, tried and failed to strike a deal with the state's tribes before leaving the governor's office in 2019. The original deal between Lamont and the Mohegans drew the ire of both the Mashantuket tribe and local legislators, and pressured all parties to agree on a more comprehensive agreement.

Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantuket Pequot Tribal Nation, issued a statement that said, “We are proud of this landmark agreement with the State of Connecticut that sets a historic moment for our tribal nation. This agreement contributes to the economic development and growth of the state and allows us to create a solid economic foundation for the future of our tribal community. ”

A bipartisan group of state legislators has already submitted a bill calling for the legalization of online casino gaming and sports betting. Both tribes received significant political support from both sides of the passage. Since the state legislature and governor's office are controlled by Democrats, passing the actual legislation should be an easy task.

However, it may take several weeks before all the details are cleared up, which means that the bill may only reach Lamont's desk later in the spring. Regulation and licensing of sportsbook partners will also take time, which means online sports betting may not officially take place until this summer. That said, this timeline still allows for online sports betting prior to the start of the football season, which bodes well for the future of Connecticut's burgeoning industry.

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